Friday, March 16, 2012

Go Have A Picnic: Pick A Colour

Colour can look very different under different lighting.

In an unbelievable way. I have personally witnessed an entire room getting repainted, a Scenic Painter accused of using the wrong colour, and dumbfounded well seasoned professionals argue over it.

The problem arises under fluorescent lighting. Too often our offices and stages are lit under fluorescent work lights. In fact, the lighting used during filming is alot closer to natural sunlight. Its not always an issue. Sometimes its merely a slight disappointment or a delight.

I was working once in a large industrial south-facing building. There were a series of rooms connected that we were transforming into a Police Station. Only one of the rooms had direct sunlight,the others lit by fluorescents and spill from the exposed room. Even the spill wasn't enough to correct the colour change. Everyone on the survey had agreed that the back rooms had been mistakenly painted by a different colour, and the entire space was re-painted at huge expense.

It still looked the same.

Picking colours is a real challenge. I find that taking my Fan-Deck outside in the natural light tells me a much truer story for the upcoming shoot. And yes, I too have questioned some Designer's colour choices pre-shoot under shop lighting, only to be pleasantly surprised later on, seeing how much better the colours come together under the stage lighting. And vice-versa.

Its an art form picking good shooting colours. As a rule of thumb, if in doubt, go with a Heritage version of the colour you are looking for. They are Heritage colours for a reason.

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