Sunday, March 13, 2011

Movie Bar Codes

Ever since I've started using Tumblr, I've come across some cool art/film blogs. A really neat one I recently found is called MovieBarCode. Each frame from a movie is stretched and compiled into one long "barcode". You can see the entire movie's continuity as a whole, like a color script.

Some movies look pretty uniform and it's hard to pinpoint certain scenes, but some are really easy. Looking at them all, the easiest ones to point out always seem to be the animated films.

Can you tell what movie this is?

Give up? Look again:

The key scenes really stick out, and in some instances, there's a noticeable flow into a new color scheme.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Overall pretty uniform color scheme. A lot of earthy colors.

Dumbo (1941) - A lot of contrast. Definitely a circus film! Scenes really do stick out here, especially "Pink Elephants", "Roustabouts" the scenes where the clowns are behind the tent, etc.

Alice in Wonderland (1951) - Very colorful. I don't know why, but this Alice one feels almost like paint dripping down a canvas. It has a very surreal feeling to me, which fits the movie perfectly. A lot of pinks and magentas.

I've noticed a more uniform "banding-like" effect in these two, which are both very recent animated movies. The sequences and their colors are more defined here:

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Whoever makes these barcodes is really creative. Sadly, it's hard to give proper credit, since the creator's name isn't up there to see. There's a lot more on his/her site, and an index to make things easy to find. I suggest you seek out the ones for The King's Speech, The Matrix, and Speed Racer.


Also, I don't know jack about color, but Oswald Iten sure does! He makes very thorough studies not only about film color, but on filmmaking in general. He just did a really neat series of posts about Fantastic Mr. Fox that's definitely worth reading. Go check his site out too:


Anonymous said...

Are you planning to make a moviebarcode of your thesis?

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Probably not. Color keys and scripts are really only for longer pieces of work like a feature film. Besides, color scripts only act as a preproduction guide or BG and continuity, and lighting for a CGI feature. For my purposes it would be a lot of unnecessary work for so little gain.

Besides, the colors don't change in my short very much.