Picture grading course at Colour Training – Resolve 101

Mytherapy Grading 101 course Dado Valentic

Dado Valentic in action – Mytherapy

I recently went on the Resolve 101  grading course at Colour Training in London. Grading basically means adding colour to RAW digital video footage, but having been on the course I can now say it means a lot more then that…

As a director, I get involved in a lot of different projects: from micro budget and no budget shooting, to full TV commercials and terrestrial TV series and when I’ve got the budget I always turn to Dado Valentic at Mytherapy for my grading and finishing. We first met when I was shooting small fashion films for brands, right at the birth of the fashion industry deciding how to cope with moving image. The problem of course was how to make relatively low budget video look good next to incredible high end stills. Dado of course worked it out and in doing so, made me look good. So I kept returning to him as the workflows became more complex and the need for exemplary grading more vital. For a director knowing what can be done in the grade is very useful, we occasionally have to turn to our graders to change substandard shots into workable shots – perhaps we had too little time on set or the lighting wasn’t thought through enough – whatever, it happens! But these guys really earn their money by bringing artistry into the production mix, raising what we’ve captured and fixing what we got slightly wrong. So why would it be important for a director to actually go on Dado’s grading course? For me it wasn’t about learning how to fix things. It was about learning the science behind digital colour;  how to look at shot or scene with a colourist’s eye and thinking more in advance about the scenes themselves. It was about what emotion was playing out for the viewer to interpret and how to use colour and light to help this emotion punch through. I’ll often talk in broad terms with Dado. when he’s grading, about the look I want to achieve in post: we did the slightly orange skin tones with teal and blue blacks for the Vestiaire Collective ad we worked on last year. It was a noir-ish, cartoonish commercial. Now I understand what else Dado did when he was grading the sequence and that knowledge is going to feed back into my work.

Grading 101 did teach me a lot of technical stuff which I’d half understood before (a dangerous position to be in!) and by the end of the course I felt I could do much of the basic grading with a proper understanding of what was behind it. But, (obvious though it is) I now realise more fully that colourists are artists with their own styles, unique palettes and interpretation. It’s what makes my job and all our jobs in the industry so fulfilling: we get to be creative, work with talented people and ultimately make something together that is better then what we could achieve on our own. And we keep learning, which is the greatest gift of all – if you’re into the moving image then do the Grading course… It’ll make you a better director.

Video Marketing – Behind the Scenes Filming

Video marketing is all about making your video content go further and reach a wider audience. If you are investing in Video then consider adding a Behind the Scenes (BTS) element. A bit like the ‘bloopers’ that are run in the film credits at the end of a movie, BTS filming has become a staple of the media landscape.

Short BTS clips represent an honesty and authenticity in marketing, which is incredibly valuable to any business that seeks to build its reputation and foster goodwill. Market research tells us that consumers want open and transparent communications from a brand about how their products are sourced and made, but few feel that brands are delivering in this area. A recent study (from Cohn & Wolfe) found that 63% of consumers surveyed across 12 global markets would buy from a company they consider to be authentic over and above its competitors. Moreover, 6 in 10 would recommend an authentic organisation to family and friends.

Todays consumers have an evolved understanding of media context and production, which is why it’s so fascinating to see behind the scenes. Audiences like to get ‘under the skin’ of a brand or service to find out what makes them tick. Fly-on-the-wall documentaries like this enable your customers to gain a greater understanding of your brand’s personality and serve to create a positive vibe around your products or services. We shoot BTS for clients all the time, and it is another example of how we get more mileage from video production to re-use the original material beyond your website. Short edited BTS clips 15 – 20 seconds long, can be played out via video links on all your social media platforms, from google+, facebook, twitter, pinterest to Linked In and can also be embedded in your email database mailings. 

Here’s a little edit that Giles filmed of a BTS on one of our own productions. He shot this while producing our films for Chivas – The Venture.  It’s Canon 5D footage that has been graded and tweaked in post production to give a quality filmic feel.  You can watch the final cut of the project in Our Work portfolio.



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