The Dark Mode in Movies

What is Color grading in movie?

Let's look into color grading in depth

Have you ever wondered why the colour blue or the winter season is associated with sadness and depression? According to a recent psychological study, it was discovered that the colours we are surrounded with usually affect our moods. For, e.g., red shows an increase in blood pressure symbolizing anger, yellow elevates your mood, etc. Similarly, the lack of sunlight during winters, i.e., the lack of colours of the warmer spectrum of light (yellow) we feel sadder.

Color grading to show the mood in movies.

Our filmmakers seem to have had this perception for a long time. We can often see filmmakers using a relatively colder location to shoot sad scenes. If you have watched the movie 2013 Vikramaditya Motwane directed movie Lootera, you can notice how the first part of the movie has several bright, sunlight, and yellow scenes. However, as the film’s plot progresses to a darker side, the filmmakers take the support of snow and winters.

The same goes for the 2014 Vishal Bhardwaj directed movie Haider. The movie involves a vengeful plot where the son avenges his father’s death. The turmoil of emotions, the protagonist’s development into a vindictive person is heavily supported by a gloomy atmosphere.

The recent famous Netflix masterpiece Dark is yet another great example. The bright yellow jacket worn by the male protagonist Jonas and then later by the female protagonist Martha is just not a random choice. The yellow colour was used to depict the ray of hope that the two would bring later in the movie plot.

Using proper colours to create the perfect setting for a movie is one of the most important aspects of a film. This is why animations for kids are usually made with bright colours depicting a rather cheerful atmosphere.

This usage of blue and snow is not only restricted to movies but novels as well. Writers mainly plot the scenes in such an atmosphere that the emotions feel relatable. For instance, the Harry Potter series, written by J.K. Rowling. Rowling especially points out the setting of the chapter before progressing with the chapters itself.

In his novel 1984, George Orwell continuously depicts the characters tugging to their coats or subtly drops a description of the season being winter for a reason stated above.

The concept of using colours or seasons to depict mood is not new. Filmmakers and novelists have been using this concept for a long time. Even horror or thriller movies use darker settings devoid of sunlight to create a somewhat severe environment.

The next time you watch a movie, be sure to notice how the usage of shades, tones, and settings in the film.

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