Genre Specific Color Grading and Ideals in Film

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Carla Cecilie Lind-Valdan
4. term, Medialogy, Master (Master Programme)
According to various professional colorists’ blogs today’s color grading in films has become genre specific. This causes distress with the colorists and so this study aims to find how big a problem this really is, and if this problem is only present because the colorists are biased by their everyday work. Research on color perception, color grading and genre theory provided information on the most recognizable genres and their appertaining color scheme. And thus I ask the question:
“To what extent has horror and sci-fi feature film’s genre specific color grading affected experts’ and naïve observers’ ideals when they are to determine an otherwise genre neutral film’s genre based only on said color grading?”
To answer the question three experiements were made – two preliminary and one main experiment. The first experiment concerned whether the subjects were able to identify the genre of a film based on a still from the trailer. This experiment showed that the subject in fact were able to do this. Next, in order to be able to answer the final problem statement, the sequence for the main experiment had to be genre neutral. An experiment on this fulfilling the requirements for a genre neutral sequence was made and showed that the sequence was biased toward drama. It was decided to move on with the dramatic sequence to the final and main experiment. Here the sequence was color graded as horror and as sci-fi and tested on two groups; naïve observers and experts, respectively. They were asked what genre they thought the sequences belonged to and asked to fill out information about how often they watch film and how big a percentage the two genres individually make up for. The results showed that the subjects overall were not able to recognize the genres but there was an indication of ideals when it comes to genres. It was also found that the frequency of exposure is based on how big a percentage the genres make up for in watched films and not profession. While the experiments lead to an answer to the final problem statement, there are factors, which may have influenced the results and things to be improved in case of reproduction of the experiments.
SpecialisationComputer Graphics
Publication date22 May 2013
Number of pages124


ID: 76636346