Colour
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Colour

Different colours can have different connotations, depending on context and culture. Colour in media products can also be manipulated in a variety of different ways. Colour can be controlled via lighting, through the setting and mise en scene, and especially now, controlled in the editing process.

Media products may have a colour palette, a set of colours that are used consistently throughout to create a tone or mood.

Dominant colour

The dominant colour of a shot within a mise en scene or throughout a media product has the effect of setting the mood or tone. For instance, i the screenshots below, the dominant dirty green colour of the ‘fake’ world within The Matrix creates a mood that the world is “sick” whilst the screenshot from ‘In The Air has a dominant colour of a cold blue, which is sets an overall melancholy mood.

‘The Matrix’ (1999)
‘The Matrix’ (1999)

‘Up In The Air’ (2009)
‘Up In The Air’ (2009)

Contrasting Foils

Colour can be used to draw the audiences eye to something in the frame by using contrasting, or complementary colours.

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Colour symbolism

Media producers use colour to specifically connect connotations to specific scenes, characters or objects. Red, for instance, is typically seen as a colour of passion, danger, romance, or violence. Green is connected with nature or sickness, blue with calm or depression. Yellow is warm and inviting or a warning. Purple is seen to be connected with royalty or other-wordly.

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Video Examples

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Scene library

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Colour

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Colour

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Gallery

Time To Die
Blade Runner
Vegas
Blade Runner 2049
Restaurant Scene
The Girl in the Red Coat
Schindler's List
The Birthday Party
The Sixth Sense
The Wake
The Sixth Sense
Departed Chase Scene
The Departed
Green plant

Resources

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Swipe file

Netflix’s ‘Extraction’ is being called out for its Bangladesh yellow filter
extractioncolourrepresentation
Joker Cinematographer Explains The Impact of Color in Film | Vanity Fair - YouTube
jokercolourvideo essay
The Power Of Colour In Film: Storytelling Through Chromatics
colour
Color Theory in Film — Color Psychology for Directors: Ep5 - YouTube
colourvideo essay
How David Fincher's Movie Color Palette Sets Your Nerves on Edge - YouTube
finchercolourvideo essay
Colour In Storytelling | The Cinema Cartography - YouTube
colourvideo essay
How filmmakers manipulate our emotions using color - YouTube
colourvideo essay
Understanding Color - YouTube
colourvideo
La La Land: Using Color | VIDEO ESSAY - YouTube
colourvideo essayvideoLa La LandChizelle
Baby Driver - Colour Coded Characters
mise en scenecolourcostumebaby drivervideo essay