A few movies are still released in black & white, largely for artistic reasons.

Are such movies shot in colour, and then converted to black & white for release? Or are they usually filmed in black & white? Is one approach more common than the other?

  • 1
    Technically, every movie ever has been shot in color :P
    – BlueMoon93
    Apr 30, 2018 at 14:59
  • 11
    Technically, Calvin's dad answered this a long time ago. Not necessarily altogether accurately, but answered nonetheless!
    – KlaymenDK
    Apr 30, 2018 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia suggests that they are filmed in color and the converted to monochrome on post-production

Since the 1970s, fiction feature films have been filmed almost exclusively in color. Some films after the transition to color are occasionally presented in black-and-white for budgetary or stylistic reasons. This is a list of notable feature films whose majority of running time is in black-and-white or monochrome/sepia tone and made after the 1960s. Many modern black-and-white films are shot in color and converted in post-production.

Obviously, there are exceptions (at the link) but, it seems pretty logical to at least have the option of switching back to color should there be a desire to do so.

I covered the reasoning (partly) in a question about this issue which is included in the list at the link.

  • 1
    You say Young Frankenstein but the question you linked to is regarding The Elephant Man Apr 30, 2018 at 14:14
  • 1
    The Artist (2011) was also shot in color. From Wikipedia: Though presented in black-and-white, it was shot in color by cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman (src). Perhaps you could add a bit about that to your answer, given that it's one of the most recent black and white films? Apr 30, 2018 at 15:14
  • 1
    Clerks was shot in monochrome because that is all they could afford.
    – Burgi
    Apr 30, 2018 at 15:22
  • 15
    It's less about the option of switching to color than it is about being able to control exactly how the colors are mapped to black and white.
    – Adam Davis
    Apr 30, 2018 at 15:39
  • 1
    @Dai Yes: nofilmschool.com/2012/11/…
    – Adam Davis
    Apr 30, 2018 at 19:02

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