The Democracy of Colour

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The evolution of the technical reproduction of colour in film has been categorised and studied in great detail. The aesthetic use of expressive colour has not had as much attention historical. Vacche and Price's Color, The Film Reader seemed to spark a critical interest in this area. In this article, writing as a practicing cinematographer, I outline a brief history of the discussions of the use of colour in film, examine two significant attempts to define a colour theory for film, Kalmus and Storaro, and then discuss in detail my own practice in this area. The article concentrates on The Sleeping-Mat Ballad, a project commissioned by the Welsh National Opera (WNO) and The Space, and the short animation film The Separation. In both these films I explore the expressive use of colour, as a function of the cinematographer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Media Practice
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015


  • Film
  • Colour
  • Cinematography
  • Authorship


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