Great article over at Cinema 5D on the 5 most common film color schemes.
They show two examples from Fight Club, its cinematography I love. But things have changed since the late 90’s. Particularly, Fincher seems to bathe a lot of his more recent RED-shot all digital films in green, pull all other color out almost to the point that he’s essentially shooting black and white noir (in particular Social Network, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl especially). House of Cards even has this to some degree. I did some tests in early 2015 that I haven’t posted of video I shot in my home and managed to manually match color to interior shots of Gone Girl– it was amazing going through that process and realizing how far it goes.
Color schemes / grading in film has been something I’ve always regarded as a bit of a mystery. I’ve heard there’s no right or wrong way to do it; it’s all just personal taste. But obviously there’s also a psychological basis for selecting palettes. It’s very curious how Fincher’s films and even the Matrix (the original in particular) would be so green and achieve a very striking look that feels natural when you watch it but isn’t really at all. I’ll be looking into this…
So this article helps set me on that path to better understanding. I recommend it if you’re curious about color grading film.