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Our Favourite Movie Colour Palettes 2021: Why Corporate Videos Deserve Better Art Direction

Through use of carefully selected props, wardrobe, location and skilful colour-grading, these films have created a strong sense of brand identity and consistency. Pause at any frame and you can feel the tonality of the film, simply through their fantastic use of colour and art direction.

When customers or clients see your film, if the colours have been composed to compliment each other, the film immediately feels polished and elevated. Your colour is your brand, and this shouldn't be restricted to logos and titles. If your brand guidelines are full of blues and greens, it makes sense to incorporate these colours into the wardrobe, the environment and the colour grading as well as in the graphics. This will help your audience to remember the content, and create an established sense of brand identity and professionalism.

Here are some films which we think do colour very well, with a breakdown on what the colours mean and how they've been achieved:

1. James Bond: No Time to Die

The new James Bond film saw an array of blues, purples, deep reds, beiges and gold tones. Undoubtedly, the rich colour palette greatly helps to create the sense of luxury and allure that the franchise is so famous for. This consistent use of colour can be seen in almost every aspect of the film, from the costume and makeup, to orange and blue lighting and set design. Blue and golden tones were heightened in the shadows and highlights during the colour grade also, to really help set the moody, exciting and luxurious tone.

Once more, with repetitive use of reflective fabrics and materials (silk dresses, shiny cars, glass, diamonds, etc) against earthy and natural tones and textures (trees and foliage, dirt roads, wood), the blues and golds stand out even more, complimented by their natural surroundings.

2. The French Dispatch

Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch unsurprisingly has a distinctive and beautiful colour palette. Through the film there are mixes of blues, yellows, oranges with pastel pinks, greens and greys which help to create a unique world for the film. The colours aid in establishing the humorous and quirky tone and are intertwined with vintage wallpapers, fabulous pieces of furniture and costumes to create a mid-century, Parisienne feel. The pops of brighter, bolder colours in amongst the pastels creates that unmissable, retro Anderson 'look' which he has become so famous for.

That said, fabulous though it/he may be; even Wes Anderson has to stick to a budget. Rena DeAngelo, the set decorator remarked “We had a budget so we had to find deals,” she says, “and we found them in out-of-the-way markets in places like Le Mans and Chartres that my amazing French crew knew about.” The team spent lots of time in Bordeaux and other cities collecting pieces to make up the sets. They also spend lots of time researching lighting in old French cafes and offices, working out how to recreate it for an authentic feel.

The same sort of process applies when creating a colour palette. When it comes down to it, there isn't a magic paint pot, it just takes skill, thought and time. Stockhausen, the Production Designer said on finding the right colours for the film “You just sort of feel it and make a sample and look at it and live with it for a few days to see if you really like it. Then you give it a go. And part of the process is getting it wrong and doing it again". -If this is the way the big movies do it, then the same premise can absolutely be applied to smaller films and corporate videos too.

At elastic pie films we value a thoughtful use of colour in the videos we make. We don't believe a planned colour palette has to be reserved for the highest budget block busters, and so we make sure to incorporate this in every single video we make, big or small.


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