Geek Trivia

The First Feature Film To Be Completely Digitally Color Corrected Was?

O Brother Where Art Thou
The Wizard of Oz
The Matrix
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Answer: O Brother Where Art Thou

O Brother Where Art Thou (2000) is a satirical take on the Great Depression loosely based on Homer’s epic poem Odyssey. Set in rural Mississippi, the directors (the Cohen brothers) favored a dry, dusty Delta look with golden sunsets, but their shooting locations were anything but that—Joel Cohen noted that the locations were “greener than Ireland”.

At first, they turned to traditional color correction methods to strip away the vibrant greens and give the film a more autumnal, sepia-postcard feel. The crew tried to perform the necessary color correction using a physical process, but after several tries with various chemical processes proved unsatisfactory, they decided to perform the process digitally.

Some films, contemporaries of O Brother Where Are Thou, had used limited digital color correction—such as Pleasantville (1998)—but no film had been digitally color corrected from start to finish before. In an effort to keep the production on track and achieve the washed-out color palette they were looking for, they switched to a completely digital work flow and, in the process, it became the first feature film to be entirely color corrected by digital means.