Ozark's creator explains why the show looks so blue


Ozark season four has finally come to an end, which means the Netflix original has reached its final chapter. And yet fans are still asking the same question as season one: why is the filter over the lens so blue?!

If you’ve been left feeling kind of blue after an Ozark binge, and can’t explain why, we’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for. Yes, the show deals with dark subjects and intense storylines, but it’s also visually dark, and *very* blue, too.

You’ll be pleased to know that the moody aesthetic was, in fact, a conscious decision made by the creative team. They wanted to match the cinematography with the overall mood of the show, and boy, did it work.

And apparently, the hit Netflix series drew inspiration from other notable cinematic scores that also use unique techniques to achieve its look.

The show’s cinematographer, Ben Kutchins actually spoke to Decider back in 2018, and noted how the work of the legendary Gordon Willis on the 1971 film Klute was a major influence for how he approached Ozark. He also credited David Michod’s 2010 film Animal Kingdom as being an inspiration, as well as mentioning David Fincher’s early films.

Since then, he’s received two Emmy nominations for his work on the show, and explained how he and Jason Bateman, (who plays Marty Byrde and has also directed a few episodes) made sure they oversaw the work of the rest of creative team to ensure that the show’s visual language was consistent.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

He said: "I think both Jason Bateman and I wanted to do something that was unique and unique to Ozark that created a distinct look.”

He continued to say: “From the beginning we really [tried to make bold choices], and I think it stood out in the way that we tell stories, the way that we colour correct the episodes, the way that we move the camera, and the way that the camera relates to the characters."

But what about how they actually made the show look so blue? Apparently, they used an in-camera cyan tilt and practical and single-source lights, and ensured the episodes received the exact colour correction they wanted in post production.

And while that technical jargon may go straight over our heads, it's fair to say the decision worked in lots of ways, and has even got fans questioning whether there will be an Ozark spin-off later down the line.

Speaking to TVLine, showrunner Chris Mundy explained, "It’s definitely something that people have talked about a bunch. There’s nothing definitive. We’re lucky that people seem to really like the show so there’s obviously going to be some interest there."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The creator added that fans should acknowledge that Ozark in its current form has come to a close, and that if they do create another series, it would hopefully be totally different. "Anything that spins off from it would be its own distinct thing, even though it’s in our universe.”

We'd be happy to see the blue filter in any capacity!

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