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power and use of COLOR


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#1 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:50 AM

hello,
for a long time now , i have been interested and curious about how colors are used throughout a movie.
it's a great part of a cinematographer's job (along with costume designer and production designer of course).
a lot of time, the choices and uses of colors are made on a subconcious level from all of us. following logical sens, feeling, emotions....
but sometimes, we carefully prep with the other crew member a special use of one or several colors. it plays a great role for the evolution of the movie, the emotion required for a certain scene,...

my post is there for all of you to explain the best example when you used specifics colors on a film. association of colors to create a particular emotion for the viewer, contrast between two colors for a reason in particular, use of a color to reveal something to the audience.
and maybe explain how you specifically preped before the movie, and so on.

thank you for sharing your experiences and opinion about this.

thomas
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#2 Michael Most

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:33 PM

hello,
for a long time now , i have been interested and curious about how colors are used throughout a movie.
it's a great part of a cinematographer's job (along with costume designer and production designer of course).
a lot of time, the choices and uses of colors are made on a subconcious level from all of us. following logical sens, feeling, emotions....
but sometimes, we carefully prep with the other crew member a special use of one or several colors. it plays a great role for the evolution of the movie, the emotion required for a certain scene,...

my post is there for all of you to explain the best example when you used specifics colors on a film. association of colors to create a particular emotion for the viewer, contrast between two colors for a reason in particular, use of a color to reveal something to the audience.
and maybe explain how you specifically preped before the movie, and so on.


If you find this subject interesting, you really should pick up and read Vittorio Storaro's books on the subject, published within the last few years. The books are the culmination of a lifetime's worth of study of light and color. He wrote it as 3 volumes, I don't know if the third has been published yet, but the first two have.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:19 AM

All three Storaro books are out -- I have Vols. 1 & 3, but can't find #2.

Some of my own work here from "Twin Falls Idaho", strongly influenced by Storaro's color theories, plus painting (Hopper, Munch, Vermeer). Basically the colors move from what I call "underwater colors" (blues & greens, somewhat desaturated) to warmth as the romantic element builds, then back to desaturated blue-greys when one of the twins is dying, then finally warm saturated colors in the epilogue. Everything up to the epilogue was flashed in the negative and then an ACE process was done to the reels; for the final scenes, no flashing and normal printing.

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#4 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:16 AM

Read the Jan '06 issue of American Cinematographer, and check out the article about "Fateless", I just read it, and they speak in detail about the evolution of their colors through the film, and how they were used.

Check out films like "hero" and "2046" for great colors, and reasons for them.

Color is definately super important, or the lack of color as well.

Last night I was using (outdoors) a 2k, with Triple blue for key, and a 2k twice the distance away with full red as fill.

Not necessarily motivated, but the colors balanced eachother nicely.
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#5 Travis Cline

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:22 AM

I shot a film this summer about 5 mental patients that escape from their hospital and go to the woods. Sorry, I don't have any photos right now, but since we knew that we would have plenty of lush green during the exterior section of the film we eliminated green from the first act of the movie when they are in the mental hospital. Its really quite devoid of color in the hospital, but a few other locations before they arrive in the woods were dressed by the art team with reds, oranges, and blues. I felt that if we could eliminate green that once they got out into the woods it would make the film feel much more free and open. The green grass and trees were sexy and really made an impact, or so I think. The film is called mr. dungbeetle. Watch for it this next year.

Travis
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 06:06 PM

I was quite liberal with my gelling in the bar scenes in "Jackpot" (24P HDCAM) but I vaguely tried to create a change in colors from red/orange to blue/green by the end, with gold in the middle. However, in editing the film, scenes were rearranged, so that pattern was broken.

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