The Unsung Art Form of Color Grading

taken color
By  · Published on November 22nd, 2017

I give this video an A+.

Color grading is one of those aspects of film that people in the industry take for granted and the people watching the movies don’t know exists. Establishing a black balance across multiple shots that may not be lit by the cinematographer the exact same way or fine tuning the sun brightness is something owed almost entirely to the colorist.

A video essay by Sareesh Sudhakaran shows some of the small trade tricks that argue for a colorist’s invaluable contribution to filmmaking while giving the rest of us something to look for when something with the visuals just isn’t right. Maybe, now that we know a little bit about color matching, it has something to do with continuity of color.

Experts talking about their niche, one that tweaks cinema to what we’re familiar with viewing and not the first draft raw footage that everyone gets before post-production, is one of the best things about this industry – and Sudhakaran is eloquent enough a narrator and skilled enough an editor to make it accessible for everyone.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).