Post-production may be the aspect of the filmmaking process that has changed most over time. The editing room, once a sanctuary for the editor and director, now also includes the producer, his nephew, his nephew’s girlfriend, and the local hot dog vendor. With the emergence of digital color correcting tools, all these cooks in the kitchen have too many ingredients to play with and, as a result, they’ve stumbled on a recipe with no taste.
Film colorists were once a rare and mysterious breed, performing their magic in the shadows. However, even way back, the concept was the same. It’s always been visually pleasing to get good contrast and an easy way to do that is by using complementary colors. Humans are usually central to a film, so using colors that contrast with skin tone is not a new concept. However, it all changed when the Coen brothers released Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, the first movie to use complete digital color correction. In doing so, they unleashed the seemingly infinite possibilities that Photoshop allows you to apply to your still images, into the world of the moving one.
You’d think this heightened level of control would lead to new and interesting visual concepts, but it hasn’t. In fact, the endless list of options has led most colorists to just settle on the look that they know everybody seems to be craving anyway…orange and teal.
Transformers may be the biggest culprit, making it’s star resemble an over-tanned Jersey Shore cast member in the middle of summer. The idea that this formula could add any substance is absurd. It doesn’t replace the need for a good script or solid direction.
Good color correcting always had the power to exponentially increase the production value of your project. However, taking measures to allow the colorist the chance to experiment, make bold decisions, and push the envelope rather than just settling on another addition to the flavor of the month, will only serve the end result.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company located in New Jersey and serving the entire New York/New Jersey area. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.