Lessons From “The Defiant Ones”

The Defiant Ones is a new series from HBO that highlights the careers of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.  Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, both men had a drastic influence on the music that surrounded me, so I was naturally interested in this series. While watching, I couldn’t help but draw…

ACES Workflow for GOTG Vol. 2

The other day I came across this article and thought it would be a good one to share on my blog.  I have been working in ACES regularly for the last 8 months.  Not really by choice, but necessity.  Since last November I have processed dailies for three features, and each one required the footage to…

The Grading Style of “American Gods”

I recently started watching American Gods on Starz and have really been enjoying it.  I loved the book and was curious to see how it would adapt to television.  Some of the subject matters are rather bizarre and pretty far out there, but the show has managed to pull it off quite well.  If you aren’t familiar with…

The Benefits of Spec Work

From time to time I am asked to do a project for an extremely discounted rate (which sometimes means free).  I hate to admit it, but generally my first reaction is to scoff and roll my eyes.  “Ugh, not another one”.  I should try to be a little more positive – I’m working on that.  What…

Analyzing and Mimicking 16mm Film Grain

It seems like film is making a bit of a comeback.  It’s definitely not mainstream, but I feel like it’s more prevalent than it has been over the last couple of years.  It’s nice to see some grain and texture introduced back into images, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  There’s a certain aesthetic to…

Accentuating Light With Custom Mattes

Power windows are an integral part of grading that pretty much everyone in the post community is familiar with. They help shape the shot and draw focus to the most important parts of the image.  If done properly with the correct amount of finessing, the audience should be unaware of their existence and remain focused on the story. When…

Dark Cinematography

For me, one of the most exciting trends that has developed over the last year or so is dark cinematography.  In the commercial world in which I work, almost all the grades I do have to be bright and well exposed.  It’s probably just my clientele, but I feel like the most common request I get…

Coloring in ACES

I recently had the opportunity to grade a couple of short and long form pieces in the relatively new ACES color space.  While not widely accepted just yet, I feel as though it is only a matter of time before it becomes part of the normal workflow for movies and commercials (especially if they’re VFX…

Colorist Podcast

For me, one of the best resources for color grading inspiration is to simply listen to other colorists talk about their craft.  I really enjoy learning about how they entered the industry, their experiences in the color suite, and what makes them grade the way they do.  It appears that fellow colorist, Josh Petok has a similar…

The Case For (and Against) LUTS

The opinions towards LUTs are pretty extreme these days.  Either you love them or you hate them.  They’re being advertised everywhere.  And with the release of each new camera package it seems as though there are loads of new batches available for consumption. I like LUTs.  I don’t use them a ton, but I find them…

The Lowepost Colorist Community

It’s not very often that you get insights from colorists explaining the work that they do and how they do it.  As grading has become more popular, however, it seems as though more artists are willing to share some of their tips and techniques to help further the craft and expand the public’s knowledge.  Part…

The Grading Style of “Stranger Things”

Everyone is raving about the new Netflix series, Stranger Things.  My wife and I finished it the other day and loved every minute of it.  Binge watching at it’s finest.  The show has a great 80’s nostalgic vibe that draws from some beloved classics.  After watching a couple of episodes it was pretty obvious where a…

Inspiration From the Past

I recently stumbled across this site the other day and immediately got lost in it.  FilmGrab is a growing archive of stills compiled from some of the best movies in history.  The site is sortable by year, director, cinematographer, or aspect ratio and showcases some really phenomenal work. Sometimes if I’m having a creative funk I…

4k Delivery – Are we there yet?

I have been seeing a ton of RED footage in the suite lately.  4k, 6k, and 8K are all common occurrences.  It’s rare that I see anything acquired at 1080 or 2k anymore (which is pretty crazy considering where things were just a couple of years ago). I saw this article in Variety the other…

Learning on the Job

The job of a colorist is a combination of artistic and technical.  Knowing how to react to a specific situation while bringing forth the best image possible is probably the most important part of the job.  Doing it well and doing it consistently are pretty much what determines how successful you will be.  Experience plays a huge role as…