We’ve Reached The 1,000 Insight Milestone: Thank You & New Pricing!
Today, Mixing Light releases its 1,000th Insight into the Insights Library. A brief history lesson:
In the fall of 2011 at the RAI Convention center in Amsterdam, Robbie meets up with Dan who was taking a break from his duties at the Blackmagic IBC booth. Robbie was also at IBC doing some teaching. Dan & Robbie had chatted a bit via Twitter and it seemed like a good opportunity to meet up and talk color.
Little did they know then, that meeting was the first Mixing Light team meeting and over the next decade that one quick meeting led to the site and community we have now.
Some time later, Robbie reached out to his friend Patrick Inhofer on his discussions with Dan, and the idea they had over dried out hamburgers and Heinekens at IBC. In 2012, that idea was polished over countless phone and Skype calls and Mixing Light became a company.
NAB 2013 is where the first version of Mixing Light launched, with 20 tutorials in the Library. By the end of that NAB we had our first 15 members!
Flash forward to 2021, we’re proud to announce our Insights Library now contains 1000 tutorials and our base has grown to thousands working in different parts of production and post production, with global membership.
It’s not hyperbole to say we would not have gotten here without you – our members. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here since the beginning or have just joined us. You’ve helped us create a thriving community, a huge repository of color correction knowledge, and helped us peel back the curtain on the world of color.
In This Insight
To celebrate 1000 Insights in our Library we have a couple of announcements, detail follow below:
- New pricing! The past 18 months have hit the storytelling business very hard. Last year we ran limited-time special pricing, to ‘help a fella out’. Today, we’ve taken that one-time special pricing, improved it, and are making it permanent.
- Coming Soon: Consulting – Probably the most common request we’ve gotten over the years is a variation of this question: How can I buy an hour or two of your time to help with a pressing problem? This is Team Mixing Light’s answer to that request.
- Going away: Stand-alone courses – One day soon, the option to buy our stand-alone Courses is going away.
- One more thing – At the end of this Insight, we have one more bit of news about the new pricing structure. So keep reading!
After the announcements, Robbie, Patrick, Dan, and, yes, Joey too, each want to share with you some of our favorite Insights over the past decade.
Note: This is Insight #1000, by volume. Over the years we’ve skipped some Insight (chronological) numbers or left some drafts in the queue. However, this one represents the actual 1000th Insight in the library.
Starting today, Mixing Light’s new membership pricing is completely revised.
As inflation rears its ugly head in mid-2021, Team Mixing Light has decided to cut our prices permanently. Although, to be completely honest, the real reason we’re cutting prices is that we’ve reached a critical mass of membership.
Enough of you are regular subscribers that we can slash our pricing without impacting the quality of our Insights. In fact, we’re starting to execute plans to improve our consistency – with more access, more sharing, and more member-to-member interactions than ever.
Here’s what the new plans look like:
$24 $19 per month – Same great plan, new low (and permanent) price.
$64 $50 per quarter or $244 $180 per year – These are 20% and 27% price drops. We’re thrilled we can do this, particularly at a time when our members need our resources more than ever – to stay competitive and get working again.
New members can immediately take advantage of this new pricing on our Membership Options page.
Current or Lapsed Members: How Do You Convert Your Plan?
If you have an existing account with Mixing Light then login and visit the Membership Options page. Choose your plan and subscribe. If you’re a current member, on checkout the purchase price will be reduced by the amount of time remaining on your current plan. Your renewal date will be reset and this new lower pricing will be locked in for you!
We have one more pricing announcement, but we’re saving that for end of this Insight!
Coming Soon: Consulting
Have you ever wished you could get one of the people from Mixing Light to give you 30 minutes of their undivided attention? By the start of October, 2021 you’ll be able to do just that! We’ve integrated our calendars into a 3rd party service. You’ll be able to see our availability for consulting services and choose a time that works for you.
We expect to offer 30, 60, 90, and 120-minute blocks of time. It’ll be an add-on purchase and we’re still working out the details. At launch, probably only Dan, Robbie, and Patrick will be bookable. Once we feel like the kinks are worked out we’ll open it to contributors who want to participate.
Going Away: Stand-Alone Courses
Patrick and Robbie have a special place in our hearts for our stand-alone course training. But we’re taking Mixing Light in a different direction and the multi-hour, self-contained, structured, app-specific training courses are going away.
We’re doing so with mixed feelings since they’re a good way to onboard new talent, who can then take long-term advantage of our Insights Library.
For now, if you’re looking for that sort of training, check out Patrick’s author page at LinkedIn Learning. In fact, we just released Patrick’s newest Resolve title – with several more already in the pipeline. Patrick’s name is on the course but it’s a Mixing Light Production (produced jointly with Rhed Pixel).
