July 31, 2017
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From Bond to 'Carrie': Seeing Red in Film

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Red, in all its shades, is one of the most evocative colors in a filmmaker's palette. 

Although monochromatic filmmaking is an art that often gets short shrift, there's no denying the sheer cinematic glory that comes from the artful deployment of color. This is particularly true of the evocative shades of red, which have been used in film for everything from the horror of Freddy Krueger's sweater to the cloaks in Eyes Wide Shut, or the central color palette in cult favorite SuspiriaCheck out this supercut from Wouter Sessink for EYE Gala 2017 and delve into the color of anger, passion, and danger. What would The Shining be, after all, without those bloody elevators? Or 2001, if HAL's red eye was blue? 

There's a reason that pharmaceutical companies take the shade of new drugs so seriously; humans are programmed to have visceral, biological responses to the shades of nature. Case in point: sedative pills aren't usually red, except in Italy, where Italian men associate blue with the national soccer team. And in film, the use of color is one of the key elements that sets the mood. Some directors are known for their use of specific hues and shades, and color temperature is an important part of any film: 

Color correction is a vital part of any film's post-production, and if you don't believe me yet, check out this video on the use of color in storytelling:

Humans are visual creatures (some prisons even paint their walls specific shades intended to regulate inmates moods.) Filmmaking is visual because human beings are visual, and a mastery of color translates into a mastery of filmmaking. Well, not quite, but it's certainly an important part. So remember, keep your sedatives blue, your prison cells bubblegum pink, and to ratchet up the tension in any scene, go for a little red.       

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