Black and White Grading with Selective Color

I recently came across this post from Little Black Book and really enjoyed it.  It hits close to home and echoes my sentiments on a project that I just wrapped.  Over the last couple of months I have been doing an exciting campaign with NASCAR and Trident Post Production.  So far we have completed over…

Do You Ever “Make It”?

The natural progression of a career as a colorist is to always reach for the next big job.  To try and catch the carrot dangling in front of you.  Higher profile work that challenges you both professional and artistically.  The idea being that the work snowballs and leads to more work on that particular level,…

Color Suite Etiquette

When starting out as a Colorist one thing that is never really discussed is how to handle yourself in front of clients.  It’s easy to color on your own time without supervision.  You can pretty much do whatever you want – try different techniques, listen to your favorite type of music, go at your own…

Revisiting Past Work and the Lessons Learned

While watching television the other day, I saw a commercial pop up that I graded over six (!!!) years ago for a local health insurance company.  At first, I was pretty shocked to see it since I graded it so long ago, but then, as I tend to do, I immediately started to analyze the…

The Power of Production Design

When asked about the most important element of production in terms of how it effects me in the grading suite I always say lighting.  I can do a lot with the captured image, but I can’t make something out of nothing.  Using proper lighting (either to effect contrast or color) gives the image the intended…

Grading in Mixed Lighting Environments

I saw this spot for MoneySuperMarket over the weekend and absolutely loved it.  As a child of the 80’s, this hits on so many levels for me.  It’s quirky, weird, clever, and effective.  There’s no branding in the spot, but people will no doubt remember the product.  It’s pretty impressive advertising, actually.  Take a minute…

Dunkirk in 70mm

I haven’t gotten the chance to see Dunkirk yet, but I plan on checking it out later this week in 70mm.  It’s not very often that we’re given the chance to view movies in this manner, so I want to make sure that I take advantage of the opportunity. For me, grading film is a…

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…