The run up to Christmas was another extremely busy period for me and as well as working on some really cool and exciting projects with some great new clients, I took on a couple of tricky projects; paying the price with painful long hours.
OK, the main mistake I made here was to let myself be so busy that I had no time to properly follow through with my usual Client/Colourist checklist*
So here is a simplified little recap of the obvious that might come handy to anyone who like me works on lots of small jobs simultaneously. I work a lot with Ad agencies, so production teams are often on the go, or the company has hired other freelancers throughout the whole production and the creative director may not always have this list in mind!!
So there we are, the client has just reached picture lock ready for grade, the next step for the colourist should be: Send this checklist to the agency (ideally connect with the director/DOP or editor if they are still on the scene), even if you are juggling 6 other projects !! ;-)
1. Get a reference movie
This will enable the colourist to check that everything is looking as it should when setting up the project in Resolve.
2. Get access to the source footage
It is important that the colourist has access to the source footage from which to work with. Best practice is to media manage down the timeline so that the only footage the colourist receives, is that which is required to perform the actual work with the XML.
3. Tech Spec and deliverables
The colourist will need to know this in order to set up the correct colour space and use the correct LUTs when and if needed.
4. Mood Board and or already existing references
It can be very helpful to give the colourist an idea of the look you’re going for with a mood board or some existing references.
5. XMLs and LUTs
Make sure the colourist and editor have a pre-grade chat to get the edit ready for grade, this will involve prepping the timeline, such as removing all graphics, transitions etc / make sure all the media has been conformed and media managed correctly, and so on.
This is the crucial technical bit to make sure all will run smoothly during the grading session.
Set the project up in Resolve and make sure the XML is looking as expected. Get the LUTs from the DIT or DOP if/when necessary.
Finally the colourist should make sure all the suite’s monitors are correctly calibrated!