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Croatian film


Colour and Light

The author presents and comments on several key statements from the book About colour by Nikola Tanhofer. The first statement refers to the distinction between the coloured film — film in colour, and the conclusion that although colour is the most powerful way of expressing completeness, it is often disregarded. Since making films is a team work, if there is no communication between the director, cameraman, art director and costume designer the colouristic wholeness of the film remains a mere coincidence resulting with a coloured film.

In the film in colour, on the other hand, colour is as important as the script or the actors; it is one of the layers of the storytelling, as in the film Shouts and Whispers. The second statement refers to the composition and the harmony of colours. Theoretical knowledge of the physiology of sight open the door to the possibility of acquiring sense for the composition and harmony of colours. Colour is light, the third theses states, of key importance for the cameraman since light is his medium. Until the end of the 60’s colour on film existed solely as the colour of the set design and costumes, and films were lit with a white light (the light produced by the colour heated at the temperature to which film emulsion was sensitive).

Ever since then the term white light exists only as a point of reference for changes in the colour of lighting. Light was equalled with stage and costume design. When Tanhofer introduced the approach to colour as light in his teaching at the beginning of the 70’s, his approach was considered quite avant-garde. Questioning Tanhofer’s theses’ the author concludes that colour, due to the dynamism and agility of light, and with the help of modern technology, transcends space and acquires a time dimension. The last thesis that the author comments on refers to the question of the reproduction of colour.

The chapter of Tanhofer’s book with the same title deals with practical shooting themes. The author points out that the problem area of the temperature of colour and the use of conversion filters contains a series of incorrect, arbitrary and superficial assumptions. Tanhofer’s book presents these problems and their solutions in a distinct and distinguishable manner so that it could be considered an almost indispensable manual for cameramen.

Boris Popović

Educational Film — Its Scope and Distinction (dedicated to the Vjekoslav Majcen’s book Educational film)

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