Outstanding Color Grading

Colorist Inspiration – September 2017

September 30, 2017

Dan shares his inspiration for this month by checking out the nominations for Outstanding Color Grading at the HPA awards


Colorist Inspiration – September 2017

The ‘Outstanding Color Grading – Commercial’ HPA award nominees have been announced, and it’s heavily dominated by the colorists at Company 3.

There are also nominations for ‘Television and Feature Film’ grading, but in this insight i’m going to focus on the commercial aspect as that’s the area I know best.

I’m incredibly jealous of these grades because in my heart I would grade more in this style like this if I could. This is because they all have a common trait. They are dark. The levels are not maxed out to 100, the midtones wound up all the way to increase the ambient light and the shadows are rich and almost heavy in some grades.

My grades in the past week have been plagued with clients freaking out about the offline being brighter than the grade and 9 times out of 10 I’ve been forced to grade things brighter than I’d like. If more of these dark grades came across my desk i’d be a very happy man.

Watching all these nominees has inspired me to share a new insight on grades that I would have liked to release versus what actually went out – expect that insight out in the coming weeks.

I understand that as a colourist we are paid to help other peoples’ work look as good as possible. Normally myself, the DOP and the Director are all aligned in our vision but we have to make concessions for the marketing department from the company, who (rather more often then i’d like) will push our vision aside and asks for 20% brighter.

Lets move on to the nominations!


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Homepage Forums Colorist Inspiration – September 2017

  • I think that the difficulties that had to overcome Dave Hussey nobody had to, all the white and the yellow of the car. It’s must be a nightmare. Those are skills that only the best have.

    Coming from filmmaking, I really admire the artistic result of Jose Cuervo “Last days”. It’s so cinematic and I can feel how Tom Poole improved perfectly the production design and the Dop job. It’s seems a short film more than an Ad.

    BTW my choice is the same as yours.
    John’s journey is the perfect balance between a filmic and a spot look, not to moody in the low, but not too edgy as well on the overall contrast and high lights.
    I was really impressed about the last scene when John Malkovich walks along the river in the darkness.
    It’s dark, but all the colors are there, keeping enough saturation and contrast, not showing noise. Masterpiece. Bravo.

  • Peter Brewer

    Loved them all but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Jose Cuervo Last Days 🙂

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