Am I Ready For Client Supervised Sessions?

October 26, 2019

A Mixing Light member has color graded for an internal team for years. But how does he know if he's ready for outside client color sessions?


From The MailBag Episode 75

I’m Coloring For Internal Clients – Am I Ready To Take On External Clients?

I remember it like yesterday…

I was 24 and I had spent the past two years honing my online editing and color chops.  Then my internal producer at the facility I was working at said ‘Robbie, I’ve booked you for a supervised session with XYZ client on Wednesday’.

The initial excitement of this opportunity quickly turned into terror!

Was I ready?  Did I know the DaVinci 888 well enough?  Was I prepared for all the technical and creative situations that might come up?  Could I manage and carry the session with small talk or other necessary chit chat?

I’m happy to report that nearly 20 years later, I still work with that client (although at my own shop), but that experience is similar to a question that we got recently from Mixing Light member Martin who asks:

‘Hey Guys, I’m in the process of slowly building a Resolve based home suite, but I’m not sure if I should be trying to get work as a freelancer, or with different facilities. Keep it at home or continue to work in my position I’m currently at?  My biggest concern is I’m not sure if I’m good enough yet to be trying to land work as a dedicated colorist.

I feel like I might be, as my company has given me the opportunity to grade a few half-hour series and a few hour-long docs and everyone says they’re happy with my work, but I’m worried that our internal team might just be giving me lip service and cutting me some slack as we’re all friends. I’m worried they might not really be telling me the truth about my grading work, or worse, don’t know what good grading work is actually is!

I’m worried about taking on jobs from external clients and bombing – how did you guys know that you were ready for this kind of work? Lots of angles here I know, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on my situation.’

We’ve all be there Martin!  In this episode, we’re joined by contributor Joey D’Anna who also shares his thoughts.

It’s All About Experience

The one thing we can all agree on is that experience leads to confidence. In other words, the more you put yourself in the deep end of the pool with clients the more learning experiences you’ll have.

To this day, we all battle waves of self-doubt, but that’s a normal part of the creative process.

As you’ll hear in the MailBag, understanding how to be situationally aware, deal with sharp criticism, and run the flow of a session are all vital to building your overall confidence in running a supervised session.

Engagement Goes A Long Way

Being a button pusher and just doing what the client says is a recipe for a tough session – trust us, we’ve all tried it.  Instead, try creative engagement with clients. As you’ll hear, we don’t advocate negative, standoffish interactions. Collaborations and creative engagement is an important part of any session and an important part of having confidence that you’re prepared for a supervised session.

In addition, clients need to know they are enabled to provide feedback… if your general m.o. is to be difficult with client feedback, you’ll probably run into more difficult sessions than not.  We discuss this aspect of Martin’s question in depth.

Have A Question For Team Mixing Light?

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Enjoy the MailBag!


Member Content

Sorry... the rest of this content is for members only. You'll need to login or Join Now to continue (we hope you do!).

Need more information about our memberships? Click to learn more.

Membership options
Member Login

Are you using our app? For the best experience, please login using the app's launch screen

1,200+ Tutorials, Articles, and Webinars To Explore

Get 7-day access to our library of over 1,200+ tutorials - for $5!
Do you like what you see? Maintain access for less than $5 per month.

Start Your Test Drive!