A Movie Barcode of The Wizard of Oz. Notice the transition from the beginning of the film, which is sepia-toned, to the technicolor World of Oz.

The use of color in cinema has been on my mind in recent days because of a site called Movie Palette (originally Movie Barcode), which offers a new way of experiencing a film. Movie Palette compresses every frame of a movie into a single image. While these images may be interesting in their own right, they are more intriguing for the glimpse they provide of a filmmaker’s overall vision. While we may not always notice how a director employs color while watching a film, it is impossible not to see a movie’s color palette when viewing these compressed versions. It is a reminder of the myriad of artistic choices any film director must make.

Many serious filmmakers give careful consideration to the color palettes used in their work. Hitchcock was notoriously preoccupied with color. The symbolism of the green, red, and gray costumes and scenery in Vertigo is just one example.

A still from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo