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Orange and Blue in movies/tv


Am I the only one who’s getting really tired of seeing orange and blue in palettes everywhere? It was actually starting to drive me a bit nuts with Gotham, and I’ve just started watching Only Lovers Left Alive, and so far half the scenes are just orange/blue (and black of course). Surely I’m not the only one?


Yeah, the whole “Orange and Teal” thing has been a trend for quite a while. There’s even a blog dedicated to it somewhere.

Edit: here’s one from a few years ago.


Orange and teal really gets my goat. The worst example I’ve seen of it recently is The Judge (the Robert Downey Jr legal drama) which was unwatchable because of the grading.


It’s just crazy to me how some moviemaking people have come to use it so wholesale. It was one thing, 10 years ago, when I realized that every action movie DVD cover (and sci-fi) used that color scheme… It’s another when most actual scenes in the program use it. I don’t deny that it’s eye-catching, but it’s so unreal… do these people really think that it’s so visually arresting as to hijack all of the proceedings?


I guess probably the majority of people don’t even really consciously notice it. It’s one of those things though: once you’re aware of it, you see it everywhere.


It’s over used.

I’ve been waiting for the next trend to overtake it but, so far, nothing has caught on in the same way.


There was a recent remake of And Then There Were None on telly which really stood out, because surprisingly for the BBC, it wasn’t all orange & teal. It was refreshing … which is depressing.


I say we bring back technicolor.


That’s because…


I’m gonna go sit over here.


ba dum tsh.

Does anyone know where it started?


It’s been around for a while, but who was the first? I don’t think that’s been determined.

This is an interesting overview;

It’s done because it works, orange, as a colour, is something that makes skin tones look more healthy. In real life it’s better to go with a subtle hint but in a movie, subtle can go right out of the window, especially if EVERYONE is orange. Your brain can accept that as normal, while still getting the orange message.

And blue is a colour that contrasts well against orange, creating separation in the image.

To be honest, I don’t mind if it’s done subtly or done heavily, I mind that it’s done so much.

There’s more than one “right” way to grade a movie.



Oh Brother Where Art Thou? was the first colour graded film I think, but for me the biggest influence on the use of it was Michael Bay’s first Transformers film, along with a lot of the Harry Potters. Although they leant more towards the blue rather than orange, whereas Bay went the opposite.


I am probably wrong but I always felt the Terminator movies were where it started, particularly the second one.


Two color, or three stripe?


Three. I’m not a complete philistine.