Adding a Bit of Colour to Darkness

Sitting in with the Colourist

I thought I would just be observing Danny work as I did with Tom the audio mixer. But no, Danny introduced himself and sat me down beside him and began going through everything from the machines to how you should go about starting a grade on a show. It was fantastic.

I have never had to negotiate so much at once when editing before and that alone was a lot to take in. Danny was extremely considerate in trying to teach me the basics, in essence he explained how the basis of setting up a graded scene in a show and the main principles to look out for. He also explained how certain styles fit certain genres and some of the key points and issues to look out for when grading. What I did notice was how fast he was as grading a scene. He was so fast, it was probably a bit of showing off I’m sure, however they do have to be very quick, time is money baby!

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Colour grading is one area of post-production I would love to get into, I find it a really beautiful part of video editing, it is here where you give the video the atmosphere and feel with the colour

He explained his particular workflow and we worked on a particular clip from a discovery channel show as he tried out different techniques with me. He likes to layer each change on top of each other so he can tell exactly what he has done. This is because colour grading is not just tweaking the colour, but you’re manipulating all different aspects of the video; from the complexion of someone’s face to how much of the clouds are visible. It can become utterly unmanageable if you lose control of even a single change you make. Creativity is not just about being imaginative…but also highly organised, not quite as glamorous a trait but essential none the less.

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