Color Grading In Spectachrome – Going Full Wes Anderson Part One

August 9, 2019

Dan cracks open another project fresh from the grading suite. In this part we take a look at the Spectachrome brief & project organisation.


Commonly Requested…Rarely Executed

Welcome to a new series of Insights where I break down the grading in Spectachrome (totally made up by the way) of a recent project for the Tens sunglasses company.

The name Wes Anderson comes up in a grading suite approximately every 42 seconds but most of the time the cinematography and art direction are rarely there to support it.

Most people don’t realise how much of Wes Anderson’s style comes from the framing, timing and most importantly the art direction.

I’ve graded a few projects that are a hat tip to Wes and his unique colour palettes and had some bold colours but rarely has a job come up that has the full package.

Luckily thanks to a lucky situation where the Director Tom Welsh is also the client/creator of the Spectachrome world so I can share this wonderful job with you.

New Camera Format

Another great thing about this job is that it features a camera that I’ve only worked with a couple of times.

The Fuji XT-3

I think it’s safe to say this is not an Alexa or Red level camera but it is 4K 10bit 4:2:2 which makes grading a lot easier than working with 8bit cameras.

I’ll cover the challenges of this particular camera in a dedicated Insight in this series as it has a few quirks and areas you need to be careful of.

In The Video Insight Below We Take A Look At:

  • The Source Material
  • The Brief
  • How I Set Up The Grade Project
  • The Creative Goals Of Emulating Something Shot On 16mm Film

Questions Please!

I’m always extra excited to hear comments on these Insights as I can make sure to cover any questions in the next part.


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Homepage Forums Color Grading In Spectachrome – Going Full Wes Anderson Part One

  • Ido S

    Great insight! I would be really interested if you could talk about grading dslr/dslm footage, and how you maximize the footage’s potential. I am a GH5 owner myself, so if you have any expirence with that camera I would be more than happy to hear about your tips on grading its footage.

  • Bernd G

    Good you still your grading insights, its been a while. Mxing Light has become too tech focused and less creative. So I really look forwoard to creative input. If you could coment on the short comings compared to a FS7 oder even Red.

  • Jaemie M

    Do you bother with noise reduction before regraining?

  • James L

    I watched Spectrachrome full screen and have to say that you’ve done a fanatic job! That gate weave is subtle, but it’s there and adds a lovely polish to the effect.

    I’d love to know more about how you developed the two different looks for before and after.

  • Jason Bowdach

    Hey Dan, love where this insight series is going and look forward to seeing the full breakdown.

    It’s a pretty interesting idea about adding grain in the pre-clip area! I’m a bit curious exactly what effect the softensharpen treatment does tho? Just making it more “crunchy”? Also, any specific reason for using FilmConvert as the soften method?

  • Sebastian R

    Love it! I’m looking forward to see the full grading breakdown, especially what you’re doing in pre-clip/post-clip. Why do you add grain first and then resharpen? So you sharpen the grain as well don’t you?

  • Matt J

    I second this, would like to hear the reasoning/thought process for Pre-clip grain!

  • Matt J

    Also not sure if this has been covered in a previous insight but would be interested to hear about your ‘group’ style of grading. Haven’t encountered this before, but would be interested to see how it’s been useful on this project.

  • Aaron H

    Looks like this insight’s video tutorial is missing.

  • Kim L

    It’s still missing. I contacted them about it, and I’ve not had a response yet. I’m doing the 7 day trial, so this isn’t exactly the greatest first experience with them…

  • Robbie Carman

    Hi Kim & Aaron –

    Thanks for the bump the video is back in place. We’ve recently moved over 1000 pieces of a content to a new back end and this one and a few others slipped the the cracks.

    Kim, thank you for your email similar issues we’re addressing them – we hadn’t responded yet cause we wanted them all fixed. Thanks for your understanding and I we’ve located the other couple missing bits.

  • Kim L

    Thanks for fixing it quickly!

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