Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming Barbie film demanded an enormous quantity of pink paint for its set, depleting the entire supply of a global paint company and creating a shortage of pink paint.
In an interview, Gerwig and the film’s production designer, Sarah Greenwood, discussed the creation of Barbieland. This vibrant world, predominantly adorned in fluorescent pink, encompasses life-sized renditions of the iconic “Dreamhouse,” as well as the roads and lamp-posts.
Scarcity of pink paint
During the interview, Sarah Greenwood, an esteemed production designer and six-time Oscar nominee, disclosed that the movie had triggered an international scarcity of pink paint.
Although some media sources echoed this statement without clarification, Lauren Proud, the Vice President of Global Marketing at Rosco, the paint company employed for the film, provided additional information.
Proud acknowledged that the movie consumed all the paint they had, but she clarified that the production of Barbie coincided with broader challenges in the global supply chain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the extreme weather conditions experienced in Texas in early 2021 further exacerbated the availability of essential materials utilized in the paint production.
She said, “The sets were being developed during a time when we were still experiencing the global supply chain issues, and the paint supply was hit particularly hard.”
She further added, “We delivered everything we could, they got it all. We can’t wait to see how it looks in the film!”
A production designer on Barbie has revealed that the film’s shoot led to a worldwide shortage of pink paint.
Set for release on July 21, the film is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie as the iconic doll, with Ryan Gosling as Ken.
"I wanted the pinks to be very… pic.twitter.com/HF236O2dCP
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Significance of bright pink paint
Greta Gerwig emphasized the significance of the vibrant pink hue in preserving the youthful essence of the film’s visual style. She explained that the design of Barbieland drew inspiration from various sources, including the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and the classic film An American in Paris.
Greenwood expressed her admiration for that particular era of Palm Springs, remarking, “Everything about that era was spot-on.” She also shared her dedication saying she strove “to make Barbie real through this unreal world.” That is, to bring Barbie to life within this fantastical yet believable world.
“I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much,” Gerwig said, adding that she did not want to “forget what made me love Barbie when I was a little girl.”
The set designers had managed to acquire a sufficient amount of paint to proceed with the film’s production, which predominantly took place at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, in the United Kingdom.
The cast of the film Barbie
Barbie, featuring Margot Robbie as the leading character and Ryan Gosling as Ken, Barbie’s beloved companion, also includes an ensemble cast comprising Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Dua Lipa, Helen Mirren, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, and Ncuti Gatwa. The worldwide release of the film is scheduled for July 21st.