How To Integrate Color Into Your Narrative


(Jerome Keith) #1

Filmmaking is a visual medium that requires an eye for crafting the image that exists within the frame. From casting interesting faces, picking visually appealing locations, to the way that particular frame moves every part of your filmmaking must be a deliberate choice. Filmmaking on a budget does force a few of these choices, but one that I recommend you make the most of of is your color usage. By exploiting the colors within your story and trying to create a cohesive color scheme you’ll add another layer of interest.

Cred: Depositphotos

This doesn’t have to be linked to psychological color theory. It’s more important that you practice consistency within your own color schemes than attempt to match it to what psychologically affects your audience. The technique that we as indie filmmakers can you best to do this is associative color.

Cred: Studiobinder

You use associative color by using a particular color at certain times to create an association with your work. For example one of the best-known uses of associative color technique might be the Godfather. Oranges appear throughout the film series when characters are going to die or come in close proximity to death. Originally a result of a set design choice to simply add color to the frame, the first movie ended up associating orange (specifically oranges) as a harbinger of death. Francis Ford Coppola decided to continue this association in the sequels because it provided a great color association.

So how do you use it? If you’re a web series creator and you’ve already made something then I’d recommend going back through your series and looking for colors you might have already made associations with. Maybe your protagonist and antagonist wear complementary colors (for example’s sake let’s say red and green. As one’s viewpoint approaches the other, perhaps a mother convinces her son to ask that person he has a crush on out, their color might move closer to the others. Maybe as the son prepares for the date they’re both wearing red.

It also doesn’t have to be as blatant as that. It can be as simple as her giving him a red boutonniere for prom. As long as you ensure that the color is used with thought within your frames it will help you to create a cohesive work.

(Melanie King) #2

Hi! Long time reader, First time poster.:blush:

I actually do have color association in my web series that I’m about to start shooting soon.

Basically all of our antagonists, or unfortunate things that happen, in some way, shape or form, associate with the color Yellow.

Yellow purse, Yellow backpack, Yellow notebook, Yellow posters, A lot of Yellow. I just thought the idea of associating such a lively color with negativity would be kind of a cool paradox.:smile:

(Bri Castellini) #3

That’s so cool! And welcome to the world of the posters :slight_smile: hope to hear from you more soon1

(Alexandra Menglide) #4

We’re big fans of yellow around here :wink:

(Jerome Keith) #5

Sounds like a great choice. Especially when you can find a way to create an association with something people wouldn’t expect.

(Kyla) #6

I find that super interesting!! especially because in the beginning it’ll be foreshadowing for people who really know their colour psychology-- the negative elements associated with yellow are things like cowardice/deception/caution!!!