Filmmakers use color palettes to influence their viewers and convey certain sentiments. In fact, colors affect the viewers emotionally and psychologically even without their knowledge. Also, movie color palettes evoke moods and feelings through the different scenes. Now, let’s take a quick tour of the basics of color.
In general. color has 3 major components.
In simple words, the hue is the color itself. For example, the redness of red, the yellowness of yellow and so on.
Saturation describes the intensity of a particular color. In other words, it conveys the amount of white present in a hue. For instance, ‘royal blue’ is more saturated than ‘sky blue’. This means that sky blue contains more white and thus has a lower saturation level.
Value is the intensity of light reflected by the hue. Thus, value refers to the lightness or darkness of the color.
How a film’s color palette affects the audience
Researchers say that many viewers respond similarly to certain colors. This is the reason why filmmakers use color palettes to set the required tone for the film. And, it actually works! Every movie that you watch has a particular tone. In fact, each scene may have different color themes. In case, you haven’t noticed it yet, try and figure it out when your next favorite movie comes in theatres.
So, a film’s color palette enhances it in a lot of ways. In fact, color helps the viewers to follow the story, distinguish between different times and locations, feel the emotions, and be in the story. Also, it’s important to remember that different colors give different meanings. The saturation and value of the colors also have great significance in creating the mood.
Now let’s learn about some colors and the emotions associated with them.
Colors and their meanings
Red – As you might already know, this color denotes passion and zeal. But, at the same time, red denotes certain negative feelings like a sense of danger, anger, aggression, war, and violence.
Pink – Pink denotes innocence, love, health, happiness, romance, and characteristics pertaining to a girl.
Green – Green signifies nature, health, environment, good luck, and youthfulness. But, it also indicates envy and pride.
Yellow – This color denotes warmth, summer, relaxation, happiness, hope, imagination and a sense of well-being. At the same time, it also denotes dishonesty and illness in some scenes.
White – White represents purity, birth, winter, snow, marriage, peace and so on.
Regardless of all, the intensity, saturation, value, and depth of the colors in a film’s color palette alter the mood. Hence, it’s impossible to say that a particular color denotes a particular emotion. The Filmmaker chooses the right color palette for his film, keeping in mind the various emotions and sentiments he’s trying to convey. Indeed, a good color palette creates a huge change and tells the story in a deeper way.
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Source credits: digitalsynopsis.com, www.studiobinder.com, ideas.ted.com, fourier.eng.hmc.edu, learn.leighcotnoir.com, nofilmschool.com, filmdirectingtips.com