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Jordan Berry

Entertainment Technology

Mr. Johnson

31 August 2016

Annotated Bibliography

What is the importance of color in film and television?

Mills, Robert. Colour and Storytelling in Films., 2015. Website.

In this article, the author constantly emphasizes the importance that color plays in the

overall storytelling aspect of a film. He covers the use of color to show contrasting characters,

settings, and periods of time. Two good examples of films in which color is used to show change

in settings are Oz the Great and Powerful, and Pans Labyrinth. In Oz the Great and Powerful, an

adaptation/play-off of the original Wizard of Oz, the movie changes from black and white to

color with location, as does the Wizard of Oz. The black and white is used in both movies to

represent the dull and monotonous ways of reality. The switch to color when the protagonist

travels to Oz in both films represents the transition from the reality to a place that is much

happier and interesting, Oz. In Pans Labyrinth, color is used to show a change in setting in a

similar way. The main character starts off in reality, which is characterized by dark, cold colors.

When the movie transitions to the fantasy world, the colors become warm colors.

The author also discusses the general concept that different color schemes are often used

to represent different themes and locations. Examples of this are the grey and blue for an office

scene, and warm colors such as yellow and orange for a desert type setting. This concept of color
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schemes can be seen in many movies, one example being Steven Soderberghs film, Traffic. It is

often seen in movies that switch between various plots and peoples.

Color in film is also often used for symbolic purposes. For example, in the movies

Beauty and the Beast, Psycho, and Schindlers List the color of the characters clothing has a

symbolic purpose. In the first movie, Belle is the only character to wear blue. This symbolizes

that she is unique among the others in her village. In Psycho, the character Marion Crane is

shown in her underwear two times. The first time they are white, symbolizing innocence and

purity. The second time she is shown, after she has stolen a large amount of money, we see that

her underwear is black, symbolizing guilt, darkness, and evilness. In Schindlers List, a movie

about the holocaust, the entire movie is in black and white. But, there is one scene where a little

girl is shown with a red coat. This symbolizes the fact that during the holocaust, world powers

such as America and Britain ignored what was happening in Germany, even though it was so

obvious, like a giant bloodstain. This is symbolized by the little girls red coat standing out

amongst the black and white. Other notable movies in which color symbolism is used are The

Sixth Sense, Pleasantville, and Signs.

This is a very useful source. It covers many different uses of color in films, and provides

a variety of examples for them. All of the examples used are well discussed and analyzed. The

author also provides the audience with many quotes as well. This is relevant and up to date

information, as it was published in 2015. The author is a writer for magazines, so the source is

not certified, but still somewhat credible. In comparison to other sources, this article is the most

important to my research, as it gives me the largest amount of useable information. I consider

this information to be reliable as every point made is backed up with examples and quotes.
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Brown, Blain. Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for

Cinematographers and Directors. Focal Press, 2002. Print.

This book focuses on different aspects of cinematography. The section of this book that

applies specifically to my topic is titled, Color Theory. It discusses the basics of color theory

and how it is applied to film. The most important information discussed in this reading are the

five aspects of color perception. The author lists these as the use of color to show abstract

relationships, representation, material (texture), connotation and symbolism, and emotional

expression. The text also gives two visual examples of different scenes in the movie Barry

Lyndon. Both examples show a main color scheme in the scenes, red in the first and blue in the

second. It emphasizes the fact that although the color contrast between the two scenes is obvious

when they are side by side, it is natural and not visually striking or noticeable when the film is

being watched by an audience in the films normal progression. Another point that this source

makes is mentioned in the section titled, Controlling Color. It gives an example of how

filmmakers use color to stylize their movies; by adding a frame that a has a green fluorescent

look. This used to be a thing to avoid in films past, but now it is used as a more natural use of


This is a moderately useful source. The information was written more than a decade ago,

but in terms of information, it is still relevant. Compared to other sources, this source does not

provide me with as much information that is very specific to my topic. The sources author,

Blain Brown, is a cinematographer and director of photography in los Angeles, which makes this

source very reliable. The goal of this source is to explain the relation of color to cinematography.
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This source provides my research with credible and useful information on my topic. It

was quite helpful, as it provided relevant information by a credible source that relates to color

usage in film. It supports my thesis by providing me with a list of ways color is used, a film

example of this usage, and an example of how filmmakers use color regarding stylistic concerns.

This information will all be essential in helping me write a relevant research paper. This source

has made me view my thesis with more of a technical look, as the color theory relies a lot on the

science of color perception.

