Proper color grading is something we often take for granted in movies. Sareesh Sudhakaran from Wolfcrow shares some thoughts about color grading and why colorists are an essential part of the industry. As a matter of fact, this video might make you wonder how come there’s no an Oscar category for colorists yet.
According to Sareesh, a colorist has three major weapons, and all three have a significant influence on the story: continuity, separation and color.
Even in movies with a big budget, not all shots are consistent: the exposure is not even, the balance is off, the lenses have changed, or even the DP has changed. A good colorist knows to create consistent colors and tones throughout the entire movie. This gives a cinematographer confidence because they can be sure their vision will be represented accurately and consistently.
Cinematographers create depth with composition and light, and colorists can do it with color. They can isolate the colors and make them stand out, and make good makeup look great. As Sareesh puts it, they can isolate the subjects as well as a lens.
Using just colors, the colorists can affect your emotions and make you understand the story in the ways you can’t imagine. They can “create beauty, hide ugliness; create worlds or make it more natural.” Color has a lot of power over our mind, and it can add a lot to the atmosphere and the story of the movie. And a good colorist knows how to do it.
As a viewer, I only started paying more attention to the color grading in recent years. And this is when I started to become aware of how is the impact of the proper color grading. The point of Sareesh’s video is to begin appreciating colorists more and pay more attention to their work. Personally, I can only agree with him. And who knows, maybe in future there will be an Oscar category for the colorists.