Friday, May 22, 2009

Grading



Soft voices. Low lighting. Comfy armchairs. A full belly of burger and chipz zz zzzzzzzz mmffpgh uur uh humph. Oh, sorry... where was I?

Grading.

(For those who don't know what that means, as indeed I didn't for at least the first two years of my so-called career, grading is a process that happens in a high-tech post-production suite, in which your ad is adjusted for colour, contrast etc)

I actually love the concept of grading - applying a 'look' to your film, that enhances the creative idea. It's just the process of doing it that I find unutterably tedious. Do you agree? Or am I just being a copywriter?

P.S. One thing I hate is the 'gratuitous grade', by which I mean a very extreme colour treatment that bears no relation to the creative treatment. A few years ago there was an inexplicable fad for green-hued adverts. And after that, brown. Currently, the fashion seems to be for ads to look washed-out. Why? Please stop it.

25 comments:

worm said...

I think the current 'faded' look is down to all the facile '80's retro vibe' that not very intelligent 'creative' people keep hammering to death, because like the 80's were totally hilarious and shit

Bodecker said...

Whatever happend to the Grading awards? It's been a while since I've heard anything about them.
I remember when Tango (slap) swept the board in the Grading awards with its innovative, but subtle use of the Orange Hue.
I understand that the guy who nudged the slider up on that is now lazing on a beach in LA, but at the time he had to defend himself against claims from a frenchman who said that he, himself had used an orange tint in a pop video some years earlier.

Anonymous said...

Shooting. Editing. Grading... Sound?
Client kick to the groin...

Re-edit. Pump the grade. Upbeat VO.

The suspense is a killer.

Ben said...

The other fashion you forgot to mention was the delightfully named 'bleed the blacks', where the contrast was darkened to such an extent that no one could tell where one shadowed area ended and another began.

And yes: it's fucking tedious. I also can't stand all the 'we've got Jean Pierre on the grade' bullshit that seemed to excite production company personnel to a ridiculous extent about ten years ago. Of course there are good and bad practitioners of the craft, but the idea of a cult of personality around graders?

I think the amount of time I spend fretting over whether a comma is better than a full stop is equal to the amount of time I can sit at the back of the grading room surfing the net, listening to people work out when the 'conform' is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Ben@11.52


Never heard it called 'Bleed the blacks'????

I think you term you mean is 'crush the blacks'

Anonymous said...

whats the purpose of these posts?

john w. said...

Thought that washed out look was done and dusted?
Always good to see an ad that connects though.

Anonymous said...

The biggest colourists (ooo, new word) are paid more than the biggest CDs in London.
I sat that as neither a positive or negative. Just a scary fact.
And they are paid to dampen the most ridiculous of arguments.

Anonymous said...

What's the purpose of "whats the purpose of these posts?" posts?
Isn't that a contradiction in terms, just by posting? Like a kind of useless cynicism anti-matter that offers no answers or ideas.

WICKED!

Anonymous said...

re 1.01

I think they were asking why scamps blogging about doing an TV advert.

Did you not get that?

Anonymous said...

Jean Clement is the king of colour

Anonymous said...

Jean-Clement Soret.

Colouriste. Auteur. Artiste.

http://www.moving-picture.com/gallery/Jean%20Clement-H.264%20320x240.mov

Anonymous said...

http://www.saatchi.com/nds2009/

Anonymous said...

colourists exist so there's something wankier than ad creatives. How interesting that the other industry with "creative directors" and "colourists" is fucking hairdressing. Perfect. (I'm allowed to say this I am a "creative").

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're doing this scamp. As nobody ever seems to explain these things to junior creatives. Well done and godspeed to you sir.

Anonymous said...

and anyway, it says poets, not posts.

Anonymous said...

crush the blacks...bleed the blacks...

it's all a bit BNP if you ask me.

M.M. McDermott said...

At no point did I hear mention of whiskey.

I think that'd change your feelings on the A/V sweetening process.

Anonymous said...

Second time reader - first time commentatorisationalist. There is a very good chance your blog is like totally
- thank you sir

Anonymous said...

What happens if you're blind?

Anonymous said...

I find the most disagreements are in the grading process. It's sometimes subjective in the details.

Anonymous said...

It's cos Dougal Wilson/Wes Anderson are flavors of the month and that's their style.

Bentos said...

At least those white flashes have finally gone out of fashion.

Anonymous said...

i stopped going to color sessions a long time ago. "don't do anything stupid" is my advice. when's lunch?

Anonymous said...

DoP, Director and Colourist working out the grading. That should do it. No creatives needed in there (sorry, fellows). Back in the days, pre-digital, pre-RED, cinematographers lived up to their name and did the colours "in-camera", then did only finishing touches in telecine. Now you sit there for hours because you have a flat-f*?$ing image and finally found a reason for everybody to be there. You don't need three people to do one job, just one person to do it right.