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5 Ways to Use Color in Film
by eguaogie-eghosa Feb 02, 2022 Views (1.5K)

Directors and cinematographers did not have to think about colour schemes in motion picture photography during the black and white era of Hollywood filmmaking. When it became possible to produce colour films, however, directing and cinematography had to adapt, and the movie colour palette was born. Thus ever since its birth, filmmakers have continued to find more interesting and innovative ways to tell their stories in colour and with colour as its technology advances.

What Role Does Color Play in Movies?

A director's choice of colours in a film can aid in the telling of stories through images. Colour theory can be used to conjure a moment in time, anticipate events, heighten characterizations, or set a general mood as a filmmaker. Colourful film palettes have a direct impact on how a viewer perceives a film. Colour enhances meaning, provides ambience, and magnifies emotion. This is why directors, cinematographers, and production designers choose colour palettes in preproduction, well before filming begins.

What Exactly Is Film Color Theory?

Colour theory in cinema refers to the idea that certain colour combinations on the colour wheel can be used to achieve specific visual effects. Colour combinations used by a director can elicit a mood or ambience in a film's environment. Rich greens and earth tones can produce sensations of harmony and symbiosis, while brilliant colours on the warmer end of the spectrum can add energy and intensity to a film—or, in the case of Martin Scorsese films like Taxi Driver, a sense of imminent violence.

5 Tips for Using Color in Films: How to Choose a Color Palette

In your film, use a vibrant colour palette to enhance the narrative.

1. To draw the audience's attention, use colour discordance. When one hue clashes with the rest of the picture, it draws attention to the standout object. The introduction of one or two coloured items within a monochromatic video amplifies the colour discordance effect to a new level. In Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg famously used discordant colour, including a red-coated girl in a black-and-white film.

2. Make striking images by using complementary colour schemes. Colour pairs that are opposite each other on the colour wheel—one primary colour and one secondary colour—are known as complementary colours. Orange and blue, as well as yellow and purple, are complementary colours. Complementary colours create some of the most pleasing colour harmonies in filmmaking, providing a pleasing contrast without producing discordance.

3. To convey harmony, use similar colour palettes. Red and orange, or green and blue, are analogous colours that fall next to each other on the colour wheel. Analogous hues can generate a sense of serenity or suffocating monotony, depending on how they're applied.

For a pleasing visual, use triadic colour schemes. Selecting three different hues and accentuating them above all others is what a triadic colour scheme is all about. Although the approach was more prevalent in the early days of technicolour cinematography than it is today, many superhero movies use a high-contrast triadic film colour palette.

4. For a pleasing visual, use triadic colour schemes. Selecting three different hues and accentuating them above all others is what a triadic colour scheme is all about. Although the approach was more prevalent in the early days of technicolour cinematography than it is today, many superhero movies use a high-contrast triadic film colour palette.

5. Engage the services of a colourist who specializes in this type of work. Colour grading can be used to improve colour uniformity to your final result if your film budget allows it. Scenes shot in various lighting situations can be colour graded to keep the same fundamental hues and tints.

Film District UK is an award-winning and creative film and video production company in the UK. The company started operations in Dubai and Mumbai in 2010. Film District UK is a Video Production Company that specializes in video production, film production, corporate video production, promotional video production, commercial and music video production, live event video streaming, live event video production, virtual event video production, social media video production, testimonial video production and animated explainer video production.

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