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Both the intro to The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island use blue screens when showing the character's faces, yet in both cases there were no effects projected behind them.

Is it pure coincidence, or does the use of those blue screens play a part in how the rest of the scene is produced?

The Brady Bunch

Gilligan's Island

  • I have no actual insight into this, but I always wondered if they planned to put something in, but as they were assembling it, they figure, "Nah, it looks fine as it is?" – user1118321 Jul 1 at 2:36
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    I question whether this is actual "blue screen" or merely a "blue backdrop". Neutral color backdrops are often used for publicity shots/video. – Paulie_D Jul 1 at 9:35
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    Its just a blue backdrop, blue is often used in portraiture. A complicated backdrop would have distracted the viewer, especially in the Brady Bunch opening where they are turning their heads looking at each other. – Mattman944 Jul 1 at 10:05
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Ok, as someone who once did a graphics design qualification, I have watched both a few times and asked myself "If I was the graphics person for both shows, why would would I design it that way?"

In the first case of The Brady Bunch the same shade of blue is used. It's a pretty calming shade. That combined with the squares produces a happy album or happy photographs effect. That would seem pretty appropriate for such a sitcom.

The Gilligan's Island Graphics are to me more interesting. Different shades of blue are used for different things: there's the threatening darker blue/black of the water. Then there is the calmer blue of the round character decals. Interestingly the boat itself, shown briefly, is a very light shade of blue that suggests that it's a place of safety on the boat. But then the boat on the shore is white; I don't know if that was a mistake or something deliberate. Note that when the decals start some of the people are wearing blue clothes so that is a bit more organic; they are part of nature the sea etc, rather than The Brady bunch who were optically distinct.

So in both I don't think that the greenscreen was used without other elements of shape and colour being made to fit ideas and themes.

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Coincidence? Consider that both were created around the same time (GI from '64 to '67, BB from '69 to '74) by Sherwood Schwartz. Schwartz only created one other TV show, It's About Time, which aired from '66 to '67. Notice anything about the intro?

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At least for the Brady Bunch, it looks like the board from the game show Tic Tac Dough, which had blue backgrounds on the squares. I always thought it meant to match that.

  • Tic-Tac-Dough ran from 1956 to 1959 and was filmed in black & white. It went on a hiatus and was revived in 1978, where it was presented in color. As such, this answer is incorrect. – Johnny Bones Jul 18 at 13:31
  • Well, black and white on tv, but probably blue on set. The creator could have been in the studio and inspired. – eych Jul 19 at 19:03

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