Focusing On Shots

Becoming A Better Colorist – Stop Focusing On Individual Shots

March 21, 2017

We should be spending more time looking at the timeline as a whole than focusing on shots. Nobody ever watches a single shot!


Series

Becoming A Better Colorist: Stop Focusing On Shots

Stop Obsessing With One Shot And Focus On The Whole Timeline

I was recently grading a beer commercial that was a single shot.

A locked off single shot featuring a guy with a beer in his hand speaking to the camera on a wooden background.

We graded it for 6 HOURS!

The creative involved in the project was obsessing with details that were literally at the pixel level.

It inspired me to think about I always find one of the nicest shots in the timeline and make it look as good as possible and then try and push that look on the rest of the footage.

The truth is nobody ever just looks at one shot.

A single shot comes and goes in seconds and you may be compromising the look of the whole job by getting over-attached to a single shot.

Common Mistake

It’s quite common for colorists to spend way too long working on an individual shot out of context from the full timeline.

Sure it’s far easier to focus on a specific look or problem when just looking at one shot but how can you expect to build a look that serves the timeline as a whole if you don’t know how each piece is meant to fit together?

It’s important to remember that almost everything in grading is relative. What looks nice and bright on its own could look totally lifeless compared to a sunny exterior shot.

We need to spend more time looking at timelines as a whole

The footage I use is from John Brawley’s footage that you can find here

If Time Was No Issue What Would You Do?

What do you think?

Should we all be focusing on making changes while the footage is playing or is spending 20 minutes on a shot and refining it to perfection the best way to grade?

Jump into my video below to see an example of how working on one shot can be a waste of time.

Enjoy!

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Comments

2 thoughts on “Becoming A Better Colorist – Stop Focusing On Individual Shots”

  1. Totally guilty of this one. It becomes especially bad when the shot you’re falling in love with is just about half a second long and nobody will ever really have a chance to see the “wonderful” job you did on it. This sometimes also comes with hardware limitations. If you’re grading RAW Footage and your machine is not equipped to play it in realtime one tends to spend the same amount of time on each shot although some of them might be rarely perceived by the audience in it’s final form.

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