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If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die: The Power of Color in Visual Storytelling

by Matt Hanson

A must-read for anyone interested in filmmaking. This enlightening book guides filmmakers toward making the right color selections for their films, and helps movie buffs understand why they feel the way they do while watching movies that incorporate certain colors.

Guided by her twenty-five years of research on the effects of color on behavior, Bellantoni has grouped more than 60 films under the spheres of influence of six major colors, each of which triggers very specific emotional states. For example, the author explains that films with a dominant red influence have themes and characters that are powerful, lusty, defiant, anxious, angry, or romantic and discusses specific films as examples. She explores each film, describing how, why, and where a color influences emotions, both in the characters on screen and in the audience.

Conversations with the author’s colleagues — including award-winning production designers Henry Bumstead (Unforgiven) and Wynn Thomas (Malcolm X) and renowned cinematographers Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption) and Edward Lachman (Far From Heaven) — reveal how color is often used to communicate what is not said.

Patti Bellantoni studied under renowned color theorist Josef Albers. She now teaches color and visual storytelling to directors, cinematographers, editors, producers, screenwriters, and production designers. Her faculty credits include the Conservatory of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, the world’s premiere film conservatory. She was also previously on the faculty of the Center for Understanding Media in New York. She has taught Color and Visual Communication at the School of Visual Arts in New York and Design at California State University, Los Angeles.



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If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die: The Power of Color in Visual Storytelling
Publisher: Focal Press
Pages: 176
ISBN: 240807723

 

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