Colorist Inspiration – What Makes A Good Colorist?

May 8, 2016

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A topic that came up time and time again while meeting lots of awesome colorists at NAB this year was :

How did you come up with the look for ______


man I never would have been able to come up with such an awesome look that you did on job _____

The truth is that I don’t really come up with the look consciously…it just kind of happens!

Why Don’t My Grades Look As Good As The Revenant?

Time Time Time!

Grading is such a tricky profession and art due to it heavily relying on the source material and the work completed on set.

I can sit down the night before a grade knowing the director / the dop / the product featured / read the script and make my best educated guess in what direction they are going to take the look.

I can even pull stills from lots of action movies and practice matching them and have a concrete idea set in my mind.


As soon as I conform the project and they sit down things will probably end up being totally different from what I expected.

They might be upset with the art direction, lighting issues or even lens choice.

As soon as things like those creep into a session you enter into an adventure that you never quite know where you will end up.

The look is a living organic adventure that sometimes is a mild process and simple manipulation of the primary controls.

Sometimes it’s a wild beast and we add tons of layers and crazy adjustments and techniques to deliver some crazy but beautiful results.

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