Green V Red

Green V Red

Posted on Jan 6, 2023 in Film

Color coding in Hitchcock’s Vertigo

A key element in filmmaking (or any visual medium) that helps create the look is how color is used. Not in the grade, but color palettes in production design.

Wes Anderson is probably the most obvious current practitioner.

Orange, grey, and blue dominate this still from Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Color Palettes.
Moonrise Kingdom

Even in seemingly naturalistic presentations, a close examination shows most films/TV shows controlled use of color.

A classic example of using color to reveal character dynamics is Vertigo. Right from the opening frames we’re keyed into the special significance of red and green. The red room, cool tones and neutrals of the crowd, and then Kim Novak emerges in emerald green. 

Wide shot of a dining room with red velvet walls. Everyone is dressed in greys, blacks, and blues except one woman in emerald green. Color palettes
Can you spot Novak?