This one took some serious grading to get where I wanted it. I'll have to put together some BTS video to break it down. Pretty happy with it.
This is the condensed version. To see more click on the "color grading" tab
The first time I worked with Scott Winn was in 2011 on a short film that he DP'd called Mr. Bellpond's Masterpiece.The next year I started coloring his series, Dr. Fubalous. After that Fruit Ninja went huge and the rest is history. Scott has given me more leeway in discovering a grade than most clients I've worked with. His material is always fresh and entertaining, always shot and composed with skill, truly great footage to work with. Realizing a vision that compliments the world he's creating in each video has been something I really look forward to. Everyone I work with is different in their own way. With Scott, he always knows what he wants, but he's willing to give me some room to enhance things even farther. It's been a pleasure working on these and I can truly say, all these shots represent my very best work at the time. I'm constantly refining my process, but its really moving for me seeing all this work back to back like this because it represents hours, weeks, months, and years of hard dedicated work. Not just my own time, but all the talented people that become part of this world. Scott works harder than most people I know to make these things. It's been great working with a true artist.
This was shot by Wesley Johnson on the Arri Alexa. I first worked with him a couple years back on another project, but I recall this discussion we had during one of those sessions, on the difficulty of brown. Defining it I mean. As a colorist I can shift things around pretty freely. So brown is kind of etherial. What makes something brown and not yellow or green or red? It's kind of the perfect blend of all those, but when you hit it, it's got this richness to it.
The conversation's stuck with me because I guess I spend a lot of time agonizing over the shadow tones in most projects I color. The cardinal sin is too much magenta. Not completely sure why, but that's generally an easy place fot tones to shift. So acheiving this brown tone on projects where it's needed has been a personal challenge of mine for the past few years. It feels good to nail one down for the DP who originally influenced me on the subject.
This was a real challenge. Some of the actors needed to be in black and white sepia tones to show they were ancestors. To create the effect I used the Key Mixer and a complex node tree to isolate certain parts of the frame and get individual frame by frame rotoscoped control so that the overlapping selections would line up and apply my "sepia grade" to the entire individual wherever they moved and to match to the movement of the camera which as you'll see is entirely handheld. The hardest part to make work was the drumming hands in some shots. With fast blurred movement like that the selection has to be feathered so that just enough of the edge is sepia without the visible background haloing sepia too much. Contract the selection too far and the color in thier fingers shows. So it was complicated and tedious, but it worked better than I expected I could make it work.