Colorist Communication - Dealing With Hard Clients

Colorist Communication – Dealing With Hard Clients

February 8, 2014

Sometimes clients can have a very different vision of the project than you had.I offer some tips on grading in this situation

Colorist Communication: Dealing With Hard Clients

Once you get used to your grading tool of choice and have spend a couple of months grading the next big challenge as a colourist is communicating with your clients. Being a colorist means you are solely responsible for the look and success of the project. Unfortunately clients always tend to remember the negatives over the positives.

For example if you graded the job beautifully but accidentlly rendered the preview h264 at the wrong aspect or with old grades that is what you will be remembered for. With that in mind I’m starting a new series based on colorist communication and hopefully you’ll have lots of questions!

In this insight we’ll be taking a look at the dreaded situation of working with the hard client. The one that has lots of negativity about the current job and your grade. It can be an intimidating situation so I’ll share my attitude and show how I would speak to the client in a situation like this.

My personal approach is to try and include the client in as many decisions as possible and nudge them gently towards the look that myself and the DOP or director have been building. If you go in guns blazing and try and argue with them it will not end well! Remember they are the ones paying the bill at the end of the day and have the final say.  Check out the video to find out more!

– Dan

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    • Remco Hekker

      Hi Dan,

      I basically got exactly the same reaction to a grade I did a three weeks ago. The problem was it was over the email. I tried to get the client on the phone immediately to have him explain in more detail what he meant. (A lot of his comments didn’t match what I was seeing) It took me a week to get a hold of him and it really spoiled the job and probably the relationship with the client. In the end I could get the client to where he wanted to be with a couple of minor adjustments.

      It made me really hesitant about working for clients over the internet without a client coming in for grading.

      You give good advise. I will definitely check if it works the next time. Although I hope I wont need it for anytime soon.

      Kind regards,


    • Anastasia C

      Hi Dan,
      I do love this video, being english my second language I found it to be extremely challenging selling a skeptical client to a look with the right words. Also some clients are great in using the right color vocabulary while in certain instances I had to interpret meanings. True though “let’s split the differences” works!

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