Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Palette study: THE HOUR S02E01 Opening scene

I really like Jordie Bellaire's palette studies on her Tumblr, and suddenly had to do one of my own after watching The Hour the other day, a TV show that pays more attention to the art direction than the script.

In this post I'm concentrating on the opening scene of Episode 1, Series 2, which sticks to the following palette: 


This palette is established in the very first shot of the episode. Every colour used in the scene is contained in this shot. The main colours stand out (the blue in Bel's dress, the green coffee cup) but the rest is there too - the books framing Bel are a desaturated carmine red, the papers and pages an equally desaturated yellow.

Interestingly, the first use of yellow as a key colour is the whiskey everyone's drinking. (Wahey! The Fifties!) In this shot (although not that apparent in the still) the tiny block of yellow does a good job of drawing the eye and picks out the glass for the viewer...

...before becoming the focus in this shot. These two shots represent different locations, but are tied together in the world of the sequence by the yellow whiskey.

Although Bel and Isaac aren't drinking, it's all around them, here literally - it looks like they're in a giant glass of whiskey:

I like the little concentration of cyan on the little screens near the centre of this shot.

Here the yellow is hiding in the map in the background.

Like the yellow before, there's green hiding in the painting on the floor behind the chaise longue

In The Hour, even the smoke is green.

Red must be Hector's colour. We first see it here when he exits the club, and later on when Hector's around.

Not colour related, but check out this shot side-by-side to the shot with the chaise longue. (Compare the windows and the cabinet doors.)

More red, Hector's colour in this sequence, when the "SOUND ON" sign lights up as Hector arrives at the studio.

And Hector's assistant wears...

Funnily enough, after I wrote this I happened to come across this poster for the first series of The Hour, which adheres to a fairly similar palette:


The rest of this episode doesn't, however, so I might make a post about that some other time.

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