One day soon, the links to buy our Courses will disappear. After then, if you already own it, you’ll still have access to the Courses you’ve purchased.
Looking Back At 1,000 Insights & Mixing Light
In anticipation of writing this article, we’ve been looking back at the library. Any time you wax nostalgic about something it’s funny what you discover. The past 1000 Insights and indeed the past 10 years have been a wild ride for all of us from different jobs, marriages, kids, living in different cities and even different countries.
Just like our team personally, the very early days of Mixing Light were very different from now – both in our content, how the site operates, and even the topics we cover.
We’ve made a lot of great content over the years – often informed by you, our members. We thought it would be fun is for each of us to look back on our past Insights and pick out the ones we were most proud of, the ones that we were most challenged by, etc. Think of what follows as an anniversary playlist.
We begin with Robbie.
Robbie: What Mixing Light Means To Me
When I look back at the past decade of Mixing Light I think about a few things:
We pulled back the curtain – prior to launching Mixing Light we had asked a lot of professional colorists, colleagues, peers, and friends what they thought of the idea and there was…well, let’s say hesitation. A website that shares techniques of professional colorists? It discusses the business of postproduction? Explores technology and gear? Surely that will put everyone out of business! Over the past decade, we’ve seen the world of color correction grow exponentially with more and more people exploring the craft – I like to think, in a small way, we helped with that.
We helped start a niche – back when we started Mixing Light, online color correction training was pretty hard to find. Our buddies Warren Eagles & Kevin Shaw had started the ICA and Warren was doing Resolve training through FXPHD. Patrick had his Colorist Flight School on TaoOfColor.com and both of us were doing color-focused training on Lynda.com (later, LinkedIn Learning), and our pal Alexis Van Hurkman was authoring titles for RippleTraining.com. That summed up the landscape. A decade later there are hundreds of YouTubers, Instagramers, Facebookers, and websites offering training – some of great, some if it…
We don’t often brag, but Mixing Light’s continued success over the past decade has played a large role in the growth of color grading training (along with what companies like Blackmagic have done). Having more voices joining us in this space is a wonderful thing and I’m proud of our part in it.
Powered by education, not clicks – while the legacy of Mixing Light is still being written, our ethos has never been about chasing clicks, having more followers, or writing click-bait headlines. Sure, we want our community to keep growing (as it has done every year since we launched) but recently talking to a colorist friend he said ‘I’d like to leave my own paintings on the cave wall’ – this really resonated with me. While certainly there is content in our library that might be out of date with the current version of software – even those Insights have elements that are evergreen and will help people for years to come.
I’ve spent the past week or two looking back at our library and like Pat, Dan and Joey will in this article, I wanted to share my favorite Insights I’ve authored over the past decade. Here we go:
- Getting To Know ACES – Back before we were all using color-managed pipelines and even before AMPAS had officially launched ACES, I was exploring DaVinci ACES, ACES .7, .9 etc. This series was one of the first places to explain the general concepts of ACES. I’m proud that Joey, years later, picked up the baton with his amazing series on custom ACES as well.
- Getting To Know Dolby Vision – In a similar fashion to the ACES series, I started a Dolby Vision series right as I was starting to use (and invest) in HDR workflows. This series ultimately led to Joey and I (produced and edited by Patrick) authoring a detailed series for the Dolby Institute.
- 10 Things I’ve Learned About HDR (So Far) – HDR has meant a lot to me over the past few years, but everyday I work in HDR I’m learning something new. This article from a few years ago still rings true in a lot of ways.
- 5 Strategies For Managing A Supervised Session – As my team returns to the offices supervised sessions are once again becoming more and more common, I think this article has some advice worth following and or revisiting.
- How Sync & VPN Changed My Color Grading Life – One thing the pandemic taught me – be prepared! While our remote/streaming/sync workflows have changed I still use sync and VPNs. This article was my first deep dive into this stuff.
To date, I’ve authored 254 Insights for Mixing Light. Do you have any favorites of mine – subject areas I should explore more or dive back into? Use the comments to let me know.
Oh! For Color Correction Gear Head Fans – I have two summer editions ready to come out so keep an eye of for those – I love that series too!
Patrick: Yesterday, tomorrow, and today
The Early Days
It was the fall of 2012, I remember getting off the phone with Robbie and thinking to myself: There’s no way Robbie & Dan want to go forward with this membership website idea. Why? Because over several months I explained to Robbie and Dan what I already knew: Membership websites are a lot of work!
I had toyed with the color grading membership idea for a few years, after creating several stand-alone online training tutorials at TaoOfColor.com (my first online color grading course was for Apple Color, back when it was new and still shipping).
