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"So I could be alone with my, you know...sweaty...shirtless...shame."
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July 21 2011

(SPOILER) First look at some of the costumes from The Avengers. IGN has Captain America's new costume design and earlier First Showing had a peak at the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent uniforms.

Is it just me, or do they remind you of the uniforms from Enterprise?
It definitely reminds one of Star Trek. I'm assuming only people who work on the helicarrier will wear this since we already have seen different outfits for other agents(Coulson, Widow, Hawkeye) in the other films.
Yeah, very 'Enterprise'y. All the main players have costumes rather than uniforms though so yep, it'll no doubt just be the plebs that wear 'em anyway.
Anyone else ever wonder what event happens in the future to cause everything to turn grey and blue? No? It's probably just me then. (Well, it's better than taupe at least. Or puce. *shudders*)
What do you mean BreathesStory?
Okay... but where's Vic Mackey?
Anyone else ever wonder what event happens in the [idyllic] future to cause everything to turn grey and blue?

Yes. There's an answer too (and I don't think it's on TVTropes - yet.) ;)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-07-21 14:07 ]
Kaan, eh, I was just being unfunny. (Getting pretty good at it too!) But if you really want to know...

Under normal circumstances, the real world has little to do with film and story telling. Kinda. Sorta. But you know how it goes… one has a few drinks while watching some sci-fi film, which riles up one's amateur passion for architecture, interior design, and holistic environmental design and then tries to apply 12.5 proof "logic":

Alcohol Inspired Problem: "Why is the future always so GD grey?" (non-metaphorically speaking) "And what's with the unhealthy blue light all the time?"

Alcohol Inspired Hypothesis: Since all that grey and blue flies in the face of the growing body of knowledge about what makes for an optimum creative, productive, and supportive human environment, some bad event must have happened to cause the loss of all that knowledge.

Current Alcohol Inspired Contender/Answer: The Cyberdyne induced apocalypse of 2029

Now logically, in film production land I'm sure it has something to do with grey being: 1. neutral with an ability to make colors pop onscreen and 2. being subliminally associated with concrete and metal (both hard materials) and therefore "gritty" and "real" and confusingly at the same time, dehumanizing.

I've long thought that sci-fi is the place where we as a culture create our future. It is our blessing and our curse. The mass culture tends to be conservative and unimaginative. So when artists and creators ask: What if? Why? and Wouldn't it be cool if ___? the ideas float out there and imprint and people accept it as a blueprint for the for the future. The main color for the corporate world is now grey. It wasn't 40 years ago.

None of which has much of anything to do with the helicarrier and her crew except for the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s helicarrier designer(s) has/have also watched too many sci-fi shows and movies. Because it is grey. Q.E.D.

(FWIW, I think in actuality there seem to be four common schools of future environmental design in film:

1. The Grey School: Star Trek franchise, Terminator franchise, Alien franchise, etc.
2. The White School: Gattaca, Aeon Flux, 2001, etc.
3: The Chaotic School: The Fifth Element, Farscape, etc.
4. The Trash School: A post-apocalyptic specialty)

Whew! So, did my convoluted musings confuse you enough? I guarantee that if you have a drink it will sound amazingly insightful. … Maybe you should make that three drinks. ;-)
Someone really needs to get in there with some new outfit ideas for redshirts. Poor things.
I think all it really comes down to is reflecting the world as it is today. Almost all film/tv sci-fi that has anything to do with spaceships is based on a militarist operation. So most ships and uniforms are grey because that's what the ships in navy's look like today. And uniforms, for the most part, are dull greys or blues. Could you ever realistically imagine a time where the crew of a military vessel had the uniform of a Hawaiian shirt?
Unhealthy blue light? Daylight is blue! ;P
Kaan, maybe if a giant space monster puked all over the ship after having just eaten a fruit salad?

[ edited by digupherbones on 2011-07-21 16:43 ]

[ edited by digupherbones on 2011-07-21 16:43 ]
They actually remind me a lot of The Alliance (which reminded me a bit of the Federation)... Joss likes to use cool colors (purple in Firefly/Serenity and now blue/gray for Avengers) to show the inhumanity of of the regimented/military atmosphere. Joss uses warmer colors (like Browncoats) for those who are individuals, with more independent points of view. I'll be interested in seeing if anyone is wearing warmer colors, but I think we may end up with super hero costumes and S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms.

I can't wait to see the movie!
Well, today I've already learned the proper punctuation and HTML to convey sarcasm; now I apparently need to learn one for "tongue in cheekiness."

A military crew with a Hawaiian shirt type pattern for a uniform... A challenge!...*thinking, thinking*...a Hawaiian shirt seems like an overly extreme of an example, but since there is a really wide range of patterns available as options...

Um, how about: in the future there are colonies on Mars that resemble tropical conservatories. Therefore, it is quite suitable and blendy to wear shirts with parrots on them. (Although, really by that time the military would have predator suits, doncha think? Well, at least the elite spec ops would. You know the grunts would still get the polyester no-iron parrots. Or tree frogs.)

