How one colorist emulates a 'Vintage' color correction Look.

Inspired By Mini 2018 – How One Colorist Emulates A Vintage Look

April 27, 2018

We've all seen amazing commercials and films that inspire us, but how do we turn that into color corrections that we can use on our own projects? Dan shares his approach to being inspired by a recent award-nominated color grade.


What Can We Learn From An Amazing Grade?

I’ve been listing my favourite grades that I’ve been inspired by here on Mixing Light for quite some time but I’ve never tried to emulate them.

I guess the reason is that you really can’t take a look and just apply it on your footage. There are so many factors that go into the final look: Art Direction, Costumes, Props, Lens Choice, Camera Choice, Time Of Day, Contrast Ratio Of The Lighting etc..

I could go on all day on why the same look will never look exactly like the original reference!

That is where the Inspired By title comes from. I’m taking the best bits of these award-winning grades and ask: What can I take from this to make my grades better? And it’s the process I use when actually emulating a Look – because it’s never a straight copy. I’m just riffing on the theme to fit the footage at hand. And in this Insight I picked a commercial from the 2018 British Arrow Awards, which I featured in a previous Insight.

Inspired By: The Faith of a Few | Mini, John Cooper Works

Mini ‘The Faith of a Few’ from Daniel Wolfe on Vimeo.

ColoristSimon Bourne @ Framestore 

In this Insight we’ll be taking a look at this gorgeous commercial. It’s far easier to explain in the video insight below. We cover topics like:

  • Aspect Ratio
  • Grain Structure
  • Softness
  • Contrast and Levels
  • Emulating The Tools From That Era
  • Taking That Look Onto Our Own Digitally Shot Footage

Now, let’s jump to the videotape and see if I can get inspired!


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