Give it a 'look'

Yellow and Orange make you feel Hungry.
Men and women see red differently.
Pink is a calming colour that surpasses anger and anxiety.

There are loads of facts and research about colour.  We understand that colours affect people differently and can be associated with our moods and emotions but how do we consider colour for film and TV.

The process of altering the colour in moving image is called a colour grade. Similar to lighting a film set or animation, a colour grade can dramatically affect the mood and feel of a piece.

I've always loved this final process of producing a TV commercial. It's usually the last stage after the edit and graphics have been approved by the client. The client is happy with the edit. The pressure is off. Now it's time to give the film a 'look'.

There’s an infinite amount of looks you can apply to your project - vintage, desaturated, filmic the possibilities go on.

A grade isn’t normally about portraying the true colours. When working on the launch film for the Munster Rugby away kit. I took the shirt with me to the grading suite. The shirt is green. I mean dizzyingly green. We spent time matching the product on screen exactly to the true colour. It was too vibrant and loud in the mood of the film. We had to mute the kit slightly to match the film.

This isn’t a ‘how to’ blog about the technical aspects of a colour grade. It’s about being aware of something that normally goes unnoticed but yet so crucial to moving and still imagery.

So when you settle down on the sofa tonight, stick on the box to watch the last series of Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey, take a minute to appreciate the delights of this craft.

Here's to the colourist – the unsung hero!