Color and light were also prime elements in Her’s art direction. K.K. Barrett, a production designer and art director, says he was enamored with red and wanted to include just a hint [due to its power] in every frame. “We referenced a photograph of a burning cigarette that was mainly out of focus with this one red dot [from the flame] to complete the composition,” he adds. “When we threw a red jacket on Amy Adams, the camera tests looked so great that the default color became different shades of red throughout. Hoyte wanted to avoid blue, so we skewed our spectrum accordingly.
Her’s playful use of color is evident throughout. Two walls of soft LED light panels in Theodore’s apartment dim and rise as he enters and leaves. “Sometimes those wall lights were pink, sometimes they might have been a warm color reflected in the window at night,” Barrett recalls. “It was a futuristic touch people will recognize right now.”
A similar freedom of color and shape permeates Theodore’s office, at beautifulhandwrittenletters.com. “Spike wanted a fun working environment, he wanted joyous, which I translated into being a riot of colored Plexiglas, instead of paint, which really helped us out budget- and schedule-wise, not having to alter an existing location.”
Van Hoytema embraced the colored Plexiglass. “I would often use [LED-based] light for a shop window behind a character, and make it a strong color. Or, for the shots of Joaquin walking through the city at the beginning, we would insert a splash of bright color around him.” x