The filmmakers used bluescreen 90% of the time, and greenscreen for 10%. They chose blue because it better matched the lighting paradigm (green would have been too bright) and because red garments (a la spartan capes) look better when shot over blue.
Above is a trivia from Zack Snyder’s comic epic 300, a movie about King Leonidas of Sparta taking on the the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. alongside 300 of his best men. Now, I’m a HUGE history buff. I go nuts for it. And as a film stude, it is one of my great dreams slash ambitions to helm in a historical blockbuster epic; and my sights are set on Ancient Rome 70 A.D.
But I’m getting a little side-tracked here…
Something you just can’t dodge from watching Snyder’s epic is the use of the aforementioned ‘bluescreen’ and ‘greenscreen.’ I have yet to encounter these formidable screens (the post production team oh so love these things) but that little trivia gave me a nice insight as to how it works. Looking at 300, we see that the overarching tonal colour is almost white-washed; comic-strip variations of the dark shades. The battles were almost always consumed by a sudden shift to sepia and faded blacks and whites and I believe that Snyder et. al. did this on purpose to reinforce the tenor of the graphic novel.
I say, spot on. The red (or is it blood orange?) Spartan capes outshone the Persian blacks, maintaining the focus on the big and buffed-up superheroes of the 117-minute film. Even the blood-splatters weren’t given the spotlight as one would expect from a violent-looking film. I admire this type of editing and such use. I haven’t seen a movie these days that has done the same thing, specifically with the Marvel and DC superhero tsunami we’ve been having lately. I am both excited to explore this genre of film and immerse myself in its technicalities.
But not that I’m getting ahead of myself since I will be studying Advanced Production: Directing in the coming months for my overseas studies so we shall see how the colours will help me somehow, well, see.