Tuesday, 2 January 2018

How can color tell a story? Color Theory

As filmmakers, they must use mood-boards who   showcase color palette ideas  maximize emotional and visual effect using color sense. Cinematography is such an important part of the filmmaking process. Filmmakers have an even bigger challenge because  cameras move,  the colors in backgrounds and foregrounds will always be changing.Color in film can build harmony or tension within a scene. When telling a story, colors can; Color is often an extremely powerful tool communicate emotional ideas to the audience. Color can affect audience emotionally, psychologically and even physically.  

  1. Elicit psychological reactions with the audience
  2. Draw focus to significant details
  3. Set the tone of the movie
  4. Represent character traits and more
  5. Show changes or arcs in the story
Filmmakers are both artists and craftsmen, who  explains the power of color and how successful filmmakers use it to give meaning and impact to their stories. and use as a device to tell the story.

Film makes better use of color as a storytelling tool than even Gladiator. Cinema storytelling that we should never neglect it.  

Neither Color Strategy Is Correct Over The Other, But It Is Easy To Both See And Feel That The Response From The Viewer Will Be Much Different When They Look At Each Image.

film color

Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors, when they appear together, provide a smooth and continuous tone. Colors that are located opposite to one another on the color wheel are complementary colors. When complementary colors appear next to each other they provide more of a dramatic and high contrast look.

Yellow Dick Tracy
dick-tracy-use-of-colour-in-cinema-e1448309818276.jpg
Yellow is the colour of caution, it brings power, energy and anxiety. Dick Tracy wears a bright yellow coat and hat, the screen becomes energised whenever Tracy enters. The color is brash, daring, it is the color of obsession , there is a reason poisonous reptiles have yellow skin. Tracy is the obsessive detective caught up in his case . 


 Blue Shawshank Redemption
Blue can be a tranquil pond or a soft blanket of sadness. Throughout Shawshank the film is surrounded by the color of blue. A smog of grey blue surrounds the film. Shawshank is a film of sadness, and is this emotion that cinematographer Roger Deakins wanted the audience to feel throughout the film. That we are amongst the prisons. When Andy escapes the prison he finds his friend Red on an island, with vibrant green land – the first time vivid colours have been used throughout the film.  

Orange The Godfather

Orange is the welcoming color, warm sunsets and Halloween pumpkins.  In the opening scene of The Godfather the Don’s office is lit with an amber and orange light. The film is lit romantically with pastel orange shades. Throughout the film the orange shades turn more red as more is revealed within the crime underworld. 

 Green Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Green can signal health, danger or decay. It is the colour of fresh vegetables and spoiled meat. In Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Jen and her master Li Mu Bai are about to have a fight in a green vibrant bamboo forest. The fight is non-violent Jen’s master is afraid that Jen is turning evil, he chases her through the forest, she disappears diving into a green lake. The oppositional nature of green plays a significant part in the story. 

6. Purple Chicago

Purple the colour of mystery, the paranormal and death.In Chicago purple is used to show both death and delusion. Roxy stands on stage she looks out into the crowd purple light covers her and the piano player. Roxy is imagining that she is a famous singer, the story is about the glamorization of criminals. Purple is consistent throughout the deaths that take place in the film.
Color psychology, is defined as the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.
Colors evoke emotion in our brains. It’s been proven time and time again that hues of blue are most often associated with cool, calm feelings, while stronger colors like red stir up strong, aggressive emotions.
It’s these underlying perceptions that help photographers and cinematographers alike bring about a certain feel and aesthetic to a particular image, be it still or motion.

In the four-minute montage, Mtz-Seara explores vimeo.com  innocence, passion, insecurity, sociability, madness, eroticism, and more as the colorful video transitions from one masterful scene to another.
From David Fincher’s Fight Club to Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, the video shows how clever use of colors and composition subconsciously evoke emotions as the respective directors and cinematographers create and capture the scenes of a film. 
Example of Analogous Colors
filmmaking color
Example of Complementary Colors
cinematography colors
This is how you color simplify an image. You simply limit the assortment of colors that make it into your footage which allows you to control both the mood and tone of the scene as well as provide color symbolism.
To help enhance color simplicity you might also want to play around with color balance and color highlights. Look at the following photograph for example. Notice the image is predominately cool (blue) with only a warm (orange) highlight. Playing with color highlights is a great way to add interesting color components to your film footage.
filmmaking color highligh
If you’re a filmmaker, understanding color, color theory, color psychology, color simplicity and color balance is a must in order to be able to effectively set the tone of your scene as well as isolate your main areas of interest. Distracting colors, just as much as distracting objects, add unnecessary visual confusion and clutter to a scene. By simplifying your colors you help isolate the more important areas of your footage.cinematography-color-simplicity

RED – anger, passion, rage, desire, excitement, energy, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence

PINK – love, innocence, healthy, happy, content, romantic, charming, playfulness, soft, delicate, feminine

YELLOW – wisdom, knowledge, relaxation, joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard

ORANGE – humor, energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant

GREEN – healing, soothing, perseverance, tenacity, self-awareness, proud, unchanging nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigour, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy

BLUE – faith, spirituality, contentment, loyalty, fulfillment peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, sky, water, cold, technology, depression

PURPLE/VIOLET – erotic, royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning, power, sensitive, intimacy

BROWN – materialistic, sensation, earth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity

BLACK – No, power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger

WHITE – Yes, protection, love, reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile

SILVER – riches, glamorous, distinguished, earthy, natural, sleek, elegant, high-tech

GOLD – precious, riches, extravagance. warm, wealth, prosperity, grandeur

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