Triggering the emotion by using colours.

Khevna.P.Shah, INN/Bangalore

@Shahkhevna1, @Infodeaofficial

Colours have always been responsible for stirring up emotions within humans. Any emotion
becomes easier to express with colours, especially when colour is used to describe a particular
scene from a movie. Movies act upon us consciously and unconsciously based on the direction,
storyline and even colour grading.
Directors use colour grading for two main reasons, one simply because it’s the directors
favourite colour and seems to be aesthetically pleasing, the second reason is when the directors
want to bring out the raw emotions of the audience to connect with the characters of the film.
There are no wrong or right colours that are to be used to describe a scene.
Colour is an important element for the creator to express their vision in a more textured, layered
and cerebral way. Each colour is often associated with a particular type of feelings or emotions.
The use of colour gives a certain depth to the scene and the quality of every colour is used
differently within varying contexts to evoke distinct emotion and meaning.

Red can be used by the directors to describe two extreme emotions on the spectrum, or it can
often be used to highlight a particular object in the scene. For example in the Schindlers list,
directed by Steven Spielberg, the little girl is highlighted in red and the rest of the background is
coloured grey. On one side of the spectrum, aggression, anger and violence are depicted in red.
In Alex Garland’s Ex Machina when the film crosses into the realm of sinister, the sense
encompasses a red glow signifying the audience to pay attention because something crucial is
about to happen. On the other end of the spectrum, red can also be used to invoke feelings
such as love and passion. The perfect example for this would be Her directed by Spike Jonze,
the walls, clothes and decor were all red. No doubt red is the most powerful colour that is used
to bring out emotions and feelings.

Traditionally used only for sky and seas, blue has a deeper meaning to nonverbally express a
scene. It is one of the most rational and cerebral colours, often associated with faithfulness,
loyalty, calmness and introspection. In Jeff Nichols Midnight Special, the main character is
covered in blue from head to toe, portraying innocence and purity. It is also used to describe a
deeper meaning of life, like in The Truman Show. A dark, unfamiliar scheme of blue is a perfect
way to demonstrate a character's detachment and loneliness.

Often associated with nature, Green has a deeper meaning to describe the context of the
scene. A green overtone is used to examine the monotony, like in The Matrix. It can also be
used to depict a new life metaphorically or a new beginning. Seen at the end of Gravity, Sandra
Bullock emerges from the water to find a lush, oxygen-filled landscape that immediately signifies
new life. Sometimes green is also associated with corruption, danger and sinister, and that is

why villains like Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series and Malefica from Maleficent are
depicted in green.

Yellow is a contradictory colour, which can mean very different things depending on the context.
And more often shot composed of yellow items are a direct statement from the directors and left
up to the viewers to decipher it. Associated with illness, obsession, insecurity and sometimes
innocence, yellow is an outlandish colour. One of Wes Anderson’s favourite colours, as he
contains innocent plots with problematic characters and feelings. Even in Birdman, Emma
Stone's character carries a tint of yellow, from her hair to the chair sitting by her side conveying
judgement and assertiveness.

Traditionally associated with femininity and love, recent filmmakers such as Harmony Korine
have been working to re-classify the tone. In the 2015 horror movie IT, the colour pink is
depicted with the character’s innocence, later as her innocence is lost, the pink outfit and
lightning slowly disappear. In the majority of the cases, pink is associated with the female
universe portraying it with innocence, sweetness, beauty, empathy and playfulness.

Not yellow, but orange is the colour of sunrise and sunset, and also associated with the concept
of youth, warmth, memory and nostalgia. It is a positive and happy tone reminding the audience
of exotic and idyllic landscapes. Also, the orange serves to amplify the feeling of hopelessness,
endlessness and barrenness, like in the movie Mad Max: Fury Road, the Mars-like texture
sends the audience to another world as chaos ensues.
Not only in movies but colours also significantly play an important role in the cover of books and
music albums. There is no right or wrong way to convey anger, happiness or love, but when
used correctly it can trigger the audience's emotions at the subconscious level.

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