[Tig] A Colourist's Lament.

Martin Sansom martinsansom at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 23 12:35:21 GMT 2011

Further to my earlier gripe about digital acquisition and display I also  
have an issue with the way the global standardisation of technology has  
been part of a process that has led to a global generic look to what we  
do. I've worked in sixteen different countries and had pretty much the  
same conversation in all of them, it goes something like this;

Me: So how do you want it to look?

Client: Well what we want is a sort of slightly de-saturated look with no  
contrast at all, sort of natural with no stylisation anywhere.

Me: You mean a one light? you know, when the colourist just equalizes  
everything so the DOP, the editor, the director and the director's best  
friend's hairdresser's labradoodle can see everything that was shot before  
making it look good? you know, bland?

Client: Yep, that's the one, it's a very popular look, everyone's using  
that look.

Me: That would explain why you've booked half an hour to grade four  
commercials then.

Client: Well the thing is we've got 5000 Baht/Lira/Rupees/Mexican Jumping  
Beans to do all the post so spending time making it look nice isn't really  
possible but it doesn't matter as we've told the client that it's the  
natural film look, they've bought into it and we still get to call  
ourselves creatives, why are you laughing?

Me: Never mind, oh look the sushi has arrived, you better tuck in, we're  
almost done.

Client: Great, nice working with you, do you have a showreel?

Me: Yes but you wouldn't like it.

Regards to all Colourists,


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