How the color of your video effects its impact

by | Jun 2, 2015

Emotional connections with color

One of the often overlooked aspects of video production, in our opinion, is the color of the video. A lot of times when we are watching movies or TV shows we often don’t pay attention a whole lot to the color of the video, but if you start paying attention, you will probably notice that the color of the footage matches the story. Here is what I mean. One of my favorite movies from several years ago was “Man On Fire” with Denzel Washington. I loved the action, the story and the feel of the whole movie. If you have seen that movie, you probably noticed the film had a gritty look to it. Some of it was the editing and FX they applied, but part of it was also the color they had applied. When it was a happy moment, the colors were very yellow and warm. When it came time for Denzel to kick some butt the footage was graded to be bluer or cooler in tone but still looked natural The color was an important part of telling that story.

Why should I care?

Now at this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t care. I am not making a movie. I need a business/non-profit video. Why does this matter to me?” Well, this matters if you care about your image and your message in the video. In today’s market, selling is as much about connecting emotionally with a potential buyer as anything. There are some things that go into that emotional connection and telling your story, and the color is one of them.

One point that I want to make clear is that when we are talking about color, we are NOT just talking about giving the footage a “look.” Color correction is also about making sure your images look correct and consistent — that people’s skin tones look natural, that the image isn’t too bright or too dark, etc. That’s all part of the color. That is the first part of color and color correction and the part that we are going to focus on the most. Business videos often don’t need any fancy look like a Hollywood film, but they do need to look correct and natural. This can be more difficult than it sounds but can mean the difference between your video looking okay and your video looking truly professional and great.

An example

IndyGo Diptic ColorHere is a quick still shot to illustrate our point. This is a project we are producing with IndyGo. The day was very bright and sunny but also crazy windy. So while shooting down on the canal, we had to back-up against a wall to keep wind noise down. Well, when we did that the talent had to be in the shade. We knew this scenario was going to push our camera to its max because we not only had to expose the image for the talent but also wanted to see the city clearly in the background. This was a tough scenario, but we knew we were going to color grade the footage, so we exposed the image to keep the buildings from being overexposed. Anyway, take a look at the before and after.

A series on color

I hope the image above gives you a glimpse into how color and color correction and can make a difference in your video productions.  As we mentioned previously, we believe that it is one of the most overlooked areas in video production and the one least understood by most clients.  With that in mind, for the next several weeks we are going to be looking into this area.  So if you are geeked out by technology and “sciencey” stuff, check back in the next several Tuesdays as we talk about white balance, matching the color of different camera angles, and using color to focus the viewer’s attention.