Color and Lighting 01
Doing color keys is one of my favorite parts of visual development. This is where you can really start to see a film come together for the first time. This is where you set the mood and enhance emotions. We set out with the goal of creating a comedy action short with scifi and romance elements. Action and comedy both create moments of extreme and abrupt emotions and so I was thinking of graphic punchy colors from the very start. On top of that, we were dealing with entertainment which has a natural theatrical element to it. As you saw in a lot of the visual development for the town square, there's a lot of competing colors in the building materials as well as in the sign lighting. To simplify this and allow us to focus, we kept the buildings in cool shadows with strong warm lighting only on the first floor that casts out onto the street. This keeps things more dramatic and allows us to reveal the beautiful colors in the final scenes when the clown and mime have made amends and teamed up for a brighter future in showbiz. The other great thing about having multiple light sources is that it gives a natural spotlight effect and we can highlight certain characters and push others out of focus, or out of the spotlight, just like they might in a theater or circus.
In the early scenes, I really used cast light from doorways and windows to create paths of light to guide our eyes toward the action.
As the action heated up, I made sure to increase the length of the shadows so the characters and environments became more menacing. A lot of B horror film under lighting as the clownbots entered the story.
By the time the mime returns to earth in her invisible imagination mech, I started really punching up the color and I intended for it to change instantaneously like stage lighting. The mime at her angriest, would be bathed in red light while the clown, who we think is dead at the moment, is spotlighted by cool, heavenly light. I shifted the sky to much redder and more magenta colors so everything feels even heavier and less intense.