Here’s how I got into ‘Color Grading’ Movies…
I got my first role as a Colourist around 1996 whilst working for a commercial post-production company called ‘The House’ in Soho (London, UK) using one of the only DaVinci color grading systems in the UK at that time. I later spent a few years working at their sister TV Studio colour grading TV Series for BBC and ITV… that got me interested in digitally colour grading movies for the cinema as high definition scanning, editing and film laser printing became possible.
Hollywood and the ‘Big Screen’…
In 2001 I joined a new London start-up company called Digital Film Lab headed by the late Kris Kolodziejski and his great team from Denmark and UK. The company specialised in editing, color grading and VFX for cinema using a workflow known as the ‘Digital Intermediate’ process or ‘DI’ for short. The DFL mother company was based in Copenhagen and handled the technical ‘secret sauce’ including laser printing the ‘finished’ graded images back to film negative ready for cinema film prints to be struck. One of the advantages of DI was that hundreds or thousands of movie theatre prints could be struck from one negative (rather than further generations of image loss caused by interpositive and internegative duplication)
I was fortunate to be the first Colorist in UK to produce entire digitally graded movies for Cinema. I ‘pitched’ colour grading tests for DFL to movie production companies and we won contracts several Hollywood movies like ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider‘ and ‘Underworld’. It was a challenging and a very exciting time to be involved in this cutting-edge technology. After a several years of hard work one of the career rewards for me was walking through London and unexpectedly noticing two movies that I’d colour graded illuminated side by side at ‘The Curzon’ cinema in Soho – a great day.
After three busy years of grading cinema content I was invited to join Moving Picture company (MPC) in London to run their new Quantel ‘iQ’ 2K Digital Finishing system, adding to the expertise of their renowned colour grading department headed by the very talented Jean Clement-Soret. Transitioning to a brand new platform in a short time and handling complex movies was both exciting and challenging. We made constant improvements to our colour workflows whilst competing for and grading many top European and Hollywood feature films. Together with MPC’s amazing film effects department we finished some really great movies during that busy period.
In addition to the movies listed in my portfolio I also colour graded many visual effects sequences for other effects heavy Hollywood feature films like ‘Troy‘, ‘Around the world in 80 days‘, ‘Wimbledon‘, ‘Code 46‘ in addition to pitching to win post production contracts on movies like ‘Harry Potter‘, ‘Alien Versus Predator‘ and ‘Wallace and Grommet‘.
After leaving London in 2005 I spent some years freelancing around the world including a period working as a consultant for Kodak. I later joined Quantel (now part of Grass Valley Group) later to help them develop and promote their colour grading and editing systems like Pablo Neo 4K (Rio 8). I traveled extensively training post-production studios and promoting their 4K finishing and 3D stereoscopic products to international markets. Between freelance color grading projects I’ve worked with colour grading system manufacturers and equipment resellers as a consultant and also provided professional in-house colourist instruction and mentoring for major TV and film post-production clients.
DaVinci Resolve and training newcomers to the industry…
Since 2012 I’ve been mostly focused on teaching new colourists. I’ve also worked closely with Blackmagic Design as the lead demonstrator at many of their major trade-shows and exhibitions showcasing their latest colour grading tools and providing operational insights and techniques to audiences worldwide.