Viewers often know what to expect from a movie solely based on how the preview looks. The word “color grading” might not be the word you use, but it’s often what we’re really talking about when we address a film’s mood or tone.

The Verge took a closer look at how color is used in movies to steer the emotions of an audience. They compared the red tones of romantic movies with the desaturated look of apocalyptic tales, and explored an increasingly common Hollywood color story: blue and orange. Color grading is an oft-underappreciated element of filmmaking, but once you realize its power, it will become something you can’t ignore.