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The Art of Colour Grading

From my experience, post production technicians do focus on being the ultimate geeks, and rightly so since most of the time the technical part is essential in order to deliver high quality and high production value films.

For a colourist, it is about monitors, LUTs, calibration, color space math etc. But whilst focusing so much on becoming a very knowledgeable geek I think as Dave Hussey would say we forget that colour grading is a creative job.

Some well respected colourist like Dave Hussey, Aidan Farrell and countless others have battled for years and years to shake the stereotype of colourists being geeky engineers.

The geek and technology side of our job is just a bi-product of what we need to know to achieve our creative result. In other words, knowing the precise XY coordinates of a particular hue on a CIE 1931 diagram is great, but does the shot you’re working on actually look good?

As colourists, we take footage from the real-world and add the final touch of magic that along with lens choice and lighting and countless other decisions in the image making process, takes us away from our screen into the story.

That’s what being a colourist is all about – enhancing stories.

This month on The Tao Colorist Newsletter I watched an interesting student video which I thought summarised the art of colour grading very well; although I may not share the idea that as a colourist I need to be on the spotlight since I am generally happy with minimal recognition from a job well done and a satisfied client, I do love and share the idea that production and post production is a team work and that colour grading is certainly there to make you believe in the story even more...

So there it is, the Art of Colour Grading explained by Wolfcrow...


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