© 2014 ellathompson


As per lecture – in a sequence you’ve called ‘colour’ you will have clips that are indicative of a particular colour or lighting state. To the right of that clip you will have that same clip repeated 2 or more times with different colour grades on it.

Take screen grabs of each clip then upload to your blog the series of stills that show us ‘before and afters’ of your colour grading. Provide a few different examples of at least two different clip – each with a description of what you did to the clip and why.

This is a learning exercise, not necessarily a qualitative one, don’t stress – it is the act of doing it and the reflection on that, that is important.


I chose the clip where Theano is reading the letter from her husband, except the only parts of her that you can see in frame are her hands and a fraction of the side of her face (which is out of focus).

1. The first colour correction that I made on this clip was to give it a blueish greyish look. I also lowered the overall saturation. This gives it a sobering impression, but in a melancholy, mournful, gloomy sense. It suggests that the character is reading a letter from someone who has passed away. It is a sombre effect that adheres to drama genre conventions. Alternatively, this could also work for the cliché British murder mystery. This colouring complements the production design in a way that plays up these British murder mystery mise-en-scène conventions. My mum watches a lot of those British murder mystery / detective shows…

2. The second colour correction I made on the clip was to underscore the more yellow and orange (and some pink) tones. I also reduced the contrast quite a bit and increased the brightness. It kind of gives the visuals a bit more of a warm, pastel, glowing look. It creates a mood that is uplifting and blissful and carefree, but also nostalgic. This is sort of the look and effect that we want our film to actually have as a whole.

3. The third thing I did was a sickly green colour correction. I also increased the colour saturation on the shadows, decreased the overall brightness, and increased the overall contrast. I probably went a bit overboard on this one – it looks strangely stylised (it didn’t look too over-the-top on the screen that I edited it on, but it does on the monitor screen that I just moved it to). This has the effect of an unsettling mood where we feel like there is a threat. We feel like something is a little bit twisted. We don’t know who that letter could be from. It could be a threatening letter. Or the person reading it – who is almost completely obscured the whole time they are reading it during the clip – could be the actual threat. We are unnerved and apprehensive. This effect adheres to horror genre conventions.


This next clip is simply of Theano marking the slate and preparing the pastry (because it’s the only other clip that I have on my computer).


1. This colour grading is a simple black and white tint with the contrast slightly increased and the brightness also slightly increased. This has a sobering but sleek effect. I’m not much of a fan of this colour grade for the clip – I feel like the removal of colour similarly removes the essence of the clip – the emotion and the charming, homely atmosphere of Theano’s kitchen. It almost seems like it replaces the natural charm and mood of the visuals with an artificial charm and mood.

2. This last colour grading is a washed out, reddish, brownish colouring. The three-way colour corrector and the tint were used to pigment the image in this way. I also increased the brightness quite a bit, and I may have reduced the contrast (but I can’t remember). I don’t really know what I was trying to achieve with this one… I was just wanting to see what it would look like if I emphasised red and pink tones (not sure why). It kind of has a sepia look. It’s quite poorly done, but at least this colour grade doesn’t remove the existing charm from the clip.

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