Curiosity: Colors in movies

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by theBB, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #1
    Well, I like learning about movie making process, so this is one of those things that make me curious. I was watching "Flawless" over the weekend (but I notice this with a lot of movies if I watch the "making of" pieces on the DVD.) As they are depicting London in 1960s, they apparently decided to make the colors throughout the movie have this "pastel" look. I wonder how the colors on movies end up like that. Vivid blue sky, nice green meadows (or in this case pastel indoor colors) just don't look anything like what you would get from a hand held camera in home movies. It becomes especially obvious when I watch the "behind the scenes" specials on the DVD where people are interviewed in the same locations, and lo and behold, the environment doesn't have that fairy tale look.

    I know that well controlled lighting helps, as it gets rid of harsh shadows or clipped highlights, but is the most of the rest due to better cameras (I don't think they use very crappy ones even for the behind the scenes speacials), very special filters or just some basic (and maybe not so basic) post processing?
     
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #2
    It's often due to a combination of things. The use of superb quality prime lenses; film or high-end video formats; a talented LD, DP and crew ... and a lot of post-production color grading with high-end paint gear and software.

    -DH
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    -DH pretty much said it all. One's choice of lens, filters, film stock, lighting, and post production manipulation/processing will all effect the final outcome.


    Lethal
     
  4. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #4
    So it is not thanks to just a basic trick well-known in the industry? Thanks...
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Nope, no Easy Button. ;)


    Lethal
     
  6. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #6
    As far as the overall color treatment a movie may receive; that's often up to the director's or DP's "vision" for the piece. For example, the Batman movies have a stark and cold feel to them intentionally and a lot of that is achieved in post-production color grading. Likewise for the CSI family of TV shows. CSI Miami always has a warm/hot feel to it; lots of saturated orange and red hues while CSI New York has a colder feel with a lot of blueish cast. Almost all of that is accomplished in the color grading step.

    -DH
     

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