[Tig] New "Look" or not?

Robert Lovejoy chroma601 at gmail.com
Wed May 2 03:57:57 BST 2012

Hi everyone,
     I hope I am not out of line asking this question, but my wife was
watching some programs on HBO recently, and when I saw them, I was
reverse stunned.  I've been around for a boatload of trends, from
6fps, letting one color through, cyan-orange, and so on, but am I
seeing a new trend in looks?
     The new shows "Girls" and "Veep" look just plain flat and dull.
It's not that far from what we called a "flat grade", with milky
blacks and dull highlights, made so that a "real" color correction
could be made later.  Or perhaps there is a LUT missing or incorrect.
And it's barely a grade.  White balance is a bit loose.  The overall
effect is dull and monochromatic.
     I know it's not my TV - "Game of Thrones" on the same network
still looks rich and bold, as do most commercial network shows.  If
this is a new trend, I guess I can understand it.  Perhaps they are
going for a documentary feel.  If a client was to tell me to go in
that direction, I surely would.  But I just have to say I don't really
think very highly of this look.
     Are we seeing the new shaky-cam for the mid-early 2010's, or is
this possibly the result of not putting much thought into the grade?
Is this new and cutting edge, or a mistake?  I just can't bring myself
to watch these two shows, old coot that I am.  I like looks, but this
is almost the antithesis of a look!
      I wonder if others have noticed this, and perhaps if the
colorist(s) who work on these programs are here, they might care to
shed some light as to why these two new programs have such a flat,
dull look to them.
      No offense meant to anyone!  I have simply never seen such flat
grades on a scripted network program, and am curious why this look was
Bob Lovejoy

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