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Wait, What? The Live-Action Super Mario Bros. Film Was A Legitimate Filmmaking Milestone?

Wired recently uploaded this intriguing, if short, history of color in film. It’s full of interesting tidbits about the 116-year development of color film technology, but my favorite one?

The live-action Super Mario Bros. film was actually a movie milestone! It was “the first full-length feature to use digital intermediates,” which represented a huge change for the industry. As the narrator observes, “Surprisingly, digital processing survived that disaster, and now just about every major motion picture gets its finishing touches done in digital space.”

Who knew? (Maybe you all did, readers. But I was surprised!)

In addition to covering the history of how color movies came to be, the short video also walks through some of the detailed, digital changes that are possible in the modern era. As its example, it focuses mostly on the color and shading changes made to Doctor Strange once shooting was over – but I’d imagine similar work is done on other movies.

Given how accustomed we are to digital film alteration, I always forget just how long Technicolor reigned as the undisputed king of the color-film world – and just how much of a film’s “look” is created post-production. It’s especially easy to forget with something like Wonder Woman, where the use of color feels like such a part of the story.

I guess that’s why those credits reels are always so long, huh?

(Via YouTube; image via screengrab)

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