Using Colour in Film at Sparks Film School

Sparks FIlm School Yarm on with a handmade set exploring colour in film

Sparks Film School members have been finessing their use of colour in film this term as we have been exploring our new theme ‘True Colours’ in our weekly workshops.

Each term, our members of our weekly film classes are introduced to a new theme focused on a film genre, technique, or idea. 

This Spring term we have been delving deep into how colour is used in film, and to what end. Our young filmmakers have been showcasing their creativity and talent each week and we can’t wait for you to see their final films after term!

Getting Colourful Across the Country

Sparks filmmakers across the UK have been exploring their use of colour in film. Sparks Film Schools members across the country have been splashing the colour – from Bournemouth to North Yorkshire and Glasgow, filmmakers have been impressing us each week! We are now in the stages of pitching and pre-production for the final films, and as ever the ideas are already sounding amazing. We have stories ranging from time-travel adventures to more realistic dramas being pitched.

Teenagers using lighting to experiment with colour in film
Sparks Film School Balham experimenting with lighting colour in film

Different ways to use Colour in Film

Some of the sessions so far this term have looked at ideas such as chiaroscuro (a method used a lot on German Expressionist cinema and film noir), where we use strongly contrasting white and black images. We also experimented with Colour psychology, and how different colours mean different things and we can use this for emotional effect in film, in costume, lighting and set design. We also explored colour temperature and how these can be used to great effect in film to influence how the audience feel and react to certain moments. We have looked at complimentary colours, how to change the white balance when using a camera, as well as the compositional technique of using negative space. All of these uses of colour in film help our members to build on their film skills and tell more creative stories.

Some examples of workshops this term include using the famous colour change scene from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as an example of how we can use colour and black and white in the same sequence to very interesting effects. Our crews across the UK have been creating short mini films in response to the workshops each week, focusing on techniques covered in the session. We have had workshops that have delved into creating homemade camera filters from craft materials in which the crews have loved creating their own colour filters for use in film!

We have also really focused on how to use colour in costume and character design to subtly give away hints to who they are as a character to the audience. We want our filmmakers to adopt the important filmmaking idea of ‘Show Don’t Tell’ this term!

Mystical goings on at Sparks Film School Glasgow

The term has been really technical and the filmmakers have been loving it and running wild with ideas. As always, we’ve seen lots of collaboration and teamwork in order to create some really astounding work and different shots. Sparks students always impress us with their ability to work in a team, and ensure everyone’s ideas are heard and experimented with. 

As we move into pre-production and start to film our main films, we are so excited to watch the crews work and play with the techniques they have been covering in the workshops into the films! Exciting times for Sparks and watch this space!

Sparks Film Schools Weekly Workshops

Sparks Film Schools offer weekly classes and explore a brand new film challenge each term. Take a look at our Weekly Workshops, or find our more about our Holiday Camps.

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