Sketchdump #241 – Analyzing Movie Screenshots

I want to work on my compositions and bought ‘Framed Ink’, it is quite focused on movies though, so I am having trouble to translate it to my own work. Still, it is a very interesting read. I did some screenshot studies from cinemasquid.com of the movie “In Time”. I tried to do composition and colors at once, didn’t work, so I did it in multiple steps instead. It’s a funny feeling when perception first focuses on color, then suddenly switches to see values and forms.

– every shot/scene has a strong color (temperature) tint, depending on situation, mood: cold blue/blacks with cold and pale yellows (feeling cold, sterile and as if people are going to be shot), sickly green-yellows, sometimes contrasted with warm red/gold (feeling uncomfortable), warm and golden yellows (feeling good), just warm tint with yellows or oranges or natural light (not sure how to feel about those).
– often lit by only one direct light source, coming directly from one side of the image, leaving selected faces in shadows
– brilliant use of soft curves and horizontals/verticals and diagonals for drama or stability
– diagonals: floor tiles, falling perspective lines (wide angle), perspective, tilted horizon/camera
– use background/design elements to introduce lines/diagonals/horizontals as needed (fence, ornamentation, shelf, …)
– introduce asymmetry in subtle ways to create more interest (both in color, value and shape language)
– think about placement of figures and elements: how far to the side of the frame do you place something (and why), what does that convey? do elements get cut off while others don’t?
– within each shot and color scheme, colors are very beautifully orchestrated even if this is not immediately visible like straight on orange vs. blue -> pleasing result without being “in your face”
– strong value contrasts (like lights in the backgrund) get balanced out very carefully (except in uncomfortable shots)

screencap13a screencap13b screencap13c screencap13d

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2 thoughts on “Sketchdump #241 – Analyzing Movie Screenshots

  1. You are definitely serious about improving and learning :) I love how you focused on each aspect of the scene at time. And thank you so much for sharing your notes and thoughts again :)

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