It’s creeping through our theaters and refuses to buckle. It’s artistically hampered, generic, and more common than a car chase through San Francisco that ends with the lovers kissing in a downpour. But I’m not talking about the slavish onslaught of sequels and mindless remakes. No. I’m talking about the criminal use of the orange / blue color combination that has become the slut of the movie poster color wheel.
Once you realize it’s happening, you’ll see it everywhere.
We know about complimentary colors and how they “pop” when placed together. Orange and blue are exactly that. Orange and blue elements are not the issue, it’s the digital manipulation to colorize everything orange and blue. Originally, it was a flesh tone which encouraged blue and turquoise to the palette, but with a process called “digital intermediate,” colorists scan entire movies and can manipulate the palette, pushing colors and tweaking hues. This is a relatively new process: Oh Brother Where Art Thou was one of the first features to fully scan and color grade the entire image.
As cliché as it is, we know Hollywood loves to jump on a successful formula. Here are a few posters I’ve found that champion this overused effect.