Film School: Colour In Film with Lawrence Sher

Lawrence Sher | 'Theory in 'Joker Cinematographer Explains The Impact of Color in Film | Vanity Fair' Lawrence Sher | 'Theory in 'Joker Cinematographer Explains The Impact of Color in Film | Vanity Fair'

Cinematographer of Joker, The Hangover, and Garden State gives a masterclass accessible to beginners – in 15 minutes.

“You don’t have to think of all this technical stuff. Trust me – I was an economics major.” In this dynamic explainer, cinematographer Lawrence Sher introduces the fundamentals of colour (Hue, Saturation, Brightness, and Temperature), ways colour schemes can be used, Ansel Adams‘ Zone System, how he creates depth with colour during both production (lighting and art direction) and post-production (colour grading) (via Vanity Fair):

Sher demonstrates examples of complimentary colour and how colour can be used to create mood:

Sher breaks down his use of Zone Theory in Joker:

Sher cites cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, The Conformist) as the “master” who has “used colour as imaginatively as anybody in cinema histoy”. In Depth Cine explores Storaro’s cinematography style:

Further Viewing

A roundup on video essays and explainers on Colour in Film:

More explainers and resources on Colour Theory:

Sher talks briefly about the Log colour profile workflow – here’s a more detailed look at the image pipeline: