In an interview with Nebraska director Alexander Payne, Fade In‘s F.X. Feeney discloses that there’s a color version of Nebraska that was prepared by Payne and dp Phedon Papamichael. “I saw the color version once,” Payne says. “I liked it. It was really pretty. Some shots look even prettier in color. We made it look like a color from about 1970 or ’71, like the colors in Five Easy Pieces, for example. But it’s not right for the film.”
Payne has no plans to release the color version to anyone or anything except for “Arte Laos or Channel 4 Moldova…those TV outlets that specify absolutely only color. As part of my convincing Paramount to fund a film in black-and-white, [as] they harped about the TV output deals, I said, ‘I’ll provide you the color version for those TV output deals, very specific ones, but contractually it must be black-and-white for theatrical, DVD and streaming.'”
I don’t see what the problem would be in releasing the color version down the road, after the Bluray, DVD and streaming revenues for the black-and-white version have been collected. I would love to see it with a ’70s color palette.
Hatred vs. Love: “I was watching this year’s Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, which I cannot recommend highly enough, and I walked away thinking that feature films try to show examples of hatred and documentaries try to show examples of love in the subjects that they pick. You know who said that, too, is Albert Maysles. I heard him speak one time. He said, ‘I go to the movies, and all I see is violence and examples of hatred, but I look around me, and I realize that all I see are examples of love.’ And he [asked], ‘Why aren’t we showing those?’ There’s something easy and facile in how it’s used in today’s cinema. But anyway, my basic answer is, I make comedies.”
$45 Million Summer Dramas & Comedies: “Some studio people asked me out to lunch a couple of months ago, and they said, ‘Look, if we let you run the studio, what changes would you make?’ I said, ‘Well, thanks for asking. I believe in the $25 to $45 million adult comedy and adult drama. Why does everything now adult have to be absolutely shrink-wrapped and be robbed of the production value it could have? Where is Trading Places today? Where is Groundhog Day today? Intelligent summer comedies. Where are the intelligent ones?’ Then the studio guy said, ‘Well $45 million…I think I might disagree with your price point.’ I said, ‘You might, but where is Out of Africa today? Why don’t we have films like that?”