The Art of Color Grading

The Art of Color Grading

hi I'm sorry stood eccrine and in this video I'll share with you my feelings about color grading and why colourists are important a colorist has three major weapons and all three have a tremendous influence on the story being told in fact after watching this video you'll be amazed as to how they don't have an Oscar category yet for colorist the first major weapon of the colorist is continuity even a big-budget movie shots are not always exposed evenly or maybe the balance is off the lighting is slightly different or the lenses have changed sometimes the DP has changed or maybe the DP hasn't changed but they are shooting six months apart so the DP has changed if this is true in big-budget productions then what about 99% of the rest are all the black levels the same from shot to shot does the Sun look equally bright in both summer scenes is that red dress just as vibrant from the night scenes of the day scene is it the same blue on the blu-ray as in the cinema screen or on your iPhone only the colorist really knows color is a subjective response of light hitting our eyes they say physical objects have no color it's all in our brain yet we are able to see slight variances if they're close to one another but nobody can tell if they're the same blue even if it's a few minutes apart in the movie not even the colorist unless he or she is a good colorist and then they will make sure it is so you get your money's worth or blue this attention to detail gives us an otago for confidence because their vision will be represented consistently even if they are not consistent their exposure mistakes will be corrected by an angel sitting behind the color panel whose name won't appear in the title credits like a mother the colorist cleans up the teenager's room so they can screw it up again the second major weapon of the colorist is separation cemet ographers like to create depth in the frame through composition and light colorists can do that with color even if the production designer hasn't they can isolate color and get them to stand out a pale actor can look healthy and good makeup can look great they could put shadows where the Sun was shining and cast light where the Sun don't shine by one swish of a coloring wheel a scene can be warm or cool or both they can create shapes where none existed and can isolate subjects as well as a lens the third major weapon of the colorist is color this is where they fly the ability to add change or remove color so infinitely powerful they can subtly shift your understanding of the story in ways you can't imagine a sea can be dull overcast somber it can be night or day if it's a great day the waters can be deep blue cheerful with hope if it's an adventurous day it can be green with the possibility of danger or yellow where some evil is lurking or red where death is afoot the skies can be dark ready to thwart your mission or may be flashing daring you to go further the colorist can do all of this and more they can create beauty hide ugliness create worlds or make it more natural with so much power at their disposal why isn't the position of colorist given so much prominence I thought filmmaking was a collaborative medium then why is it that this important person working in the darkness at 3:00 a.m. whose eyes we value so much is swept under the red carpet if somebody is willing and capable to add so much value to your movie then pay more attention to them give them a little more time and money after they're done with your pet project you'll start to believe you made something better than you really did that person is the colorist if you feel similarly hit like if you don't then go ahead and hit dislike but don't you dare go away without doing anything who took the color away from your life


  • Theo Gomes Oliveira says:

    isnt it all part of cinematography? why would it need an exclusive oscar category?

  • Bart Nelis says:

    I started watching (and enjoying !) your youtube video's … I don't have a background in filming and wonder what DP stands for ? thx.

  • Matt Black says:

    I absolutely loved this video! One question just for my own curiosity, I've always been told that O Brother Where Art Thou was the first digitally color graded film, that movie came out after Titanic. Was Titanic color graded or was that just the film stock and processing?

  • Luke Cypert says:

    Yeah, give me more money.

  • Kirk Watson says:

    so very true:)

  • MrPod says:

    You make it look like colorists make huge decisions about the film look and feel, wich they don't. They can contribute with insight obviously, but the visual feel of a scene is determined by the DP and the Director and Colorists put that into practice with color manipulation.


    Question? Which editing software is better Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve studio 15?

  • Matthew Law says:

    I think showing the boat on the ocean with various color gradings really demonstrated the affect on the emotions of a scene

  • rakesh rakz says:

    One of the most important video for an aspiring filmmaker. It changed my view about cinematography. Thank you sareesh.

  • Daniel Borges says:

    Excellent. Agree 100%

  • Stubborn R says:

    Great video!
    If you understand Telugu and want to know more about Colour Grading, watch this
    It's an interview with DI of Baahubali movies.

  • Ruben Sarian says:

    This was epic

  • Maxipouce Maxippouce says:

    What is the asian movie (very colorful) that you use for example?

  • Pierce Kafka says:

    We need to stop trying to think of being able to give more awards and start working on less. Instead of best actress and actor categories just have one.

  • Taylor says:

    what is that first film that you showed with the yellow leaves? looks amazing!

  • Pratik Sarkar says:

    Hey wolfcrow would you like to put some color grading tutorials on YouTube??

  • Prasad Kannan says:

    26k views and 1k likes – 34 dislikes???? 25k people who enjoyed this video in Black and White….

  • Peter Kent says:

    Sareesh thank you, you make the best points and hold us all to a higher standard.

  • Rakesh Raut says:

    I am totally agreed. Filmmaking is not a one-man thing. It's a company. A collaborated work. Though I am an Actor, Director, Editor and even DSLR cinematographer; I know the dedication and importance of each part of the filmmaking process. Color grading is really a great tool to take care of all the mess up about light while shooting. That's why we shoot in the desaturated raw footage. The colorist is the person who gets the looks out from it and keeps the lighting continuity. It is Art. It should be Considered and get awarded.

  • Jayasri M Hart says:

    Very nicely done, Sareesh. I'm not sure Oscars really are a good measure of craft but, yes, Colorist should be at least a technical category. BTW, do you know a good tutorial to create separation (your point 2) between foreground and background?

  • BARNEY ELO - Filmmaking Business, Tipps und mehr says:

    You're right with everything 👌

  • truefilm says:

    Awesome as always! I'd add that a great "colorist" (the correct word of course) can even do miracles with black and white films – and create moods, textures, light, shapes….. spot-on out of a low contrast original file.

  • Helmet says:

    Always great content Wolfcrow! I must confess it's a delight to receive a notification from your channel. I'll be much more grateful if you can enlist the movies you used as references in this video.

  • Temple Horses says:

    I'm doing the color grading for the first time on my next short film and I never appreciated the creativity of the form. It is really important and I agree. It should have its own category.

  • UMESH CD says:

    Great video…. Thanks……

  • Paul Limbo says:

    Awesome video as always! such knowledge and depth to all videos you make! Thank you for this.

  • Fwuzeem says:

    I'm not convinced. It's a bit like a mastering engineer not being credited when the album gets released. They essentially do the same job, but for visuals. Overuse of colour grading gives this homogeneous look where nothing truly stands out. Those blue eyes are the same as the door behind them, and the orange in the explosion is the same as the fill light on everyone's face.

  • Loro .H says:

    Wow, have you been dissapointed recently Sareesh? ^^ Anyway, nice video and i agree!

  • Arsh The Filmmaker & Editor says:

    You know what a spectacular video and well need though becoz colorist have rights whata you says is absolutely dam right colorist give life to your ugly death footage but no awards in category no good amount of money sure this video can change the minds of ppls. You speeks the voices of colorist best man you are the best

  • FilmMagician says:

    got a bit preachy at the end lol. Also editors have been known to be the colorist as well

  • JOSHWRB says:

    I not only hit the like button but I hit the subscribe button too. Color is way to important. Thanks for this video. Can't wait to see what else you have to tell me.

  • apaar jain says:

    Waiting for an educational video on color grading..

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