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color and feelings


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#1 Jim Nelson

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:34 PM

Hi,

I heard that having high color contrast in your shot can make it more energetic. While having low color contrast makes it calmer. But what about, for example, just having orange in the shot. Doesn't that too make it more energetic, since the color orange has the property of making it feel cheerful, vibrant etc. But then that would be low contrast contrast?

For example: a shot of a boy running. The boy is in blue while everything else is yellow.
And now the exact same shot of the boy running but everything including the boy is yellow.

Which one is more energetic, lively feeling?


Thanks for you help :)

Edited by Jim Nelson, 26 August 2010 - 10:36 PM.

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#2 Justin Hayward

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:18 AM

Ask yourself.
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#3 Jim Nelson

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:36 AM

I'm not really sure. That's the thing. To me they could both convey the same feeling. But I'm not sure.

Same thing for like pastel colors have a calming effect and so do cool colors like blue. However, bright colors convey vibrancy. So what about bright blue?

Edited by Jim Nelson, 27 August 2010 - 12:36 AM.

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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:31 AM

You really need to consider how you feel or relate to the colours yourself. This can take time and reflection, but it is a sub conscious process that you're tapping into - some Jung quotes:

http://quote.robertg...?name=Carl Jung

More on colour
http://www.squidoo.com/colorexpert
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:39 AM

Take a look at the film Hero ;)




in terms of color proper, all I can say is that for me, I react to colors which I have seen in my life. For example, if I have a lonely scene in a city, I will use some streetlight orange, which i feel is a very lonely color. But, it's contextual, you know. You establish "rules" in a film, and there is a saying if it happens once it's an accident, twice it's an inkling, and 3 times it's a choice (or style). So, lets take a movie and a character who is very energetic. Each time we see them being energetic there is a certain color in the frame which dominates--- doesn't matter what it is, it's just there each time. We have set up a stylistic choice associating that color with that "thing," so that later on we can play off of it. We can use it to signal to the audience something is about to happen, and then not let it happen (suddenly instead of being energetic the main person is now in a hospital bed dying, but the room is that color!) Works best if you play it off in editing, like a slow pan from that color'd wall, bringing in the sounds slowly, to a close up of a sad face or something, basically using the memories we have formed in the audience about the color to inform them on how to feel about the scene (e.g. sad, wanting to go back to being energetic) etc.
Now that's just one example from a hypothetical film. But I hope this illustrates that there is a great importance in the context of things within a film. Not just on how they relate to other things in the real world, and an audience, but also other elements of this film, of films of this same genre, of all films, and eventually of all cultural artifacts which exist.
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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:16 AM

You are asking about color theory which is a big subject. You really need to consult a text and a number of different films to fully understand concepts like chroma, color contrast, color harmony, warm and cool hues, etc.

It's one of the most visual questions, so you should find a visual answer. Plus, what I may view as a hue that has high chroma values, you may see quite differently. You're better off picking up a book and checking out some films.
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#7 Matthew Waltz

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 09:00 PM

I have always felt that you can apply any color to any emotion, you just need to maintain the feeling. For example if you use the color blue every time the bad guy is in the frame then you establish blue as an evil color. Sometimes it might be more fun to avoid stereotypes like red=love or evil. A good text to read is "The Visual Story" by Bruce Block
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#8 Jim Nelson

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 11:23 PM

Thanks so much everyone :)
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#9 Jim Nelson

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:43 AM

Can this be applied to bright colors and pastel colors too? In other words, I heard that bright colors convey energy and vibrancy whereas pastel colors are calming and relaxing. So can bright colors be used to show calmness? And can pastel colors be used to show energy?



Thanks for your help :)
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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 08:55 AM

Can this be applied to bright colors and pastel colors too? In other words, I heard that bright colors convey energy and vibrancy whereas pastel colors are calming and relaxing. So can bright colors be used to show calmness? And can pastel colors be used to show energy?



Thanks for your help :)


Again, it all depends on the context of the film. There were some very vivid colors used in Apocalypse Now and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt, yet both films have very bleak emotional tones.

Start watching some films and the answers will begin to pop out at you.
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