The Walking Dead's first two seasons in B&W anyone?

News Louisa Mellor 14 Dec 2012 - 12:15

As homage to Robert Kirkman's comics, AMC is to air converted B&W versions of The Walking Dead's first eighteen episodes...

While the rest of the world natters on about Peter Jackson's experiments in the future of cinematic formats, AMC has decided to take a step back into TV's past with plans to air the first two seasons of The Walking Dead entirely in black & white.

It's not a nod to vintage telly of course, but homage to Robert Kirkman's monochrone comic book series.

During July's The Walking Dead marathon, the network trialled a b&w-converted version of Frank Darabont's hugely impressive pilot, which went down well enough to warrant them converting the lot and re-running the first eighteen episodes of the show sans hues.

The b&w run is due to start on the network in February, the month that also welcomes the return of season three, which kicks off on Sunday the 10th with the first of eight new episodes, entitled The Suicide King.

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Why not just reduce the colour settings?

I don't understand the use of the word 'converting' here.

"...which went down well enough to warrant them converting the lot..."

This implies there is a complicated process involved with making it Black & White surely it's just flicking a button - there is no conversion process. Anybody can do this themselves by using the TV settings.

While I haven't seen the B&W versions of the episodes in question, you can be assured that if you don't want it to look like crap, there is a LOT more work involved than merely just desaturating it. Color photography and B&W photography are vastly different schools of art requiring different lighting techniques and such. For example, merely desaturating something designed for and shot in color would result in terrible muddy gray skintones. Hardly appealing.

Finally, someone who gets it.

I've been rolling my eyes everytime someone writes "why don't you just turn the colour down on your TV".

Ive seen episode one in BW on the American Blu ray special edition of season one and Im sorry Anthony but a side by side comparison of the colour version and the BW version shows its exactly the same with the colour removed.

Yes while I agree that there is a difference between colour & b&w photography and video (especially in HD). The problem here is that it was filmed in colour. Which mean the ranges of shading isn't there to begin with. What could they do to convert it that a decent HDTV couldn't?

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