Throwback Thursday: Our Creative Director, recalls getting a harsh lesson in color at his first internship.
IN TV PRODUCTION, Groovy Grape trumps Light Lavender
By Lin Wilson
In college I interned at a local NBC station in Kansas City and was given the task of creating station ID cards that would be shown when they were airing a late night movie. During a break for commercial these would air for 5 seconds showing station call letters and remind the audience what they were watching.
This typically involved creating an illustration of the key actors in the film working from the station’s huge library of movie stills. It was fun work but I abruptly realized that a key benefit of this internship was discovering the jarring reality that real production demands. I’d finish a great drawing and the art director, Patty, would stop by with a can of garish colored spray paint and cover my art with liberal hits of red, orange and purple and say, “Lin, it has to show up on TV, you can’t get away with those pastel and light tints, nobody will ever see them, think contrast, think pop.” It was a hard lesson in knowing your format, and made sense once I saw how exaggerated the make up was on the TV anchorman’s face. For TV, you had to overdo it, a light lavender won’t do, it has to be groovy grape purple.
Production Notes: The illustrations were typically drawn on illustration board in pen and ink, or colored pencil. The “TV spray paint” was added after completing the drawing. Typography was then placed over this muck on acetate and a 35mm slide would be shot and developed. All of this would be done 7 days before the airing of the movie.
Image credit: KCTV-5 Kansas City