The Evolution of Color in Film

Telling a story with moving images has been evolving so much through the years. One of the most important milestones in this journey is the progress from monochromatic to color pictures.

Telling a story with color adds one more dimension to filmmaking. Color grading is something we take for granted today, but the pioneers color filmmaking initially started by hand painting every single frame. Although it was a tedious job, it showed filmmakers the vast opportunities if they incorporated color. A step in the right direction was using filters to split the light coming from the lens into green and red hues. Combining the filtered images created an illusion of a real-world picture that was heavily lacking the blues. Technicolor expanded that idea by adding a blue channel that is the base of how our devices manage to record and project color as still or moving images. Today the pursuit is not only to perfect the process of getting an accurate color, but also to be able to capture as much extra light information as possible so it can be manipulated freely in postproduction.

Film format is important, so is the digital sensor resolution, but at the end of the day all we remember is the story and the emotion evoked by the colors.

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2 Comments

Ewan Paton's picture

Do you think he applied directly for that job...? What a cool job to have.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I guess he was born there.