Final post of The Taking

It has been interesting grading an entire film, an eye opening look into the realities of a colorists life.
Creating the overall look of scenes was pretty easy, after all I’d shot it with a look in mind.
The difficulty, huge at times, was matching shots within a sequence.
Sometimes we had shot indoors in controlled lighting and it was really a simple case of apply the look and walk away for 30 shots.
Other times i had a controlled shooting situation but it had large light sources in shot and with the Arri/Fuji Alura zooms I was using all bets were off. The colour changed dramatically from shot to shot and in a 50+ shot sequence I had to individually grade every shot.
This however paled into insignificance compared to the exterior garage fight sequence where the light varied from hard sunshine to heavily overcast, and I mean that black doom laden heavy overcast that the North of England specialises in, in the space of four hours. It wasn’t a case of a change from one to the other but a constant to and fro.
Some shots from high up with no sky, some from low down with 30% sky. From wide end of the zooms to the long end, from wide open to stopped down, from no filters to 3 stops of IRND.
Exposures varying all over the place because one operator was setting the stop I called out and was getting a consistent skin tone whilst the other knew better and used the histogram display to ETTR ( expose to the right ) to get me the most data. Of course this also gave me thoroughly inconsistent results.
This was the same operator who knew better than the director or me what framing we needed and kept ignoring instructions only to have to be corrected a few minutes later. My corrections got louder and more abrasive as the day went on.
It created not just a nightmare to edit but a nightmare to cut. We were shooting very fast and a lot of the time was spent watching the action and not monitors, a big mistake in this case. I usually recommend that directors watch the actors rather than the monitors but in this case, well, I usually work with crew I can trust.

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