Written by Tushar Unadkat
As a filmmaker and creative director, the intent of my article is to explain how to apply Chromotherapy (or color therapy) and Yoga to our immediate environment. The purpose is to help retain tranquility and focus on good health while developing the right mood for your film in making.
As we know, in filmmaking, color is used to set the mood of a scene (AKA as treatment/tone) prior to going on the floor for production. Creating a color theme of a film can help to build harmony or tension within a scene.
You can maximize the value of your film even with low budgets when you define the color palettes for your screenplay and work with an art director and/or production designer. The idea is to bring attention to a key theme (and that is just the beginning).
During the current global pandemic when many countries are under partial or total lockdown, we can strengthen our aura by using Chromotherapy in our homes – no demolition necessary!
CHROMOTHERAPY and YOGA
Chromotherapy is a complementary remedy that uses color and light to treat physical or mental health issues by balancing the body’s energy centers, also known as chakras. Ancient Egyptians used sun-activated solarium rooms constructed with colored glass for therapeutic purposes. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and other major cultures made significant medical uses of light. The Egyptians are said to have built temples where color healing took place. Sunlight shone through colored gems, such as rubies and sapphires, on to people seeking healing.
While Yoga works the body and challenges the mind, and color stimulates the person’s energy. The aim of the color recipe used in a yoga class is to create the ultimate body-spirit experience.
Yoga increases body consciousness, relieves stress, decreases muscle tension, strain, and swelling, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and focuses on the nervous system. Yoga’s positive gains on mental health have made it an urgent practice-tool of psychotherapy (American Psychological Association).
We use Chromotherapy while deciding the treatment of our film. The idea is, now, to introduce this concept of fusion in our day-to-day living space and to bring coherence in our life.
So, how do we learn about methods of combining colors? And how do we know if these colors go well with each other?
I have used various books in my journey of film making and art direction, particularly Color Harmony 2: A Guide to Creative Color Combinations by Bride M. Whelan, and there are numerous books available on the Psychology of Color that show how filmmakers use it to portray desired emotions in certain scenes.
Now is the time, to practice and give subtle makeovers to the scene in your home during this difficult time of physical distancing – so keep calm until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
Experts in color research and fashion merchandising, advertising and marketing, graphic and interior design, and industrial design make selections and reach a consensus on which colors will be successful and fashionable for upcoming years.
We often see BLUE in hospitals as it evokes calmness, peace, relaxation, self-expression, intuition, honesty, truth, and creativity. Whereas WHITE is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, peace, safety, and cleanliness. Experts recommend these colors in cases of insomnia, stress, anxiety, over-excitement, or anger.
One of my favorite colors is YELLOW, which promotes uplifting and cleansing energy. The color of the Sun also signifies self-confidence, self-control, self-respect, ability to rationalize, and reason as well as contentment. It is mentally stimulating and recommended for depression, despair, and fatigue. It decreases negativity too. According to color healing therapy, ORANGE is one of the best colors for hospitals and particularly for children’s rooms. While, RED symbolizes passion, danger, or power; PINK signifies innocence, femininity, and beauty.
FILM and the COLOR WHEEL
Once you know the genre of your film you can create a color wheel for the film. A color wheel or color circle is an organization of color hues around a circle, which shows the relationships between primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, and other color combinations.
Intuitively, you can go for colors that you think look good together. But for those who don’t want to go beyond instinct, there are several predefined color scheme standards that can help us choose appealing color combinations. These combinations basically fall into two large categories: harmonious (analogous) schemes, which are based on adjacent colors, and contrasting (complimentary), derived from opposite segments of the wheel.
Armed with the knowledge of making emotional interpretation with color, we determine the color palettes for our film. Color palettes might be one of the most underutilized sections of a filmmaking process. It can be the distinction between immersing our audience in a magical world of visual communications or feeling like a layer of the film is missing. This is the magical work of an art director/production designer – to identify a design style for sets, locations, graphics, props, lighting, camera angles, and costumes while working closely with the director and producer.
Another crucial expertise required for filmmaking is the department of lighting as it creates various hues and highlights in each frame. The gaffer or chief lighting technician is the head electrician, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan for a production.
It is necessary to do a multiple script-read along with the Production Designer, Art Director, Gaffer, DOP (Director of Photography) and all other art department heads like props and wardrobe managers, to make sure the team is looking in the same direction and has a complete understanding of the film concept and its treatment.
Here is a photo of my set design for the film “A Body of Work” directed by Pierre Bonhomme and produced by Andrei De Souza in Toronto, Canada. The theme of the scene had a passionate character in an intense, dark story of loneliness in a big city.
EFFECT OF COLOR IN YOUR PERSONAL SPACE
These technical skills used in the making of a film can be very simply applied to make small changes in our living space. Below are quick design secrets that suggest positive changes during the lockdown. This exercise will not only keep you active but create harmony in your personal space.
- Identify an area in your home where you spend most of your time.
- Incorporate soothing shades by using fabrics to play with colors and add texture (touch) too.
- Introduce scent to involve our sense of smell by lighting perfumed candles or simply having potpourri in a bowl that evokes happy memories.
- Caring for plants is an act of compassion, and the more compassion we have in our lives, the better off we are. Think beyond the windowsill and sneak in some greenery wherever you can.
- Our body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. A splash of sunlight is a great idea, wherever possible.
- Place photos that inspire you, may it be family, friends, or simply images of nature. But be mindful of clutter. Less is always more!
- Work with layers of lights to create a mood that makes you feel like being on a vacation.
- Creating a good rhythm with our furniture is equally important as it defines the proximity of our guests and their energies.
- Place a bowl/basket of fruit or a jar of your favorite cookies can add joy to our senses of taste.
- Lastly, playing some ambient music helps to soothe our body and relax.
As we know, Humans possess five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us. It is all about engaging our five senses to feel loved and love others.
Practice yoga, fine-tune your chakras with some Chromotherapy (color therapy) will help you stay calm at home, stay safe, and save lives! It will be soon over, and we will meet at the film sets.
Tushar Unadkat has worked as an art director, production designer and set designer on numerous productions including the award-winning films, The Peace Tree, Flavors, and Dry Whiskey. In the past decade, Tushar has executed art direction in the film, fashion, advertising and events industry in the US, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Netherlands, India and Canada. He is the CEO & Creative Director of MUKTA Advertising. His website is www.tusharunadkat.com. (Social networks: instagram.com/tushar_unadkat; twitter.com/tusharunadkat; facebook.com/TusharUnadkatOfficial; linkedin.com/in/tusharunadkat; imdb.me/tusharunadkat)