Tag Archives: filmmaker

WHAT INSPIRES YOU – Part 12 featuring Ben Wheatley

It’s been a while since I’ve stumbled across these funny forays into the Criterion Collection‘s backroom. I’m not sure how the Criterion content editors select who they do (just like who can guess the criteria for films that get the “Criterion treatment.”

In this latest installment of the on-going seies, UK director Ben Wheatley gets to dig into the Blu-ray collection of the fabled closet.

I haven’t seen Wheatley’s KILL LIST or HIGH RISE, but our cinematographer Shane Daly continues to champion KILL LIST for its unorthodox structure. It keeps rising up on in “need to watch” queue (which gets reshuffled or over-stacked based upon recommendations… most recently Tarkovsky’s STALKER was added to one of the top spots… from way down in 50s… and I hear the Criterion is doing a version from the recently restored negative — awesome!).

I’m still a huge fan of Blu-ray over streaming because I don’t like the color and contrast reproduction in most streaming services — even Netflix’s 4K. There is still and unacceptable amount of compression that is greater than a Blu-ray’s compression.

And it’s fucking impossible to freeze-frame an easily (and accurately) rewind a movie from a streaming platform, which is sort of crucial when you’re looking at a film with a filmmaker’s eye.

Color’s Power and Potential

What makes color have an impact in cinema?

How it’s used.

Why it’s used.

What subtextual value the filmmaker assigns to a given color.

What specific color palette is used.

Filmmaker’s Color Tools

In cinema, color comes in two forms – light and production design (which includes costumes, hair, make-up, props, and set design); top-of-their game filmmakers utilize both to fit the characters and the themes of their stories.

There’s a fascinating and informative book called “If It’s Purple, Someone’s Going To Die” by Patti Bellantoni. She dissects how color is employed in a film’s production design to elevate, spotlight, or suggest various themes, emotions, and foreshadowing.

The Vimeo video below will give you an idea of how certain directors have implemented some form of color theory in their work.

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