Data Visualization - Movies and Colour
Movies and Colour
The use of colour is very important in the film industry. Colours intensify the drama, define a character and are used as symbols. White is often used to symbolise purity and black symbolises death. Colours also can convey emotions such as red with anger, and blue with sadness. In the Pixar animation of ‘Inside Out’, the Emotions are each represented by their corresponding colours. Visualizing the colours of movies brings more depth and understanding to the movies’ stories. 
Over the last few years, a blog on Tumblr called ‘Movie Barcodes’ has been making barcodes of movies.  The blogger takes every frame from a movie, crops it down to the width of a pixel and lines them up in a row, creating a barcode of the entire movie. Films like ‘Aladdin’ (1992), ‘Edwards Scissorhands’ (1990), and ‘Macbeth’ (2015) have been moderated into barcodes. Observing the colours, the viewer can clearly see what’s happening on screen if they are familiar with the movie.
Taking a look at the ‘Bambi’ barcode, several scenes can be made out by the colours. The browns and greens of the forest stand out at the start of the film. The light blue in the middle shows the ice skating scene. The dull greys and blues following that sequence are the winter scenes and the death of Bambi’s mother. At the end of the film, the deep reds are the forest fire. 
The colour palettes of different movies can show the general mood of the film. The barcode of the ‘Harry Potter’ film series gives a much deeper understanding to the films’ plots. Similar to the ‘Bambi’ barcode, the colours describe each scene of the film. The warm brown colours in the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ represent the colours of Harry Potter’s house, Gryffindor. The dark shades of blue and green in the ‘Chamber of Secrets’ shows the characters entering the dark lair. In the ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, the scene that takes place in Hogsmeade during the winter is evident by the bright blue colours in the centre of the barcode. The character of Dolores Umbridge is very vividly seen in the barcode of the ‘Order of the Phoenix’. Her pink attire stands out amongst the dark tones of the movie’s barcode. The bright frames towards the end of the ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ is clearly the white King’s Cross Station scene.
Observing these scenes shows the shift in the colours and how the tone of the series becomes darker and darker towards the end. The barcode begins with bright colours of red, orange and purple. These colours represent Harry Potter’s childhood and his innocence to the horrors that are to come. The colours gradually become darker. This shows how Harry’s world is being torn apart by evil forces. His innocence is taken away from him as many of his loved ones die. It’s clear by the dark colours that Voldemort is claiming control over the wizarding world. However, the strip of white at the end, the King’s Cross Station scene, is the light in a dark time. The white symbolises the place of peace. This is also where Harry’s story began when he was an innocent eleven year old, and where his story ends.
In the film industry, words are irrelevant and images are more dominant in narrating a story. Visualizing each movie into barcodes shows the story with each frames’ colours. Colours are used in many ways in a film. They set the mood of a film, intensify the action, define a character, and are used as symbols. Examining the colour barcodes, it is plain to see how the storyline of a film shifts and progresses through time.