Color Correction: It works, bitches


Corrected and uncorrected music video side by side.

A warning: if you liked the Wonderful music video, this breaks the magic by revealing a bit of what’s in the sausage. If you want to skip the explanation, just watch the comparison above.

It is eminently satisfying watching a film in the last stages of post-production, when it goes from a rough cut to a finished work. Edit cut points are tweaked, sound is perfected, but what really turns a film into a FILM is the color correction.

I’ll admit it, I am a framefucker. I think that details matter a lot, and when all the details are in line it pushes the big idea forward. When they are out of whack they get distracting, so I will tweak every single part of every single frame in an image. This involves reframing (the RED camera we shot on produced images twice as large as 1080p, so I had a lot of room to play with), and removing elements (look at the bubbles scene and notice the hand I removed from the bottom.) I also used some magic to remove some camera jitters and wobbliness (caused because Vadim had to walk backwards with a heavy RED camera, which is not a recipe for smooth images. See if you can spot the other tweaks I did.

But the real trick up us filmmakers’ sleeves is color correction. It begins with tweaking each shot’s colors to match the others, so that variations in lighting do not become apparent. Then it is done stylistically, using techniques like power windows, a nearly universal practice, to focus the eye to the right parts of the image, create a vignette effect, and in general create a look. Then there’s the totally wacky and trippy techniques that I did here, which are a combination of color correction and special effects.

Take a look below at the uncorrected film, then watch the corrected one the whole way through. You really have to watch them individually to get a feel for the differences.Note the difference not only in professionalism and tone, but also in storytelling. I was told by people watching the uncorrected version that the story was confusing, but the corrected one was crystal clear. And that’s what a big difference professional coloring makes.

I’m available for professional color correcting consultation – just shoot me an email with the link above.


Uncorrected music video

Corrected music video

Comments

comments

2 Comments to “Color Correction: It works, bitches”

  1. Mordecai 20 August 2011 at 5:26 am #

    Quite enlightening Mike. it truly make the video look authentic, exotic and expensive.

  2. […] when I am editing. I relight scenes in color correction. (You can see a before and after of that here.) I shoot a bunch of takes and roll during rehearsal. Because of this, when a singular acting […]


Leave a Reply