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  • Sarath Sivan

Idea #23 - (60-30-10) Colour Rule

Colours are an integral component of any film, and the selection of each colour within a frame serves a specific purpose - the purpose to elevate the experience of the viewer and give depth to the film.

The colour theory in interior design as well as film - follows the 60-30-10 colour rule. To elaborate, within the frame - a dominant, primary colour occupies 60% of the frame, 30% is occupied by a secondary, complementary colour whereas the remaining 10% is used to highlight the key elements within the frame.

The colours are allowed to be of different variations so as to provide three dimensionality to the film.

The dominating colour is selected based on the mood, sentiments and location of the scene. The complementary colour supports the previous colour, rather than contrasting it.

It is important to select these colours based on what suits the skin tones of the characters - because a colour that suits a fairer skin tone may not adjust well to a darker skin tone. Choosing these colours during set design saves time in post production, as well as saves money.

Films such as Batman may also choose to have a dual-colour tone for the entire film to enhance the intensity.


  • Be ruthless in eliminating everything that does not conform to the two main colours

  • Make sure the two colours complement each other, as well as the skin tones of the actors

  • Throw in the highlight colour, with purpose

  • Make a statement, and your film will look a million buc

Written By: Hetvi Kamdar

Curated By: Hetvi Kamdar


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