Tony the Production Assistant: Color Grading a Feature
We Are Movie Geeks welcomes guest blogger Tony Fernandez, a production assistant taking us inside the underworld of indie filmmaking.
I recently spent 10 days color grading a project alongside Mike Pecci. The project is a feature length doc that Mike had worked on as the Director of Photography, Push: Madison V. Madison.
The two of us spent 10 hours a day for 10 days in a row scrutinizing over every last frame coming up with and adjusting a color palette for this film. Don’t get me wrong — I loved being able to develop and apply a look for a film — it just seems like my brain has turned to mush after spending 100 hours staring at computer monitors. What made this project even more interesting is that the studio we were using was busy during the day, which meant that our hours would be over night.
The difference between color grading a small project like a music video or a short film and color grading a feature length project is organization. There are hundreds of clips that need to be handled and coming up with an organized work flow definitely helps.
Color grading is challenging. It’s all about making subtle changes to support what’s happening on screen. We know we’ve done our job right if no one notices.
Sitting in an editing room overnight reminds me of childhood sleepovers, when you hit that magic hour your sense of humor just starts pouring out. Many inside jokes were created as well as improvised dialog during a few scenes.
Working on this film is one of my favorite experiences so far in this line of work. I’m very proud off all the hard work that went in to this film and I am excited to see it on the big screen at the Independent Film Festival of Boston on April 30.