Marine, Joe. How Color Has Become Such An Important Storytelling Tool in Cinema.

ewis-bond, 2015. Website.

This article focuses on how color is an integral part of film. It first discusses the concept

of color balance and discordance. The author writes that setting up a color palette and then

breaking it down when you want to bring the audience's attention to certain object can be very

powerful in film. The article then addresses how different colors affect the way an audience

perceives a character. It gives an example from Breaking Bad, citing the scene where the main

character removes a red shirt to reveal a black one underneath. This shows that the character has

undergone character development from a good person, to a bad person. Lastly, this source once

again emphasizes how color can be utilized to a film's advantage in order to progress the story

and the characters.

This source is only slightly useful to me. It doesnt provide me with much new

information that is relevant to my topic, and is a relatively weak source compared to my other

citations. This is because the majority of the source is just analyzation of a video that is used in
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the article and reflected on. The information is up to date as it was published in 2015, and the

author is credible, as he studied film and is currently an editor. This author looks on the topic

objectively, and provides reliable information. The goal of this source is to provide information

that backs up the claim that color is an important device used in film.

This source was not very helpful to my research. It only gave me a small amount of

information, and mostly only reconfirms the information that I have already gathered. Despite

this, the article still gives some examples in film to help support my thesis, and also gives

another supporting perspective on the matter. By helping to support my thesis with this

information, this article contributes to the development of my research, although only in a

minimal way.

The Giver. Dir. Phillip Noyce. Perf. Brenton Thwaites and Jeff Bridges. Walden Media,

2014. Film.

This source is an important and modern example of the ways color can be used in film. It

uses color in more than one way, unlike some films that only incorporate color moderately in

relation to the plot. This makes this source a prime example, as it uses color in a way that is

essential to the plot of the film. While the movie begins in black and white, it gradually begins to

become exposed to color as the protagonist of the film discovers color. Symbolistic color is used

in regards to the main character's love interest. While everything else appears in black and white,

he can see the vivid red of her hair. This tells the audience that there is something special about

their relationship and the way he thinks about her. This film also uses color to establish locations.

When the film shows flashbacks to war, it becomes darker and muddier in color. When is shows
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a wedding, it has a bright color scheme, with whites and yellows. It also uses color connotatively

in regards to cultural aspects, also shown in the flashbacks.

This is an extremely useful source, as it is in itself an example of my research. It is

modern and up to date. It is different to the other sources in the aspect that it doesnt provide me

with an analyzation, and I must analyze the content and its relation to my topic on my own. As

the film was created by professional filmmakers, it is a credible source and example. This source

is a great example for my research.

This is a very helpful source, as it gives me an opportunity to show my own

understanding of my thesis instead of just using the opinions of various authors. This source will

be used as an example of the relevance of color usage in film. It will assist me in providing

relevant information to support my thesis with. This source helps me focus more on the use of

color to drive plot.

Olesen, Jacob. Color Symbolism in Movies: What Do Colors Mean in Movies?

-movies/, 2016. Website.

This article addresses the different ways in which color can be used in film. It starts by

giving a brief history of the use of color in film, beginning with the method of hand tinting film,

used in movies like The Great Train Robbery and The Last Days of Pompeii. By the 1930s, a

more convenient method of applying color in film, Technicolor, became inexpensive enough for

it to become common use in Hollywood. As color became more commonly used in film,

filmmakers began to use color in more symbolic ways. The article then moves on to show how

color is used in movies today. It tells us that color is used in film, and even film advertising, to
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show the audience what kind of genre the movie is. It gives us Kill Bill as an example; in its

movie posters, the color scheme is strikingly yellow. Not only does this draw attention to the

protagonist, it also shows her character's madness and instability. So, we can tell that this movie

is an action movie, because of the yellow used to portray her character.

The author also highlights the fact that color is often used for more than just aesthetic

purpose in film. It touches on the use of color for transitional effect; using the examples of

Wizard of Oz and Pan's Labyrinth, movies that both use color to show the transition to an

alternate world. Olesen then goes on to teach us that color can be used to show expression and

characters inner expressions, such as in Amelie. The color scheme of this movie is almost

entirely in green, gold, and red, used to depict the main characters fairy tale view of the world.

Color can also be used to bring the viewers attention to an important object, or to give a clue.

This can be most notably seen in the movie, The Sixth Sense, where every object touched by a

supernatural being is in red. The red is often contrasted against a monochromatic background,

which makes it stand out even more to the audience. One other important use of color in film is

to transport the audience to a different time period. This is observed most commonly in the

brown, dusty color schemes of western films and films set in the depression.

