Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The power of color runs deep.  Radiant reds, benevolent blues, grisly grays.  A splash of green, a gush of silver; multicolored dabs of paint on a palette.  Colors can convey pain, wonder, fear, what have you.  In the simplest way of speaking, colors can manipulate.  And in the history of cinema the best films are those that manipulate, and those that understand how to manipulate using such powerful tools as color.

To begin, a very brief history of color in film.  The first films were black and white (most people know that).  The first color film is often thought to be the Wizard of Oz from 1939, but this isn’t entirely true.  Prior to the films release there is evidence of experimentation in film coloring (usually in the form of frame-by-frame coloring by hand) dated back to 1902.  However, many of the pre-Ozian color films are only partial remnants.  Thus, I’ll refer to Wizard of Oz as the “first color film” in this writing.  Even after the large use in the popular Oz, color in films would not become the norm up until mid to early 70s, due to it being significantly more expensive than good ol’ black and white.  As time went on the use of color manipulation in films to then manipulate the audience has steadily become more and more advanced, to today where a few numbers in a computer can change the entire meaning of a film by changing the amount of yellow.

When considering the any of the history of cinema, it is less important to regard the science of it all–the engineering developments made, and the exact ways in which they worked.  Rather, it is more important to consider the effects the developments had on the most important people in the film world: the audience.

When black and white turned into color people went wild.  Obviously.  Nowadays audience for the most part expect color–black and white’s now a thing of the past reserved for more artsy films like Ida and Persepolis.  Most American people now won’t even consider viewing a film on basis of it being black and white.  When I was younger, I assumed that all B&W movies lacked color because they were boring.  With color as a must for a majority of American audiences, directors often strive to make the colors in film the most appealing they can be.  They manipulate the colors to manipulate the people.

Since the switch from analog to digital film making in the mid 90s to mid 2000s the ease at which filmmakers can control the colors of a movie have increased a large amount.  Where in earlier films colors would have to be manipulated via lens filters and clever set design, computers can now change colors in a manner of seconds.  The technology is vast, yet it is arguably not to put to good use.  Many of the greatest films are those which set them apart from the others–the ones with unique color schemes.  But, often times color is used as secondary manipulation tool, and not a primary.  A common trend in blockbusters is the highly saturated blue/orange scheme.

This scheme has been used heavily throughout the 2000s from Spider-Man to Transformers.  Its a simple color scheme that doesn’t take long to create in a movie (saving money), and that audiences seem to enjoy given that they keep paying to see these films.

trans_two5

The Transformer’s series is known for their heavily contrasted blue/orange scheme.

These films aren’t necessarily bad, in fact many of them are great, but they could be better.  The power of color in films is immense.  Color tells stories and portrays feelings.  The following series of articles entitled Plus de Trois will review many of the great films which utilize color so well, and try to explain some of the emotions which their colors portray.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    News

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    News

    Bangtan Sonyeondan

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    Humans of Centaurus

    Dear Seniors

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    News

    Fake News Epidemic

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    Movies

    Plus de Trois Couleurs

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    News

    North African Refugees

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    A&E

    July Warriors

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    A&E

    FACE Visits CHS!

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    News

    Kid Cudi and Mental Illness

  • Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films

    A&E

    The Importance of the Spaghetti

Navigate Right
The Student Voice of Centaurus
Plus de Trois Couleurs: Films