Working as a colour grader: A JMC grads story

Film and TV Production graduate Brad Cumming discusses his work as a colour grader and building his own company.brad2.jpg

Since graduating from JMC Academy, I have set up my own office space in South Melbourne called Phoenix Post, with my partner who is also a JMC alumni. We took out a small business loan, did some small business owner training and bought all the equipment we needed to work for ourselves. We do mostly corporate work, with the odd commercial and narrative short film jobs.

“My job is a mixture of creative and technical troubleshooting. My official title is an Online Editor/Colourist, so I’m expected to know how to piece all the bits together after the offline edit (Graphics, Subs, VFX, Sound Mix etc) as well as conform and grade the material.

It can get very tricky as you can imagine, formats and workflows don’t stop changing and there is always issues to troubleshoot. I have always been more of a techy than say a writer, so the role is fantastic in that regard for me plus I get to have a creative outlet with the grading.


Getting to grips with the gear in our #FilmProduction classes😎 📷@khsargenius

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I always say that grading is the last chance a director has to be creative with the imagery, so it is very important if they want to convey their story to their audience. A good grade is one that isn’t noticed, but felt visually.“ - Brad's interview by Australian Video Camera

JMC really helped prepare me for the industry, mostly by pushing me to take advantage of every opportunity that came around when I was there. I was fully supported and encouraged to do a lot of volunteer work, work experience and push my skills that became invaluable once I was out of the school environment. The film industry in Australia is quite small and very competitive, so you need to be extremely proactive and have intuitive if you want to succeed in your field. 

My favourite part of JMC has to be the lecturers and support staff, who were all very supportive and genuinely want their students to succeed.  I also always liked that JMC fosters students to mingle and collaborate with different areas (music, animation etc) so for a student filmmaker you have plenty of avenues to be creative.

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