Movies · TV

David Fincher Uses Color to Put Us On Edge

By  · Published on October 26th, 2017

The director understands color palettes and not just that orange/blue one you’re thinking of.

David Fincher makes movies and television of anticipation. Building tension is a full-time job for all the elements of his cinematography – especially the colors. He certainly uses the complementary colors that many articles have been written about, but his most effective moments are when he exploits more discordant coordinations.

Studio Binder looks at Fincher’s colorful juxtapositions not just to understand our psychological instincts towards colors, but to explain to beginning filmmakers how to use certain combinations in specific scenes.

Constructing shots to find meaning isn’t all in framing, lighting, blocking, and depth of field. Post-production and color correction often have even more power. Figuring out how to weave all of these together effectively for every frame of a film is the biggest challenge for a cinematographer, editor, and director. Fincher has our number, making us all wonder what’s about to happen just because we spotted a vibrant clue in the background.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).