But color grading is an always-changing craft and a continuing education/membership model seemed perfect for its practitioners. But the pressure of constantly creating quality is, well, problematic for someone who isn’t a full-time trainer.
Stand-alone training is hard enough to produce – but there’s always an end state, after which you’re done. By definition, a membership site requires producing a regular stream of content for paying members? Forever.
That’s a whole new level of content production. A color grading membership website requires a team and, before that point in time, I hadn’t found the right people. Very few of us were in this space.
Robbie and Dan were the perfect partners in this venture. To my amazement, they bought into this model! They were both experienced teachers and colorists (a particularly hard-to-find combination back then). We set a launch date for NAB 2013 – and the next 4 months were a total blur. But even then we knew we couldn’t do it alone and we had planned from the very beginning to bring in contributors.
3 + Many = Long Term Success
Of course, we three founders couldn’t have made it to 1,000 Insights without our amazing Contributors – which was always our plan! Remembering our discussions back then, deciding on our first contributor wasn’t hard.
That honor will always belong to Josh Petok, teaching about setting up Avid for color correction in Insight #67. Josh set the bar high for our contributors and Mixing Light never looked back. By mid-2013, shortly after launch, we had the basic business model. More importantly, our members found ongoing value in our project and 8 years later we’re going stronger than ever!
Thoughts About The Future Of MixingLight.com
Like color grading, this website has changed over the last 8 years and more changes are coming!
We’re always looking for ways to grow our offerings, in a way that serves working professionals while also offering a helping hand to newcomers – who are the next generation of professional storytellers.
It’s a tough balance, made more difficult since every one of us teaching on Mixing Light is a working professional. As our business gets more democratized, as more businesses discover how easy it is to create video content, the need for experienced practitioners to help others produce good-looking images is greater than ever.
Looking forward, if there’s one more spice I’d like to add to the core Mixing Light experience: It’s finding a way of letting our Members also contribute to the Insights Library. I’d love to see how they’re solving problems, or creating opportunities for themselves and their clients. If you have any thoughts on how members can contribute to the Insights Library, feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!
Patrick’s Notable Insights
Looking over my Insights these past 8 years, a few do stand out for me:
Color Correcting with LUTs: The 3-Node Approach – When Mixing Light launched, we launched with 20 Insights. This Insight was part of that batch. It was recorded in DaVinci Resolve 9 and advocated a fixed node structure before any of us were talking about fixed structures! It also makes me laugh as I recorded my on-camera using a GoPro (or was it an early iPhone? I forget, I was experimenting with both at that time). Why do I like this Insight? 8 years later – and 8 versions of Resolve later – the workflow advice is as solid today as it was back then. I suppose the question I wonder about today: Should I re-record it and update the UI or is it fine as-is? I’m not sure.
Series: Budgeting Time for Color Correction – More than any individual Insight, it’s my series’ that I’m most proud of. Of those series, this one is one of my favorites. It was originally designed for a session I taught a few times at NAB. It distills my approach to the various stages of a color grading job, so you can invoice and schedule jobs properly. (Note to self: Mixing Light needs to allow for the reverse sort order of a Series, so it shows in order of release, rather than newest first.)
Series: Why You Should Avoid NET 30 Billing Terms – For years this Insight has been Mixing Light’s #1 Insight, as measured by pageviews. It was linked from all over the intertubes as solid advice for freelancers. I still stand behind this advice.
Mixing Light Flight Paths – This might be a bit of a cop-out as we select our favorites, but I love this concept of curating a set of playlists for newcomers to Mixing Light around popular topics. We definitely need to build more of these.
Dan: The Business Is Forever Changing
From #0001 to #1000!
As we celebrate our 1,000th Insight I’ve been looking back on how far the world of color grading has come since Insight #0001. We had Resolve 7. One layer of (usually, DPX) video. The audio was a single .wav attached to the timeline. I was demoing features like tracking and stacking 15 nodes of blurs to wow people (today, you can do that on an off-the-shelf laptop)!
The topic of Insight #0001 is quite funny, “Adding Camera Shake In DaVinci Resolve“. The technique takes about 3 seconds to do now. At the time, stabilizing a shaky shot and applying the stabilize to a different shot was new and fresh – just like the stabilizer itself.
I like to think that I started off on that first Insight as I continued, always pushing boundaries with weird and wonderful ways to do things that shouldn’t work but do.
My mantra has been ‘always share the good, the bad, and the ugly of my real-world experiences….no matter how silly the mistake!’ I always enjoy sharing what I’ve done wrong in the hope that somewhere, sometimes, it saves someone else’s butt in a time of need.
