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.