Man of Steel in color

A couple of days ago I saw this video everywhere I looked.  Twitter, Facebook, and random sites I visit regularly were all showcasing this video.  While I appreciate a good debate every now and again, the fact that this video went viral and gained so much attention really rubbed me the wrong way.

It’s kind of a double edged sword.  Lots of people who never knew about color correction unknowingly learned about it.  Unfortunately, they learned about it in a negative light.  There are so many things that they don’t comment on in this video that are obviously intend to skew the opinion of the viewer.

First off, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the color.  I might be in the minority, but I give the director and DP credit for going against the grain.  Every single superhero movie out there in the last 10 years looks the same.  It was nice to see something different.  It’s no coincidence that the title is “Man of Steel” and the look is “steel-y”.  Let’s think creatively! Let’s try different looks! Color correction has limitless options (literally), let’s not get backed into a corner and make everything look exactly the same.  If you’re doubting the skills of the colorist, well, I have news for you.  Mr. Sonnenfeld is probably just one of the most accomplished colorist of all time.

I don’t mean to rant, but just because you have access to color correction software doesn’t mean you can easily color movies.  Tinkering with a couple of knobs and wheels does not make you a colorist.  Are you working with a studio? With a director? A DP?  Nope.  There are a lot of people that go into the creative process when making a movie of this magnitude.  On top of that taking one shot here and there is totally neglecting one of the most important aspects of color grading: consistency across shots and scenes.

As I travel down this road the terminology used throughout the video really bothers me.  Original vs. Restored? It’s just putting down the hard work of the team that made this movie look the way it does.  It’s easy to second guess and put down other people’s work.  Try doing it.  You’ll realize quickly that it’s not as easy as it seems.  A lot of practice, experience, and hard work is needed to do something like this.  I understand that there is a somewhat joking tone throughout the piece trying to make it a little more light hearted, but to me, the intention of the piece is to be malicious.

Ok. Rant over.  More or less just needed to get that off my chest.  Again, I’m not saying that the look is right.  I like it, but that could just be me.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  And this is mine.


I saw this the other day.  Whoops.  Looks like they fudged the “original” footage to make it worse. Cardinal sin.

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