Graham has a simple mantra when it comes to camera
movement and angles: variety is key. “We try to never use too
much of one thing,” he explains.
Color grading is best left for the end of the process when you
have a final edit of your project. If you don’t wait, you’re spending
unnecessary time adjusting footage that won’t be part of your final
project. Like writing, editing is a process of experimentation and
revision and your early drafts may not resemble the final result.
So, make the most of your time and wait till the end to tackle color
Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere and Apple’s
Final Cut have built-in tools for both color correction and color
grading. Though there can be a slight learning curve involved in
understanding and mastering these tools, they’re a viable option
for those who want to maximize control or don’t have an interest in
purchasing and using third-party presets.
Tools such as RGB curves and the three-way color corrector in
Adobe Premiere or the videoscope tool in Final Cut 10 provide the
ability to control individual color channels, but also isolate such
effects to the shadows, mid-tones or highlights. While you can limit
your use of the controls to eliminating color cast, they can also be
powerful for achieving stylized color for a scene or project.
“A lot of photographers forget to desaturate their files,” says
Bentsen, who explains that this step is essential. “It makes it difficult to
color-grade when you don’t. When you do, it makes it easier to match
the files even if they are produced in different cameras.”
There are numerous plug-ins for your preferred video-editing
application; a go-to tool for many of the videographers we spoke
with is Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite. Its straightforward drag-and-
drop interface makes it easy to apply and evaluate its 198 presets
to achieve a filmic look within a few moments. It also provides the
ability to customize that look with respect to saturation, hue, grain
and more. “I like the desaturated tone I can achieve,” Karas says.
The Magic Bullet plug-in not only mimics a variety of film stocks,
but also applies custom-designed color renderings that might
take hours to create and apply when doing them manually. The
Magic Bullet Suite includes several applications including Colorista
III for professional-level color correction, while Magic Bullet Film
1.0 emulates the look of the photochemical process, mixing and
matching 22 negative stocks and four print stocks.
“No matter what technique you choose, the story is paramount,”
Graham says. “At the end of the day we’ve built a business around
telling stories. It’s the stories that draw you in.”
“No matter what technique you
choose, the story is paramount. At the
end of the day we’ve built a business
around telling stories.”
DSLR VIDEO GETS CINEMATIC
PICTURED: Why are DSLRs great filmmaking tools? Large
sensors and wide aperture lenses deliver a beautiful
shallow depth-of-field to emphasize your subject.