— Remote Colorist
Upon graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design, my process was somewhat unconventional. While my college coursework was based on hand-drawn sketching, I was naturally drawn to digital tools. Photoshop drew me in; traditional illustration weeded me out.
Even though graphic design was no longer my end goal, cinematography proved to be an extension of every graphic design class I took. Composition, color theory, hierarchy — there was something all too familiar here.
Lighting, camera sensors, and exposure were all essential components of a robust digital negative. Not only did I learn how DPs think on a technical level, but I also learned how they interact with their director and crew. This was a boots-on-the-ground approach to what the industry had to offer.
The Power of Post
Out of necessity, I colored my footage. It took me back to my Photoshop roots. Assurance in Post gave us confidence on-set, proving what was possible in the final color grade.
Flagging off a hot spot would take 5 minutes on set, but handling it in the grade would take 15 seconds. Our crew could make conscious decisions, saving time and budget.
I quickly learned the general framework of building my own custom LUTs — something that greatly benefited Directors, clients, and crew. Everyone on set would see what we could accomplish in the final grade.
This stuff not only clicked, but it was greatly sought after by Directors and DPs. They desired consistency with their images as their footage entered post-production. Color was a form of communication.
Damn Good Photography
Of all the workshops and seminars that I attended over the years, one explanation stood out among the rest:
"The Secret of Hollywood" is not based upon a quality color grade or a curated LUT. Simply put: The secret of Hollywood? — damn good photography.
When a client's footage is in the hands of a skilled DP, the job of a colorist is to extract that information in a way that aligns with a Director's creative vision.
Pair that with a curated color grade — and you come away with something quite special.
I enjoy being that trusted collaborator.
That is and will continue to be my ultimate goal.