I've got love for you if you were born in the 80's

Mixing those looks

When grading most projects, I will always try and have a matching grade through out the piece I am working on. An audience member may notice if shots aren't matching in a scene and this can take them out of the film.  An example of this may be an exterior shot that is lit by the sun, will have the same colour temperature as other sun lit shots throughout the movie. This isn't always the case. There's a great example in the fantastic film, "Beast of No Nation". Where as the child soldiers approach the camp that they're about to attack, the colours turn from plant  life being green to a pink colour. This could be saying many things, there's lot of great articles explaining the theory of this out in the Internets. 

Huge colour change to the greens around the soliders as they get closer to the village.

Huge colour change to the greens around the soliders as they get closer to the village.


For most of the film, it was a neutral grade with warm skin tones and saturated colours. The director felt the movie needed a happy and inviting tone for the movie, something the audience can be apart of. For the ending however, he wanted to really capture that 80's. Now when I say 80's, i'm not just talking about the grade, there's lot of other things you can do to help this out. One of those things is the choice of lens you use. If I recall the DOP used vintage lenses which gave the light a nice drop off, glow and a great softness to the image. I then created a really warm look and kept the softness of the image. This would (hopefully) throw you back to the 80's.

Neutral look

Neutral look - reverse

End shot. Very warm, has a slight glow to the shot.

Warm - reverse

Warm - reverse

A super easy way to change the light temperature of an image is to use the temp tool. This is located in the secondary section of the primary wheels. It's great because it gives you a uniform colour change instead of something like changing just the gain, which would just be the whites or high lights. 

These below images were changed with the temp option, these are more exaggereated than the ones I used. It is a good example though of how much you can change a shot without breaking the image. 

Cooler tones

Warmer tones


Crisp, but not the chips

One thing you need to be careful when changing the temperature of a shot, is that it will change everything in the shot. When I think of school uniforms I always think of white shirts. After I had graded the shots, I went back and made sure that the shirts looked white. It's not something that's a deal breaker and most audience probably wouldn't even notice, but that's the point of grading. You want your grade to feel apart of the story not to draw attention to it. Small things like this, help to improve the overall look of your grade.

Ungraded shirt

Graded shirt

This was a easy and quick thing to do. By using the qualifier tool I can isolate the shirts and grade them without effecting the rest of the image. I would also use the tracking tool to make sure if the person moved the shirt would still be selected. 

Qualifier helps to narrow the area you want to grade. 

The shirt is isolated from the rest of the image, so you are only effecting the shirt.



I will probably harp on about this in every blog I do, skin tones baby! This short film was shot on a Sony F35 Camera shooting on ProRes 4444. I have to say , this is my second time grading on a high end Sony camera. The camera does really nice and natural looking skin tones. Other low or middle to low end Sony camera's do off looking skin tones. That might have something to do with the compression they use, but some camera brands do a lot better in this area than others. One way to find out how your skin tones are going to look is to do some shots in pre production in the same area or similar are as what you will be filming on the day. I say this because if you are shooting in the bush, there will be a lot more green in your image, this will effect the way your skin tones look. The sun will also put more green into your image, on a cheaper camera this will be a lot more noticeable. 


What's coming up (eventually)

At the moment i'm working on several scripts, two of them are almost done, one is close to finish and the others are future films. The next project I'm hoping to get out and shoot early next year will be a scfi short. I've never done this genre before but i'm looking forward to doing something outside the box. 

Stay tune for updates...

Drew HairComment