Home / Entertainment / Cinephile’s Ongoing Project Reveals Color Palettes Found in Famous Films

Cinephile’s Ongoing Project Reveals Color Palettes Found in Famous Films

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971

Fantastic cinematography can make a film unforgettable. When done well, it’s like every still frame is a work of art. Color plays a vital role in this, and a cinematographer’s choices set the mood of a scene. Graphic designer Ruby Radulescu demonstrates the importance of a movie’s color spectrum in a fascinating series called Movies in Color. The premise is simple: she creates detailed color palettes based on a frame of a famous film. Underneath each screen cap are the hues split up by intensity—from light to medium to dark.

The 2012 film Skyfall first inspired Radulescu’s ongoing project. “I was taken with the cinematography and use of color more-so than the story itself,” she says. “I wanted to find out what colors made up certain stills and after making a few color palettes for Skyfall, took it a step further by extending it to all films and starting a blog.”

The meticulous process has been a valuable learning experience. It requires, first and foremost, research. “I search for stills that are compositionally interesting as well as rich in color,” Radulescu explains. “I use the help of a color generator to get a very basic range of swatches.” From there, she herself adds other prominent hues. When it’s all done, the visual nuances of the frame is revealed. As a whole, the collection of palettes demonstrates powerful color relationships between the actors, props, and the overall environment.

What film’s color palettes would you like to see on Movies in ColorRadulescu takes requests.

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

The Muppets Take Manhattan, 1984

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Elf, 2003

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

A Christmas Story. 1983

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Ghostbusters, 1984

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Mean Girls, 2004

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Jurassic Park, 1993

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

ET, 1982

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Where the Wild Things Are, 2009

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Jaws, 1975

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

The Goonies, 1985

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

The Breakfast Club, 1985

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986

Movies in Color Break Popular Films Down into Color Palettes

Sprited Away, 2001

Movies in Color: Website
Roxy Radulescu: Website | Facebook | Etsy
h/t: [Visual News]

All images via Movies in Color.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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