Color Theory in Film — Color Psychology for Directors: Ep5

Would you be able to sleep
in a room painted bright red? Might be hard, right? “I’m on no sleep. No sleep!” You don`t know what
it’s like in their. Colors elicit emotions, and have a psychological
effect on people. So unless you’re shooting
in black and white, in which case definitely
review our video on tone. This is the video for you. Because today we’re
going to show you how colors theory in film can be
used to create mood. But you can go beyond placing a
blue tint over an entire sequence. You can determine specifically
what type of blue you want. There are three factors
in determining color. They are Hue… which is the color itself. Saturation: the
intensity of the color. And brightness: how light or dark the color is. With just Hue saturation and
brightness, HSB for short, you can create a complex color
scheme, rather simply. And go from being
just another director, to being a true visual artist. First up, Hue. Some movies choose
an affinity of Hue. Utilizing a monochromatic
color scheme. Those are just fancy ways of saying
that a movie is mostly one color. Or neighboring colors
on a color wheel, also known as analogous colors. “The Matrix” is a classic
example of a movie that mostly uses one color. That color – green. Why? The movie takes place
inside of a digital Matrix and we associate
green with code. Plus the green and the Matrix has
a certain sickly quality to it, reflecting the overall state
of affairs in that world. -Welcome to the
desert of the real. -Next up is the S in
HSB – saturation. This movie used a post-production
process called bleach bypass which has a deeply
desaturating affect. The color is drained
out of these images. It gives the world of the movie a
cold, rude, gritty sort of look. It also becomes reminiscent
of the faded photographs. The black-and-white newsreels
of the period itself. It takes us back in time. The final of the
three is brightness. Early in the series, we covered brightness in terms
of a film’s overall tone, but brightness can be used to
affect individual colors as well. Sometimes a movie elects to
use entirely bright colors. Particularly movies from
the Technicolor era. Back then, bright vivid colors were
reason to see the movies alone. On the other hand,
during darker scenes like this, you can almost forget that
this movie was shot in color. Now, let’s see what it’s like
when one movie does both. -When the destiny of a
great fortune is at stake, men’s greed spreads like a
poison in the bloodstream. It’s using all darker colors. Contrast that with this scene where all the colors are bright. In both instances, every element you see was
chosen for its darker color, or lighter color to create
a contrast within the film. -Wow. -So by utilizing Hue,
saturation and brightness, you can precisely
identify the right colors to create certain
feelings in your audience. Bright images often seem
lively and exciting. Darker images often
seem dramatic, and on it goes. But rules were
made to be broken. -I don’t make the rules. -Okay, I’ll make it as
easy for you as I can. -You get to decide
what the colors mean. It’s your movie. It’s your world. And so,
make it your color palette. How do you make a violent
red, the color of blood, feel like something else? In “Her”, Spike Jonze
uses red to connote love. He does it by associating the
color with the lead – Theodore. As he searches for love and ultimately
finds it in his…. operating system. -Hello. I’m here. -Oh. -Black is for bad guys,
like Darth Vader, right? Well, sure,
until it’s for Batman. -I’m Batman. -You get to make your own rules. Look at how Wes Anderson
uses saturated colors to make otherwise mundane scenes
about a family pop, almost like a comic book. While actual comic book films ground there high-concept plots in
gritty, realistic tones. With the wealth of options
post-production now provides, it’s easier than ever to
control the color palette. Of course color grading can be
an expensive, lengthy process, and it rarely can
make up for project that lacked a thoughtful color
design strategy in pre-production. Want to dive deeper? Check the link to grab our
free film color theory ebook for more examples
of color schemes. And see, how some of your favorite
films designed their color palettes to elicit powerful moods. See you in the next video. [Music]