Every now and then I like to bring to light fellow filmmakers (or photographers) who are doing work that stands to be recognized. One such person is Casey Warren of Mind Castle Studios in the Seattle, WA area. Not that Casey needs me to highlight him. He’s already a well established event cinematographer who’s already made a pretty good name for himself. But I wanted to highlight him today because of an email correspondence we had.
As I’ve delved more into the art and science of color grading, I reached out to him for some tips. He’s great at it and I wanted to find out what books he read, or videos he watched, software he uses, or seminars he attended to acquire his skills. The answer. None. Nada. Zilch. He told me that he sat for hours in front of the computer with Photoshop and Final Cut Pro with an old Polaroid in his hand, tweaking the curves settings until he got the look he wanted. No investment in Magic Bullet. No expertise in Apple’s Color. Just some good ol’ fashioned resourcefulness. I love that!
This is my third in a series of posts about color grading. The first was about Colorista II. The second was using a flat picture profiles. But instead of re-inventing the wheel, I’m just going to link you over to Casey’s wonderful blog post about how he color grades using FCP’s color corrector and RGB Balance filters. Take a look now and learn somethin’. And may you be inspired to use your own resourcefulness in your artistic endeavors. Just because you don’t own a certain piece of equipment or software package, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. (Whatever “it” is.)
[Side note: The irony in this post is that he talks about getting the color temperature and exposure right IN camera. That on the surface may seem contradictory to what I wrote in my last post about “Getting it Wrong In Camera.” But not really. Unless you are over or under-exposing for artistic purposes, you absolutely should get exposure right in-camera. As for color temperature, that’s about white balancing properly, which again I agree with. Even with a flat picture profile, you still want a blue to look blue, not purple or orange.]
Thanks for your inspiration Casey. Keep up the great work!