Ahead Of The Curve
I’m proud of Mixing Light’s part in helping people understand some of the biggest changes the color grading world has ever seen. The journey from 2013 where rec709 was the norm to 2021 where we are delivering Dolby Vision PQ IMF’s with derived SDR and Atmos sound.
I think fellow colorist Paul Hanrahan summed it up perfectly, ‘Thinking of how much has changed over the last few years… The job used to be about what heavy lifting you could do with 3 trackballs. Now it’s transform gymnastic with a light tweak on top.’
It’s hard to remember when ACES was the new kid on the block but Robbie was one of the first people that managed to turn a wall of specs and new terms like IDT/LMT/ODT into actionable information for us mortal colorists with his series here in Mixing Light. That series was also picked up on ACES Central. You can check out the opening article of this series here: Getting To Know ACES Part 1: Introduction
I’m also so proud of the series that Robbie and Joey created for Dolby “Learn How To Create In Dolby Vision” Once again they entered an arena that was on the bleeding edge and put information out to the color grading world that has helped hundreds tackle the minefield that is HDR grading and delivery.
I just delivered my first Netflix Original Feature yesterday(!) and if it wasn’t for team Mixing Light being there on Slack when I was having moments of doubt I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
If you’ve not joined the Mixing Light Office Hours slack I urge you to come out and join us, it’s a noise-free positive environment to help each other out and talk all things color. It’s available to all paid members of Mixing Light. The link to join that Slack channel can be found in our Calendar of Events.
Dan’s Favourite Series
- Grading Challenges – I’ve linked to the first of my favorite Insight series here on Mixing Light. The hardest part when learning to colour grade is to get access to real-world briefs and footage. Normally, I offered an amalgamation of real client briefs with a few twists of my own, these Insights challenged people to escape their comfort zone and get feedback on their color grading attempts.
- Behind The Curtain – As part of my commitment to sharing my triumphs and failures, the Behind the Curtain series is the best way to see inside my color grading decisions. Ranging from huge jobs shot beautifully to free music videos for my friends, you are sure to find something interesting.
- Colorist Inspiration – I’m one of those people that loves checking out other people’s work and keeping track of style changes and exciting developments in the world of color grading. The series ranges from award nominations to profiles on colorists whose work is consistently amazing.
Joey: What Mixing Light Means To Me
What does Mixing Light mean to me?
Well unlike the rest of the guys – I don’t have a full decade to look back on. I joined Mixing Light as a contributor after it was well established. But the timing couldn’t have been better.
I often say that I grew up in a post house – and that’s true. I spent the first decade of my career at one shop. I was there from the beginning, when we built a world-class facility from a gutted space – walls and all. I was there to the end, when that company shut down.
During that time, I went from running cables to engineering, to linear online editing, nonlinear editing, and finishing. Finally, I focused all my energy on color grading.
This gave me a great background in all aspects of post-production, but it also limited my worldview and experience to a single company’s perspective, clients, and workflows. I started working with Robbie shortly after that post house shut down – and contributing to Mixing Light followed.
Mixing Light has given me one thing I hadn’t had in the business – an outstanding community of friends, colleagues, and perspectives. Mixing Light has brought me the opportunity to connect with other artists in a way I never thought possible. Talking with Mixing Light members and not only teaching – but learning from them – has been an absolute joy. It’s become an invaluable community to me.
If I had to pick favorite insights –
I would have to say that my series on fixed node structures, and subsequently my series on Custom ACES workflows absolutely stand out. These workflows not only fundamentally changed how I work – but I’ve had so many people reach out to me and let me know how much it’s helped them as well. To know that so many colorists around the world are succeeding with these techniques is amazing.
So, a huge thank you to Robbie, Pat, and Dan for this incredible opportunity. And thank you to the Mixing Light members for making it all possible.
Here’s to the next 1,000!
It’s a little wild to think of the millions of words, thousands of hours of video and audio we’ve produced in 1000 Insights.
Making these tutorials has been an honor and educational – for you and for us – and a challenge in all the good ways of that word.
We’re investing more than ever into content for Mixing Light, bringing on new voices and improving the overall Mixing Light experience.
From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you for your loyalty, questions, comments, and for building an amazing community. We couldn’t have gone a decade without you. Thank you!
-Team Mixing Light
One More Thing…
As part of our new pricing structure, we wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to our existing members for supporting us these many years.
When you switch your membership you’ll notice you get an immediate 20% discount off the first term of any Premium membership. While everyone gets this discount, we implemented it specifically with you in mind!
Your ongoing support makes this website possible. It helps us validate this project and keeps us on the path of innovating and inviting new voices to teach us. Thank you, all.