If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die is a must-read book for all film students, film professionals, and others interested in filmmaking. This enlightening book guides filmmakers toward making the right color selections for their films, and helps movie buffs understand why they feel the way they do while watching movies that incorporate certain colors.
Guided by her twenty-five years of research on the effects of color on behavior, Bellantoni has grouped more than 60 films under the spheres of influence of six major colors, each of which triggers very specific emotional states. For example, the author explains that films with a dominant red influence have themes and characters that are powerful, lusty, defiant, anxious, angry, or romantic and discusses specific films as examples. She explores each film, describing how, why, and where a color influences emotions, both in the characters on screen and in the audience. Each color section begins with an illustrated Home Page that includes examples, anecdotes, and tips for using or avoiding that particular color.
Conversations with the author's colleagues - including award-winning production designers Henry Bumstead (Unforgiven) and Wynn Thomas (Malcolm X) and renowned cinematographers Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption) and Edward Lachman (Far From Heaven) - reveal how color is often used to communicate what is not said.
Bellantoni uses her research and experience to demonstrate how powerful color can be and to increase readers awareness of the colors around us and how they make us feel, act, and react.
"In this book we are really watching movies through designer's eyes and what a refreshing examination it makes…Anyone with creative input into filmmaking will find this book a very useful guide in creating moods and emotions for an audience…This is the movie equivalent of having colour and its effect explained by Monet, it is that fresh and original…Anyone who works on a film set in any capacity will have their money's worth out of this movie colour guide for years to come."
"Patti Bellantoni's If It's Purple, Someones Gonna Die has given us a highly entertaining exploration of the world of color and its impact on our emotions. Told through a careful analysis of motion pictures that have used color to enhance or define their characters or dramatic needs, we are given a lively and insightful view of our reactions to the film experience. Leading us gently but firmly through places we may have taken for granted, we find revelations that can be of real help to readers who use color to shape emotional responses to concepts, as well as physical environments. We can never again take the world of color for granted."
- Robert Boyle, four-time Oscar-nominated Production Designer (North by Northwest, The Birds, The Thomas Crown Affair, Fiddler on the Roof)
"A wonderful idea and very impressive! Patti's book shows the importance of color in developing both character and story."
- Henry Bumstead, two-time Oscar-winning Production Designer (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sting, Unforgiven, Mystic River)
"We see color - Patti Bellantoni feels color. She is passionate about how we (the audience) are affected by the use of color as an emotion in film. This book pulls me back into my favorite films and helps me look at them in a new way. The book is a first of its kind and a great asset for our students on the impact of cinematography and production design."
- Judy Irola, ASC, Head of Cinematography, USC School of Cinema-Television
"Bellantoni's evidence is confident and her examples are authoritative. Like Robert McKee's Story Seminars, hers is a breakthrough concept."
- Sam L. Grogg, Ph.D, Dean, AFI Conservatory
"There comes a point, as Bellantoni spins example after example, where it all suddenly clicks. The use of color in motion pictures is not just a happy coincidence, but a conscious artistic choice that wafts with concrete meaning through all of the film's language. Unconscious and primitive in many respects, conscious and sophisticated in many more, the use and choice of color in motion pictures depends on the filmmakers instinct and intellect, the pillars of all great art. No one can ever look at moving pictures the same way after steeping themselves in this excellent book of discovery."
- Sam L. Grogg, Ph.D, Dean, AFI Conservatory
"Color remains one of the filmmaker's greatest assets and opportunities. With the new arsenal of digital tools available, the range of options for color has grown dramatically in the last three years. For filmmakers, Patti Bellantoni's new book is a great resource for what is now possible."
- Robert Hoffman, Vice President, Marketing, Technicolor Entertainment Services
"Patti Bellantoni has opened our eyes to the power of color in our lives. Her book is an invaluable resource not only for film professionals but also for artists, writers, designers, psychologists, educators, healers, and all who seek a deeper understanding of visual experience."
- Judith Searle, Author, The Literary Enneagram: Characters from the Inside Out
"A fascinating exploration of how color affects our emotional perception of the world. Although Patti primarily discusses the impact of color in film, her book is an indispensable resource for all visual artists."
- Ralph Funicello, Tony Award-nominated Set Designer, Don Powell Chair in Set Design, San Diego State University
"Patti does a wonderful job of dissecting color and its presence in film. She makes us aware of the visual path in our brain and how a film touches us. This is a critical concept as we contemplate the digital medium in film making!"
- Beverly Wood Holt, Exec. VP of Technical Services & Client Services, Deluxe Laboratories.
"This is a crossover book with a broad appeal and a longer life. It's not only about movies. It's about how people feel when they watch movies."
- Barnes & Noble store manager, Los Angeles
Part I: RED: The Caffeinated Color
Chapter 1: Powerful, Lusty, and Defiant
Chapter 2: Anxious, Angry, and Romantic
Part II: YELLOW: The Contrary Color
Chapter 3: Exuberant, Obsessive, and Daring
Chapter 4: Innocent, Cautionary, and Idyllic
Part III: BLUE: The Detached Color
Chapter 5: Powerless, Cerebral, and Warm
Chapter 6: Melancholy, Cold, and Passive
Part IV: ORANGE: The Sweet and Sour Color
Chapter 7: Warm, Naive, and Romantic
Chapter 8: Exotic, Toxic, and Natural Earth
Part V: GREEN: The Split Personality Color
Chapter 9: Healthy, Ambivalent, and Vital
10: Poisonous, Ominous, and Corrupt
Part VI: PURPLE: The Beyond-the-Body Color
Chapter 11: Asexual, Illusory, and Fantastic
Chapter 12: Mystical, Ominous, and Ethereal