You got to make sure these two images are from the same film. That was a comment thrown around our colouring session not long ago. It's a comment I've heard before and colouring is the meticulous process of matching shots in a film so that they are consistent. Locked in a dark room on a sunny day, our veteran colourist, Dermot Shane, prepared for our session by making sure "blacks sit on black" and that our "highlights were not clipped".
The Arri Alexa camera is a beautiful piece of hardware and with the talents of our colourist and Director of Photography, Stirling Bancroft, not a lot of preparation time was needed for our colouring session as the images were ready to go "right out of the box". The best part of the colouring session is when you have a chance to play around with the grading and experiment with different looks. How do you set up elements in a story through colour and light? I think this involves stepping back and looking at other elements at play like performances, editing, sound and music. Striking a balance between all makes for an engaging story. For example, making a film too saturated can take away from an actor's performance or having too high of a contrast can imply something prematurely. North American audiences have come to expect a big reveal in the films that they watch. Setting that up well is the challenge of any filmmaker looking to connect to a wider audience. We just have to make sure that people don't feel cheated or angry at the end, and colour is an important part of our tool kit to help us tell our stories.