The Journal
Painting It Over
Can colors lie?

True colors are beautiful, like a rainbow. Or so the song says. But what if the colors that are reflected by the light bathing the real world are wrong? What if they don't fit the story that your images are attempting to tell? Are those colors still true, then? In other words: can colors lie?

Lying may be too strong a word; you can't seriously ascribe intentions to natural colors and light. But either can be distracting, and the audience risk missing the point. That's why cinematographers typically find a way to bend the light to the arc of their storyline. Most of the time, this strategy works just fine.

When manipulating colors isn't enough, you can take them out by desaturating the entire story. That operation will leave your audience in a world of grays; a canvas onto which they are free to paint over.

If that still doesn't work, what options do you, as a storyteller, have left? Believe it or not, you can paint everything over. I know painting it all over sounds tedious, to say the least, or just crazy.  But it's been done before: Loving Vincent [here]. Now the team responsible for the latter is doing it again. See for yourself with the trailer below: you may be inspired to get your brushes out.

The full movie, called The Peasants, isn't coming out until 2022. You can watch the trailer [here] in the meantime.

Last modified on August 29, 2020, 5:49 am
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