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Reading images - colour

The colours selected for use within a scene and the colour of the film stock itself can all have a powerful impact on what we ‘read’ from the film.

Look at these two stills from the film Between Us and Sausage below. What descriptive language could you draw out in your students’ writing? Could you add any direct speech or thought bubbles to each scene? Perhaps even create a short diary entry from the characters’ perspective.

Still from the film Between Us

Still from the film Sausage

Consider the following questions:

  • What are the predominant colours of the film?
  • How do the colours make you feel?
  • What genre or mood of film is indicated by use of the colours featured in the scene?
  • What do they have in common? Are there any marked differences?
  • Are similar colours used to convey similar meaning?

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Why use film to improve literacy?
    Why use film to improve literacy?

    Watch this short video to discover how and why learning through film improves literacy.

  • Foley sound
    Foley sound

    This step is an introduction to Foley art, and has a video clip with Foley artist, John Fewell.

  • Stills from The Girl and the Fox that show different shot sizes.
    Developing writing through camera shots

    Linking camera shots and positions to still images in this activity, can provide a great writing stimulus in creating narrative.

  • Record and Playback
    Record and Playback

    An introduction to the technique of Record and Playback, a simple but very effective tool for curricular learning.

  • Two images each showing samples of a shoe box set design.
    Shoebox set design

    Making a shoe box set takes your pupils on a filmmaking journey that produces literacy outcomes, and is a great tool for assessment. PDF provided.

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