From The Grading Room - Knowing When To Start From Scratch

From The Grading Room – Knowing When To Start From Scratch

March 8, 2017

Sometimes when grading you end up going in totally the wrong direction have to just stop what your doing and start from scratch.


Sometimes you have to throw in the towel and start again at the beginning


As you all know I love sharing experiences from my grading room. The experiences and challenges are what I feel make me a better grader. Sometimes it’s not a hero story of an amazing grade and clients 100% pleased first time, but something a little trickier to conquer.

I’d like to share one of these mildly bad ones that I turned around to make the best of. Hopefully you will, when faced with a similar situation, realise that sometimes it’s OK to throw in the towel and start from scratch……..Sometimes it works out for the best.

The Situation

A couple of weeks ago I was grading with a friend of mine and to put it lightly I messed up. Actually if i’m being honest I screwed it up royally!

He came to me with a reference that he was quite passionate about and, due to a few minor technical issues with going towards that look, I pushed him in a different direction. The look was great, but not what he’d asked for in his original references.

Luckily the story has a happy ending as he called up the next day and was polite but honest with me.

He expressed a disappointment in the final look and asked if there was a possible ‘quick fix’ grade we could put across the top to push it towards Jake’s initial reference.

I knew that applying a grade on top would end up with a half baked look in between both grades, at this point I knew the only thing that could be done to save the grade and give the client what he wanted was to start again.

I immediately offered a re-grade on the house, which pleased the client and also made me feel less bad about the balls up!

In the end I spend around 14 hours grading the video between the two grades.

14 hours is quite a lot of time for a music video, but I always pride myself in clients being happy with my work and would rather spend the extra time for personal pride also. At the end of the day, the job has my name on it. I don’t want it going out the door if i’m not happy and the client isn’t happy.

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