Colorist Inspiration – UKMVA’s Best Color Nominations

October 3, 2014

Dan showcases the best of the best in UKMVA's Best Color grading award catagory.


Colorist Inspiration – UKMVA’s Best Color Nominations

It’s that time of year again that us UK colorists love the UK Music Video Awards nominations are out!

I thought I’d celebrate with this bonus extra insight.

One of two possible awards as a UK based colorists is the UKMVA’s Best Color Grading category. The other being the British Arrows Craft Awards for Commercials.

With such few chances to be crowned one of the top colorists of the year these awards showcase the best of the best in grading here in the UK.

I’ve been chasing one of these awards myself but I think I have a few more years of practice ahead before I land one.

I thought it would be a great chance to look at the nominations for some top level color grading inspiration!

alt-J – Hunger Of The Pine

Director : Nabil

DOP : Ben Magahy

Colorist : Aubrey Woodiwiss @ Electric Theater Collective

Beautifully simple music video!

The cinematography and look drive this video with beautiful earthy tones and my favorite thing about grading these days TEXTURE!

I also love the blues in this video. Check out our leading man’s eyes for a brilliant eye color reference.

Aubrey has done a great job of adding grit and crunch into the picture without crushing any detail or making it feel over graded.


DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down for What

Director : DANIELS

DOP : Larkin Seiple

Colorist : Ricky Gausis @ MPC LA

I think this music video is hilarious! I can only imagine how complicated all those VFX layers and plates would have been to grade.

I love the pop of the blue and teals to compliment the warmth. The contrast also has a very filmic feel to it.

Extremely stylish video that I think has a chance of winning.

Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You

Director : Paul Gore

DOP : Mathieu Plainfosse

Colorist : George K @ MPC London

This video blew my mind when I watched it first. George has created a simply stunning look and I would say this video is in with a big chance of taking the award.

The color pallete is beautifully muted and only strong red’s and oranges punch through.

Brilliant filmic contrast again with deep blacks using curves to control the roll off.


Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This

Director : Paul Gore

DOP : Dan Landin

Colorist : George K @ MPC London

Another stunning video from the same director colorist combination as last time. This time around its beautiful gloss in a rugged textured environment.

Paloma looks beautiful in her performance pieces with a similar warm hair cool everything else look like we scene in her previous video.

George gets bonus points for this video as the under water section was amazing! I’ve graded some underwater fashion films and I can tell you there very difficult!!

Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky

Director : Daniel Wolfe

DOP : Robbie Ryan

Colorist : Simon Bourne @ Framestore London

I think this will be our winner this year. Simply stunning work from the long time partnership of Daniel Wolfe and Simon Bourne.

This video is just a masterpiece from start to finish.

My guess is it was shot on 35mm by the amazing irish DOP Robbie Ryan.

Its hard to explain how great this piece looks. I think when you watch it you’ll see what I mean!

Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One

Director : Luke Monaghan

DOP : Isaac Bauman

Colorist : Colorist : Ricky Gausis @ MPC LA

Classic cinema from an amazing director friend of mine Luke Monaghan.

The vintage anamorphic feel is complimented by beautifully muted saturation.

The manipulation of blues around to teal gives the video a slightly dreamy feel but is still rooted in reality.

We also get great separation between scenes. Our lady has a bright cool feel where our man has a contrasty warm feel.

Excellent work from mr Gausis.

Aim Higher!

Every year I watch all the nominations for these videos and think someday my name will be on this list.

It’s been 3 years so far and every year I look at the nominations and think none of my jobs are up to this standard…yet!

Always aim higher and think I can improve in the next year and hopefully make the cut. Having a target like this is great motivation.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the videos and which one you think will win!

– Dan

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