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I like the little swatch books you can get from Rosco and Lee.

 

Freya

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I would look at the desired effect you like in movies and just go to look up the American Cinematographer article. Different colors mean different things to different people, so there's no true rules on what colors produce what emotional effect. Reading what cinematographer's intention when filming has helped me in developing my own desired looks regarding color. Also spend some time watching light and thinking about how it makes you feel. There are times when I am in good light, I'll pull out my swatch book to find what colors i would use to recreate it.

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Well, I was taught the basics way back in film basics (red for anger, green for sick); but there's an infinite number of gels, and some are just kind of out there; i.e. "Bastard Amber".

 

I guess I figured there was an extension of the basics codified in a book as opposed to using artistic feel for each scene or series of shots. Thanks for the reply.

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I think we all tend towards stuff we like. What I found useful with colors were a swatch book, a light, and my eyes looking at things of different colors, e.g putting the gel on a flesh toned thing on a white or black background or whatever, and just observing it. Same with some diffusion. Course I used to live in an area where we would get blizzards and there was a lot less to do when this would happen.

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Aren't blue gels used to signify cold?

 

From the first frame of a film, what we have been cultured to expect, and all the associations we have, with one thing indicating another, for example colors indicating something, it's all potentially modified. One could argue that all attractive experience is new. New associations, novel connections. So while blue for example is assumed as a cool color, what is the significance of this? A cold temperature, a clinical precision, a sense of detachment from the assumed or expected, or something unexpected.

 

Rather than ask what effect these gels are supposed to produce, ask, what can they do for you to create/modify a moment of experience. One can paint by numbers or one can do the other thing.

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Hell, for some reason when i just thought of blue, i thought of blue silken sheets, with a white sheen on them, and that is by no ways necessarily cold or depressing or clinical-- depending whose in it.

I would say, yes, there are your typical associations of color, contrast, hardness, or softness. However, they are yours to usurp, and perhaps one should do more of that. You can build the world of color, texture, and feeling in the media you make. Sometimes, you go off of plans and get a nice sub-divided suburb. Sometimes, you throw that all away and you get the disney concert hall.

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