Color Sets the Scene

Kalki Janardhanan is the movie buff behind the viral Instagram account Color Palette Cinema, dedicated to showcasing the color combinations of movie scenes to illustrate how cinematographers set mood.

“I love every aspect of filmmaking, and the choice of the color palette being one of them, I love how colors have a big impact on how we perceive things and I love how filmmakers utilize this tool to convey emotions, setting a tone, etc.”

– Kalki Janardhanan
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

Janardhanan starts by choosing a still image from a film, and pulls out 10 significant colors from the scene. He then arranges the hues in a row below the image. From the cold, futuristic hues of 2001: A Space Odyssey to the warm desert tones found in Mad Max: Fury Road, it’s clear to see how the respective cinematographers made a conscious choice on color and mood.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
“The Shining” (1980)
“Uncut Gems” (2019)
“Split” (2016)
“Joker” (2019)

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