The fast and the Fury Road

I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road. Yes, it was just two chase scenes — out, and back again — but what focus.

It should never have happened, though, when you think about it. The 70 year old director of Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two and Babe: Pig in the City? given a $150 million budget and seemingly complete creative control?

Do you realize Mad Max: Fury Road is a miracle?
“Look, I know it makes sense to normal people that you would only let the creator of Mad Max make a new Mad Max movie, but Hollywood studio executives are not normal people. They’re cocaine-addled lunatics who are terrified at the idea of losing potential box office revenue.”

The movie looked amazing; the colours, the cars, the editing.

The editing of mad max the movie
By using “Eye Trace” and “Crosshair Framing” techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot…the Center of the Frame. Because almost every shot was center framed, comprehending the action requires no hunting of each new shot for the point of interest. The viewer doesn’t need 3 or 4 frames to figure out where to look. It’s like watching an old hand-drawn flip book whiz by.

Mad Max: Center Framed

It was such a colourful film, but the director had other plans.

Why the “Black & Chrome” edition of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is vital
“One thing I’ve noticed is that the default position for everyone is to de-saturate post-apocalyptic movies,” he told Slashfilm. “There’s only two ways to go, make them black and white — the best version of this movie is black and white, but people reserve that for art movies now. The other version is to really go all-out on the color. The usual teal and orange thing? That’s all the colors we had to work with. The desert’s orange and the sky is teal, and we either could de-saturate it, or crank it up, to differentiate the movie.”

Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer in Black and White

The Mad Max effect: why cinema is having a monochrome moment
Black and white represented the drab, superannuated past. Colour, intended to supersede it, was the vibrant present and the limitless future. But the ubiquity of colour eventually lent the senior format greater cachet – or at least made shooting in black and white a statement, like using a typewriter instead of a laptop. To choose black and white at any point since the 1960s is to advertise your film as either historically evocative (The Elephant Man) or experimental (Pi), an homage (The Last Picture Show) or a spit-and-glue indie (Clerks). “Something about black and white, the way it distills it, makes it a little bit more abstract,” Miller has said. “Losing some of the information of colour makes it somehow more iconic.”

I think he has a point.

Why every movie looks sort of orange and blue
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but in the past 20-or-so years there’s been a real catchy trend in major Hollywood movies to constrain the palette to orange and blue. The color scheme, also known as “orange and teal” or “amber and teal” is the scourge of film critics – one of whom calls this era of cinema a “dark age.”

But what about the cars!

Mad Max vehicles
Production vehicles from Mad Max: Fury Road.


8-Bit animated versions of the iconic vehicles from ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Russian pixel artist Evgeniy Yudin of Mazok Pixels and animator Misha Petrick worked together to create impressive 8-bit animated versions of the iconic vehicles seen in George Miller‘s film Mad Max: Fury Road.


It was so refreshing to see an action movie not dripping in CGI.

This is what Mad Max: Fury Road looks like without CGI
Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the most visually stunning films of 2015, but what might be the most incredible thing about its visuals is that they’re just as awesome without the special effects of the final cut.

Fury Road – Crash & Smash

And how’s this for a backwards-compatibility format?

Artist retells the entire story of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics
Talented Japanese manga artist and illustrator Takumi has recently retold the entire story of George Miller‘s film Mad Max: Fury Road with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.


Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

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