‘Mank’ Costume Designer Trish Summerville On Turning Color Into Black & White

Gregory Ellwood
April 2, 2021
The Playlist

Costume designer Trish Summerville has collaborated with David Fincher on films such as Gone Girl” and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and with other filmmakers on large fantasy films including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and The Dark Tower.” None of that prepared her for tackling Fincher’s passion project, however. Mank” not only found her designing clothing from Hollywood’s golden era, but translating those costumes specifically for a black and white digital canvas.

“We had to make a really big decision on how we would go about translating the degrees and tones that we needed on screen, but not to be too jarring and distracting to the actors while on set. Because a lot of the women’s clothes that actresses wore were in corals and short truce, lime green, bright purple, a lot of bright t-shirts,” Summerville recalls. “So for us, that would have been too distracting to have all those colors to the naked eye on set but would have translated lovely in black and white. It was just kind of figuring out what colors we could use that adjusted that a bit and tones we would go in, and just keep the pallet a little bit more stabilized in different scenes, especially scenes where we have larger background numbers. We just kind of wanted to keep the color palette very contained.”

Currently in production on Francis Lawrence’s “Slumberland,” Summerville revisited her work on the Netflix release which included a lot of time showcasing the character and real-life historical figure Marion Davis, portrayed by another first-time Oscar nominee, Amanda Seyfried.

Read the full interview

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