September 24, 2018
The article analyses the composition of colour in the mise-en-scène of the zombie-movies REC, 28 Days Later and World War Z via a computer based approach. It first evaluates some of the methodological problems of common colour-quantisation by using clustering-algorithms in the context of film studies, then a new developed process is presented which builds on the theory of colour contrasts by Johannes Itten. A simple statistical analysis of two contrast ratios for each of the movies demonstrates that this approach is capable of providing detailed insights into the composition of colour in movies in general. Furthermore, the analysis of the three movies reveals that the accentuation of colour contrast relations serves different functions: colours can support the narrative structure of the movie, emphasize repeating motifs or establish an autonomous aesthetic space.