If you want to know how to make movies with substance, then you definitely need to know about visual subtext.

This cool look at how to understand and add visual subtext can be found on YouTube Channel, Film Riot. It starts with a short intro and then cuts to a workshop taught by Alex Buono, who breaks down a few films and the visual subtext they create.

Two examples I found most interesting came from The Godfather and Fight Club. In the first, the color orange is used to symbolize the approach of death. In the second, a Starbucks cup is placed in every shot of the film to subconsciously remind the viewer of how much consumerism has taken over modern day culture and life.

There’s also a large chunk of advertisement for Buono’s online courses toward the end of the video in case you want to continue learning about this topic and more. 

Take a look and let it be a source of inspiration for your next short film, feature or documentary.


  • Charis Joy Jackson

    Producer, Director, Writer, Actress

    Charis Joy Jackson is a writer, director, producer and teacher working with The Initiative Production Company. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time writes short stories and novel. She's a self-proclaimed nerd who wishes she could live in Hobbiton. You can follow her on Instagram @charisjoyjackson

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