This source is extremely useful to my topic, as it provides me with a variety of ways in

which color is used in film, and examples to back up each of them. The article was written in

2015, so it includes up to date and relevant information. In comparison to my other sources, this

ranks at the top as one of the most useful. As a designer, the author has good experience with

color and color theory, so he is a credible source. The author is objective on the topic, and this
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information is reliable because of all of the examples the author provides to back it up. The goal

of this source is to give an overview of various ways in which color can be vital to film.

This source was helpful to my research, mainly by providing me with a myriad of

examples of which can be applied to my research. It supports my thesis by providing analyzation

and examples that target the idea that color can be used in many different ways within film that

can be vital to the plot. This source will give me more information that can be incorporated into

my research essay and provide my thesis with a well developed answer.

Sosna, Laurie. Movie Symbolism in Amazing Technicolor., 2006.


In this article, the author focuses heavily on how color is combined with semiotics in

relevance to the film and television industries. Semiotics is defined as being the study of signs

and signs systems. So how it works is that in film, colors act as signifiers. Common examples

would include red for intensity, blue for tranquility, and yellow as a warning. While these are the

most prominent signifiers, colors can still be used to show more than one mood; blue can also be

used for intellect, and yellow for obsession. This color association has been around since the

beginning, with classic tropes such as the blonde good girl and the dark haired bad girl, and the

white hat/black hats of Westerns. Filmmakers almost always consider the audiences association

of colors with feeling when designing sets, costumes, and other aspects of their production. This

article also lightly discusses certain aspects of color theory. Colors that are complementary are

often used together in film, as they tend to be more flattering. For example, many films use the

colors blue and orange as the main color scheme because of their aesthetically pleasing look.
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The information that I have acquired through this source will prove to be very useful in

my final research. The article was published in 2006, so the source might be less credible

because of this, though the information all seems accurate. The author is a writer for a scientific

newspaper, so she is qualified to talk about the influence of color and how it affects an audience.

The author is objective and the information is reliable, because of the origin of the source. This

sources goal is to show the importance of color in film and to show its connection to semiotics.

This article was helpful to me. It helps me answer my thesis by showing the association

that people have of colors with moods, thus the way in which color affects the way the audience

perceives a film. This source gives me more information to add to my essay, from a credible,

scientific source. It has made me look at my topic in a newer light as well. I had never thought to

compare color to semiotics, even though it seems obvious that colors act as signifiers. This

newly learned information will helped me create a more well rounded essay.

Vreeland, Vaughn. Color Theory and Social Structure in the Films of Wes Anderson.

aughn_Vreeland.pdf, 2015. Website.

This article focuses on the use of color theory in Wes Anderson films. It begins by

highlighting how color can elicit certain psychological responses in the brain, and cause the

audience to relate the color to certain emotions or things. It is stated that color perception is

influenced by culture, and our reactions to color our subconsciously ingrained in our memories

over time. Moving into more specific analyzation of Wes Anderson films, the author states that

Anderson had perfectly mastered the use of color in his films to the point that one look at a clip

from an Anderson film is instantly recognizable by anyone familiar with his work. This is
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because he has created unique color schemes in his works that look unlike other films. Anderson

goes into his film production with a certain color palette in mind, then plans how that will be

incorporated into the films design. He does this as he realizes the use of color in this way will not

only make his films striking to the point of standing out; he does it because he knows that the

colors he uses will evoke certain responses from the audience and he wants to use that to his

advantage. An example of this is his film, Moonrise Kingdom, which uses a color palette of dark

and earthy yellows, browns, and greens, in order to produce a feeling of calmness for his film.

We can also see color theory used in his film The Grand Budapest Hotel. The repetitive use of

the color pink in this film shows the audience that the film is lighthearted, and despite the

somberness of the plot, the characters and their dilemmas shouldnt be taken too seriously, but

more in a humorous and ironic manner. This is a recurring theme in many of his works.

This source is useful and up to date, as it was published in 2015. The author is very

credible, as he studies Media Art and Entertainment at Elon University. Compared to my other

sources, this one is not as general and focuses more on color theory. The author is very objective,

and uses many accredited sources and studies to backup his claims, making the information quite

reliable. The goal of this source is to show how color theory is used in Wes Anderson films and

what its importance is.

This source was very beneficial to my research. By discussing the use of color theory in

such an acclaimed directors films, and showing how it is essential to the core essence of those

films and how the audience perceives it, it supports my thesis statement greatly. I will use the

information gathered from this source to discuss color theory more in depth and to use Wes
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Anderson films as an example to support my thesis. This source has given me more insight into

the concept of color theory and how it relates to my topic.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Dir. Peter Greenaway. Perf. Helen Mirren

and Michael Gambon. Palace Pictures, 1989. Film.

This film is very color oriented. Color is extremely important in this movie, as it directly

relates to the plot and is an essential device in portraying the characters and locations. The movie

largely focuses on four characters; the wife, Georgina, the abusive gangster husband, Albert, the

wife's lover, Michael, and the cook who helps keep the affair secret, Richard. It takes place, for

the most part, in Albert's restaurant. Different areas of the restaurant are different colors; the

kitchen is green to symbolize the chaos of the kitchen work, the main dining room is red to show

the tension that takes place in the room due to Alberts constant public outbursts in that particular

room, the bathroom is white to show a place of escape and peace, and the outside of the

restaurant is very dark and monochromatic, to show that it is not important to the plot. The

characters clothing changes as they walk from room to room; this shows that the characters are

adapting to their environments in order to survive. The only character that stay consistent in their

clothing is Michael, the lover. He always appears in a brown suit, and does not change from

room to room. This shows the rawness and realness of his character, unlike Georgina, whose

dress changes from red to white to whatever the color the room she is in is. Another important

use of color is with the cook. The cook stays in chefs white for a majority of the film, but

changes to a black tuxedo at the very end. This shows his characters change from a passive

bystander to an active aggressor.

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This movie is very useful to my research. The information and analysis I can gather from

this film will always be relevant despite its age, and the director is credible due to the experience

he has in the film industry. This source requires me to use my own thoughts on my topic and

incorporate them into my research, and to form my own conclusions from the information

presented to me. This is what makes this source unique to my other sources. This movies goals

regarding color was to incorporate it into the plot in a way that depicts the inner personality of

the main characters, and shows the different atmospheres of various locations.

This source was a great contribution to my research. It helps support my thesis by giving

an actual example of a film in which color is essential to the plot. This source will be used in my

paper to show how color is used in various films, and how it can be important in storytelling.

This has shown me how prevalent color can be in regards to plot, and how common it actually is

used in film.

Patmore, Chris. Movie Making Course; Principles, Practice, and Techniques: The

Ultimate Guide for the Aspiring Filmmaker. Quarto Publishing, 2005. Print.

This book focuses briefly on all aspects of filmmaking. In the section titled, The Shoot,

the author lightly touches on how lighting and color can affect a scene or a shot. The text

emphasizes that the way a scene is lit can change the mood and the audience's perception of what

is being expressed. It also teaches us the importance of natural light in establishing mood. It also

briefly discusses artificial lighting, and how natural daylight will produce an orange hue on the

subject that should be avoided.

This source is not very useful to me. The information is also outdated. This is an

extremely weak source compared to my other sources. The author has good credentials, as he
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himself is a filmmaker. Although the information is largely useless to me, it is still objective and

reliable. The goal of this source is to provide a basic overview of filmmaking techniques.

This source has not been helpful regarding my research. It is more focused on lighting

than it is with color. Although lighting is extremely important in film, it is not relevant to my

thesis on color use in film. I do tend to very lightly touch on lighting in film, so this source is not

completely useless, although I will really only incorporate this information into a sentence or

two. Overall, it wont do much to help with the development of my research essay, and hasnt

provided any new perspective or insight into my topic.

Smith, Kat. Color Theory: The Language of Color in Film and Advertsing.,,

2016. Website.

This article focuses mainly on taking key colors and depicting what each can mean in the

eyes of the audience. It gives examples for a variety of colors, each with it's own various

connotations. For example, red can be used to portray lust, passion, anger, and violence, among

other things. It gives multiple examples for colors such as green, pink, orange, and yellow. This

article shows us that there are many different ways in which color can be used, and it how it all

ties in with the plot in the overall scheme of things.

This source is moderately useful. It is extremely up to date, as it was written at the

beginning of this year. The author is a designer at a film company, which makes her a credible

source in this topic of interest. Compared to my other sources, this source is much more useful

for exemplary purposes. The source is both reliable and objective, based on the author's
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credentials. The goal of this source is to list the numerous ways in which a color can be

interpreted by an audience.

This source is beneficial to my research. It helps me provide the background and

examples necessary to backup my thesis. This article will allow me to add on to the portion of

my essay concerning color theory and how it relates to audience perception of a film or

television production. This source has not changed my outlook on my topic, or given me any

new insights. It has only provided me with information that can support prior information that I

have already found.