Coloring: Correction & Color Grading
coloring is an essential process for every project.
Lets start with getting these jobs correctly named as it can be quite confusing to all but the true film professionals.
Coloring a film, making it look realistic, giving its "look and feel" its added "dimension of emotions with an artistic or stylized look" is all about immersing the film or video viewer more into the telling of the story. Colors can make the onscreen persona look cold or warm, safe or scary. Coloring is consider from the beginning to the end of the movie-making process. Even for a corporate video.
Pre-production. This is where the script writer and Director make decisions about the finished look of the film
Production. This is where the Director of Photography makes sure the cameras are set up to catch the most information in the form of light and pixels into the camera that they require, to achieve the final look. Also the Director can add light-shaping techniques, gels and filters to change the desired look.
Post-production. This is where we are focused on now.
The Post-production Coloring process comprises two interdependent processes.
Color Correction: Over simplified, this can be described as making sure every scene in the film is correctly color matched. i.e. You might have several shots in a single scene with multiple cameras. The end result could be different colors based upon position of camera in relationship to light or even using different types / brands of cameras. Each shot must match in color the following shot to make a single scene look the same. It can also be that the natural colors at the location might not be the desired colors due to seasonal environment changes. Or you can be filming over several days and the weather has gone from sunny to overcast, but you need all the footage to look like it was filmed within a period of 5 or 10 minutes.
Color Grading: Setting the style or mood within a film or project
When Requesting a quotation, please provide answers to these questions below.
are you wanting color grading, coloring or both?
What type of assignment is it? (Documentary, Feature Film, TV Episode, TVC, etc)
How long is the film?
What is the file size?
What is the final resolution? (4K, 2K FHD)
How many scenes are in the film? (average 80-160)
Is it a single file or delivered in individual rushes?
If rushes, are these selected rushes, or all rushes?
Will we be receiving "conformed reels" or EDL's?
Will we be receiving "textless" and "fade-free" materials without "fancy transitions"?, or otherwise. Please clarify.
What emotion or tone are you considering or want to portray?
What format is the film content in when you deliver it to us?
How will you deliver the content to us?
What format do you want us to return the film in? (MFX or other file type)
Please provide any other information you consider relevant.
Our Color Correction & Color Grading Workflow (Simplified)
Necessary adjustments to exposure
Fine tune the dynamic range
Balance the color
Match the shots
Create a specific look
Price & Time
We quote by the day. 15,000.00 THB day (About US$500.00 day) There are many issues that might take longer to grade a project. But we do have guideline based on no major issues. Minimum billable time is 2 days. Don't forget that time is also required for evaluating the film, rendering the film, transferring the film to a deliverable media and discussing the project with the client.
To give a quote, other than the guide below. If you are happy with our price structure then send us a copy of the film/project so we may quote.
All pricing excludes 7% VAT
HOW LONG TO GRADE?
TWO HOUR FEATURE FILM | ten days | 150,000.00 THB +
Ten days of grading gives you time to create looks that supplement the story, as well as giving you time to fix issues, match cameras and add VFX when they arrive. Conform or render are things that need to be factored into your quote, maybe at a lesser rate. Ten days gives you enough time to explore the options and time to change things if after review you or your clients find the grade doesn’t fit.
45 MINUTE DOCUMENTARY | two days | 30,000.00 THB +
Docos can be troublesome to grade, especially if lots of different formats are used. This can also impact on the actual grading time, as matching lots of formats can be time-consuming. Normally the grading will be more straightforward, as most docos don’t have specific looks or styles. In that case, one day might be enough.
Doco clients normally like to attend the grade and are often very close to the project
45 MINUTE TV DRAMA | two days | 30,000.00 THB +
TV drama is most impacted by the number of cuts in the show. Often the DP or director will be shooting while you are grading, so they will be unable to attend. Looks for each location will be set in an initial grading session, typically on show one of the series or the pilot. This means grading alone, then doing a producer screening when the grade is finished.
I normally try and get a balanced grade on the whole show during day one. I then review at the start of day two. Sometimes you’ll see some scenes differently, so it’s a good chance to change things. It’s then time to start adding nice touches like little windows or light glows.
Grab the producers after lunch and hopefully, the rest of the afternoon is spent adding final touches, not re-grading!
30 SECOND TELEVISION COMMERCIAL (TVC) | four to five hours | 30,000.00 THB +
The early stages of a TVC grade are often the most important, as we search for a ‘look’ for the commercial. Colouring with a number of clients in the room often slows things down. Make sure you get a verbal lock-off on the look. The last thing you want to hear after two hours of slogging away is “I’m not sure we have the right look for this commercial”.
30 SECOND REMOTE TVC | four hours alone to grade | 30,000.00 THB +
If I get sent a 30-second TVC via the internet, I normally charge three hours for the grade with a one hour buffer that we may or may not need.
After two hours I will upload an H.264 Work in Progress (WIP) version. Get the feedback via phone, Skype or e-mail, then use the final hour to make the changes.
Maybe send one more WIP, then finish. I always send the WIP version to myself so I can review on my laptop or iPad, the same way the client will.
You can play ‘grading Ping Pong’ all day long, pinging versions back and forth. This isn’t ideal so boundaries need to be set.
I don’t charge for the download and upload time as I am normally doing this in the background. Factor in file sizes and your internet speed, especially when you have a tight deadline.
THREE MINUTE BRANDED CONTENT | six hours to grade | 30,000.00 THB +
I am getting more and more branded content films. These are primarily for the internet and trade shows. Imagine Hugh Jackman has a contract with BMW who wants a two to three-minute narrative film that shows the vehicle in a stylish way. It must have TVC-type production values without the budget. Often you will see a TV 30 seconds with additional three-minute branded content filmed.
FOUR MINUTE MUSIC VIDEO | four hours to grade…or how long is a piece of string?” | 30,000.00 THB +
Music videos can be very difficult to quote. Strong looks, lots of cuts, and matching VFX shots are all factors in how long it will take. Music videos traditionally have a strong visual style, which makes it harder to create and in turn harder to match.
Above: Getting the color as it should look
Above: Changing the seasons.
Color Grading: Is where the film is colored according the the look and feel that the Director wants to achieve in the telling of his story.
How filmmakers manipulate our emotions using color
Different coloring techniques imbues different emotional responses to an image
Below. Changing the color to add a specific stylistic look to the image