Colorist Inspiration – January 2021

January 15, 2021

Dan looks back at a rollercoaster 2020 and his most memorable moments. Then he looks forward to a new color grading suite he's building.

Day 15: 24 Insights in 24 Days New Year Marathon

We Survived 2020!

Long time members of Mixing Light know that I’m quite fond of checking out my own progress at the start of a new year. I find that it helps me see whether I’ve grown as a colourist, if I used my knowledge as best as possible, whether there are techniques I’ve forgotten that I could pick up once again, and to identify areas I have weakened in and need strengthening.

Looking back at 2020 is a totally different feeling. I did some nice work, bought a baselight and took on an office space. I should be incredibly happy!

However, this year has come with some massive challenges with Covid and I’ve found it harder to celebrate achievements this year than I normally would have. As an independent colourist, it’s been a struggle to keep on trucking, staying positive and paying the bills. The most important thing is I made it through in one piece and I’m starting this year with renewed energy and hoping for a more settled year.

Cancelled productions meant dry spells in grade bookings, followed by huge peaks when people could shoot again. Coupled with lots of general mayhem caused by working from home lead to new challenges nobody could have predicted.

Traditionally these Insights are about my most interesting or best grades of the year.

This year I’m mixing it up a little bit and talking about more than just the grades and celebrating some of the little victories too.

If there is a particular project you’d like to see broken down here just let me know and I’ll do my best to get permission to do so.

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Homepage Forums Colorist Inspiration – January 2021

  • Tobia Montanari

    Having been a tough year, it’s great to read articles that share positive vibes.
    All in all, I feel like the colorist community grew even stronger and adapted well to the “Zoom Life” (the Colorist Mixer has been a fantastic experience!)
    I really fancy how your new studio is taking shape, can’t wait to see the final result! I’m currently in a similar situation, fine-tuning the studio where I moved mid-2020.
    Regarding the “project breakdown”, I would love to watch an insight of how you graded both Architects’ projects. I’m a big fan of the band and of your work, so it would be a real pleasure to see a full “Behind The Curtain” 🙂 Thanks for sharing your 2020 Dan, hope that 2021 will be an even better year! Cheers.

  • Dylan H

    Dan, is that a FSI XM311K or a XM310K you have? Just curious.
    Cheers Dylan

  • Dan Moran

    I have a 311k sir! Absolutely love it. I actually forgot to mention I finished the live concert in HDR also in case it goes on a streaming platform in the future.

  • Dan Moran

    It’s such a hard battle finishing a studio isn’t it! I made a lot of rushed decisions in my current setup and have had a few issues so I want to make sure I plan this one super carefully. Always happy to share what I’m doing with my studio if you wanted to chat through any of your fine tuning. I’ll get right on the Behind The Curtain series for the live shows as it’s such a fun one

  • Dylan H

    We just had a shootout day and tried out a number of HDR mastering monitors side-by-side.
    – FSI XM311K , FSI XM310K, Sony BVM-HX310, Canon DP-V3120 and Eizo CG3146
    The Dual Layer LCD monitors were all very good, including your choice, the XM311K.
    Just hoping for larger panel sizes soon. 31″ is extremely small. However I understand that could take a little while.
    Which client “TV” did you land on? Is that a Panasonic OLED above your FSI? (could not figure it out from your photo). We are trying out the Panasonic HZ2000 for this purpose (arriving shortly). Cheers Dylan

  • Tobia Montanari

    Hi Dan, apparently I had missed on the reply! Sorry for that.
    Not only is it a hard battle, but it’s also my first studio so I believe there are still things I’ll have to figure out. Would be a pleasure to chat about that.
    Looking forward to that Behind The Curtain! 🙂

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