I do believe that if for some reason the military higher ups thought that Hawaiian shirt prints either: A. could be argued to save lives, B. looked really cool, or C. would save a lot of money, they would indeed be regulation uniforms.
BreathesStory: It makes a perverse kind of sense ... in TV and the movies, people often wear an excessive amount of browns and tans and vaguely yellowish earthtones (the American West and european Middle Ages, in particular, often look positively jaundiced, as if colored clothing hadn't been invented until the 1960s and the entire universe is just sort of beige).

On the color wheel, the opposite of those tones are mainly muted blues, so there's a kind of logic where one equals "past" and the other equals "future" (and they're both cracked). :)
Option B can vary a bit. If I were more proficient at HTML coding, I'd provide a link to Google images of the Zouave uniforms some volunteer units chose to wear in the American Civil War.
I added the IGN link about the Captain America costume to this thread.
Just a side note - Tony Head will be in Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance.

It's just a cameo appearance, as a monk, but I thought I'd mention it here as the link from First Showing had a couple pictures of the motorcycle(s).
1. The Grey School: Star Trek franchise, Terminator franchise, Alien franchise, etc.

I was with your Drunk-fu up to here BreathesStory ;) but Trek ?? Originator of the primary coloured uniform code ? They kinda had the opposite problem if anything (as far as the franchise in general goes I mean - 'Enterprise' had a fairly blue/grey militaristic look though). As to why, I agree that it's often about creating an impression of formality, neutrality, coldness, austerity etc. but I also think it's just that fictional space exploration organisations tend to draw parallels between themselves and Earth's navies/airforces, many of which, particularly in the Anglo world, wear blue/grey uniforms.

A military crew with a Hawaiian shirt type pattern for a uniform...

I humbly submit Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce. OK, he was barely military (kind of the opposite if anything) but still ;).
I think "future = blue with some grey" is just the flip side to "past = sepia and faded colors".

The other choices are:
- in Blade2, they went with blues for daytime, yellows for nighttime. (An easy way to give information to the audience without being too obvious.)
- moving forward at near light speed will blue-shift, receding will red-shift
There were plenty of glimpses of the costumes at the end of Captain America. That's all I'm saying, because then it will get all spoilery.
I was with your Drunk-fu up to here BreathesStory ;) but Trek ?? Originator of the primary coloured uniform code ? They kinda had the opposite problem if anything (as far as the franchise in general goes I mean - 'Enterprise' had a fairly blue/grey militaristic look though). As to why, I agree that it's often about creating an impression of formality, neutrality, coldness, austerity etc. but I also think it's just that fictional space exploration organizations tend to draw parallels between themselves and Earth's navies/airforces, many of which, particularly in the Anglo world, wear blue/grey uniforms.

1. My memory is a bit fuzzy on the whole Trek thing, I gotta admit. Perhaps not the best example. It's been a while since I really watched any. I think the last time I was…um, the last film (once) and that time when there was a link here to the DS9 Tribble episode. In my memory though, starting with NG, the grey was in the environments (ships etc.), presumably so the neutralness of grey could help make all those colors pop. (I mentioned that ability above.) And while they didn't have the blue light (which would have been totally inappropriate) they did switch to a much more subdued lighting scheme - more "sophisticated and edgy" I guess. The original series I think was a bit brighter of a pallet - I remember the ship having a lot of white backgrounds and being brightly lit. (All of which could be totally wrong in which case… I'm gonna plead fever induced fuzziness. Who gets sick in the middle of the summer? Sheesh. And…and…and… hot weather - 102 F in the shade at 5 PM and no air-conditioning. Fried brains. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Fried brains. Unless, I'm right. In which case, Bully for me. ;-)

2. Well, if you're gonna bring, like, practical logic into it…Boring! I like my catastrophic event idea better. : ) Actually, from a production design/costume design standpoint, blue and grey in western culture have always meant seriousness - like grey and blue suits in business. And sci-fi movies are usually trying to prove how serious they are. (I'd like to see the Wes Anderson version of future space sci-fi…) I'm sure most designs do tend to mine our cultural imprints as OneTeV suggested.

I'm sure that the whole space=navy thing does play a role too. But ya know, the US navy also has a bit of beige/service khaki in it for officers. Which, if you think about the idea of uniform colors coming from the environment to which they are primarily related... beige might actually be the more appropriate choice, since the universe is apparently the color of a latte. (Or white. There seems to be a little disagreement. But latte sounds more romantic.) I think beige uniforms would be a hard sell to a production designer for a future sci-fi story though.

3. The interesting thing to me, is the whole Ouroboros-ness of it all. (It's like film induces a weird time-travel conundrum.) I've known people in the US army who were responsible for buying uniform stuff and they are definitely influenced by the sci-fi they see, which was then influenced by RL uniforms, etc. ad nauseum. Of course I guess we all are. Star Trek TOS now has us all wearing t-shirts as the default uniform of the people. ;-) See? Creators need to be careful what they put out there...

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