BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: Director Steven Spielberg attends the "The Fabelmans" (Die Fabelmans) premiere & honorary golden bear and homage for Steven Spielberg red carpet during the 73rd Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Berlinale Palast on February 21, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Tristar Media/WireImage)
Movies - TV
The One Schindler’s List Studio Note Steven Spielberg Refused To Follow
In 1993, Steven Spielberg faced a studio dispute as he sought to retain creative control while filming "Schindler's List." Under his vision, the film won seven Oscars.
Spielberg encountered opposition from Universal Pictures when he insisted on shooting the film in black-and-white. Universal's head, Tom Pollock, voiced his list of concerns.
Pollock's resume included overseeing over 200 movies that earned over $10 billion. He feared financial risks, while Spielberg sought a stark and honest version of the Holocaust.
In an oral history in The Hollywood Reporter, Pollock asserted, "'But if you make it in black-and-white, it's going to give us no chance to be able to recoup our investment.'"
Spielberg firmly rejected the suggestion, citing his experience: "If I make it in color, it's going to do what shooting 'Color Purple' in color did to 'Color Purple.'"
"'[...] everything that anyone's ever been exposed to about the Shoah has been in black-and-white. I will not colorize the Holocaust," Spielberg insisted.
The disagreement concluded with Pollock pleading to Spielberg to film in color and black-and-white for flexibility and assurance, but the director refused.