Looking Back On The Past Decade & Forward To The Next One

January 1, 2020

In this episode, we discuss the past decade and speculate on the next 10 years in the world of color grading.

Day 1: 24 Insights In 24 Days – 2020 New Year Marathon!

From The MailBag Episode 79

It’s Been A Wild 10 Years. What Do The Next 10 Have In-Store?

It’s that time of year again!  Our annual New Year Marathon!  For those of you not familiar with the Marathon – every day for the next 24 days we’ll be publishing an Insight.  In addition to Robbie, Patrick & Dan, many of our most popular contributors like Joey D’Anna, Katie Hinson and others will be participating.

The Marathon is not only a great way to infuse a whole bunch of Insights into the library, but it’s a great way to get the Mixing Light year started!  2019 was an odd year for team Mixing Light with lots of big life/work changes. In 2020, we’re excited to deliver new Insights on a regular schedule, and will be changing some key aspects of the site – more on that at a future date!  We start out this episode with a little more discussion about the Marathon.

This time of year is also about reflection about the year gone by and looking forward to the next one – but in this case, it’s not just a new year, it’s a new decade! Patrick, Dan and I thought for this episode it’d be fun to talk about the past 10 years and all that’s happened in the world of color and to speculate on the next 10 years.  Have a listen – it’s a fun installment of From The Mailbag.

The Past 10 Years

The past 10 years have been, well, amazing for color.  At the start of the decade, real-time color systems cost $100k plus, HD and 2k were the norm, with 4k a ‘newish’ thing for most.

In the fall of 2009, Blackmagic announced their acquisition of DaVinci Systems and at NAB 2010 released DaVinci Resolve into the wild.

This release changed the world of color grading. While a couple of years before Apple’s Color (formerly Silicon Color) had brought sophisticated color grading to the masses, the release of Resolve 7 brought ‘heavy iron’ color grading to anyone willing to pay $995 and had a Mac (Resolve was also initially available from BMD as a Linux turnkey).  Over the decade BMD’s development of Resolve was fast and furious with new features and what could be even looked at as new applications within the application emerged.

The past decade also saw the rapid development acquisition and quality of video. The decade started out with uncompressed HD and 2k being top end with some brave souls taking on 4k workflows and ended with UHD/4k being the norm and 8k and HDR quickly becoming accessible to all.

A lot more happened in the past decade of course and we’ll discuss many of those things in the Mailbag.

The Next 10 Years

Predictions are hard…I mean aren’t we supposed to have flying cars by now?

The speed and power of the Internet will continue (we think) to be a guiding force in our industry – not just for collaboration and production/post workflows, but pushing the edges of content delivery – just like Netflix, Amazon & Disney Plus are doing now, the ability to push 4k, 8k HDR, etc to your home via a fast pipe is only going to get better.

Of course, technology and creative approaches to new workflows like HDR are going to improve, but the thing we see the next 10 years really being dominated by is machine learning.  We already see machine learning in small chunks in our tools – the auto reframe tool in Premiere Pro, Face Detection/Refinement in Resolve just to name a couple. Our belief is that in the next decade the power of machine learning tools will grow exponentially – from making quick work of conforms to more visual color grading sans knobs & buttons.

While we’re probably 90% wrong about what this new decade will hold, take a listen to hear our speculations.

Have A Question For Team Mixing Light?

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Enjoy the MailBag!


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Homepage Forums Looking Back On The Past Decade & Forward To The Next One

  • R Neil Haugen

    DOP: “We shot it RAW … !”

    Robbie: “But you didn’t use lights!

    Yea, seems to be the current situation. People want “the film look” … which was mostly created in-camera, as you had to “back then”. So the DOP, the director, the lighting *crew*, set design … all had to work to create the hues/tones/shadows/highlights on-set. From all the discussions I’ve been around the last couple years, there’s such a common theme … most sets are not nearly as tightly defined prior to shooting as they used to be, and the post staff is expected to compensate. With one caveat … in maybe 2/rds of the time they’d have taken ten years ago for the Job. Or less.

    As to the “finishing” part that is more common for colorists … how much time do you spend these days making sure the speed-ramps and credits all “work” compared to say even five years ago?

    But our tools are so amazing these days, aren’t they? Will be interesting to see “where we go” for certain.

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