Colour Correction in film

Colour correcting is an intrinsic part of the post- production process of making your film. It has the potential to elevate a good image to a great one and can have a powerful impact on the final appearance of your work. 

This video shows the before and after footage of the independent feature film ‘The House On Pine Street’ being colour corrected by a colourist. You can see the importance and dramatic effect of the colour grading. 

Color Reel - The House On Pine Street from GradeKC on Vimeo.

Colour grading, like lighting, affects the mood and feel of a piece, set the style of the film, as well as being able to alter the presumed production value of a film. 

Source: FilmMaker Magazine 

A cinematographer will often shoot the footage in a certain way, so will sit with the colourist to guide them. The director is also often involved in the process, working together to create the look and feel they are all aiming for.

To correctly colour grade, you need to go through the process.

Start by removing artifacts and de- noise, then balance your shots by adjusting the Blacks/ mids/ whites, saturation and white balance. After this, relight the shots using power windows or masks, add gradients, diffusion, lens filters and vignettes. Finally, grade your images, simulate a film stock and resize and sharpen. 

For more tips on colour correction, check out this article by hurlblog. 

The fast colour corrector effect in Adobe Premier Pro is also very useful as a starting point to tackle any shot.

Phil Strahl is the in-house colorist at Red Bull’s Media House as tweets some great advice for fellow or potential colourists. 
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