June 30, 2016

How to Use Color Grading to Make Your Audience Feel All the Feels

So many things influence how audiences feel while watching your film, not the least of them color.

We like to talk about color here at No Film School—everything from color theory to color grading. This time, it's a little bit of both. In his three-part video series, editor Casey Faris teaches you how to design three color grades for identical footage to demonstrate how each one captures different moods and atmospheres.

Check each video out below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm--GqjHoqE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Io-4Gwtn2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pgRzMc4fHs

Film language is at times very complicated and difficult to learn on its own, but having to combine that with the language of color is double trouble. (It's basically like speaking two languages simultaneously.)

Why does a scene read as more dramatic when there's more contrast in the shot? Why does a scene look dreamy when highlights bloom and things get washed out? Why do people interpret red as "danger" and "love," but blue as "brave" and authoritative"?  I suppose that's just the way our brains have decided to make sense of our medium, but luckily there are plenty of places that can teach you how to become more fluent. You can start here and here.      

Your Comment

8 Comments

And THAT is why I require supervised color correction in my contract.

June 30, 2016 at 5:51AM

0
Reply
avatar
Jen White
Director of Photography
199

Couldn't agree more. I understand that the guy was doing it quickly for the sake of the online tutorial, but that was... not good.

June 30, 2016 at 1:03PM, Edited June 30, 1:05PM

4
Reply
avatar
Jaime Valles
Filmmaker
419

Ha! Here come the enthusiasts. Sloppily, enthusiastically, creatively, and earnestly pulling back the elite curtain.

Don't worry, there are always gonna be pros that are awesome and accomplished... but what happens when an amateur can get 90% there?

Uh oh! That's a dilemma! It's good and bad.

Welcome to the world of democratized motion picture production. It's the place where your polished shite looks pretty close to every other polished piece of shite, regardless of how much money was or was not thrown at it.

12 stops of DR vs. 14? Novice grading vs. sophisticated grading.. etc.. etc.. Can the layperson end viewer really discern the difference? Yes and no, and that's the rub.

Hey, musicians have been dealing with this for years with the rise of quality DAW's. Now it's motion picture's turn to get upended.

Upsetting, threatening, and disruptive isn't it?

July 4, 2016 at 2:20PM

0
Reply

Great job.
Thank you.

June 30, 2016 at 4:27PM, Edited June 30, 4:27PM

0
Reply
avatar
Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
625

Errrrrrrrrrr

July 1, 2016 at 5:30AM

0
Reply

Maybe this dude should of taken the film school route... Or just stick with editing and not color grading!

July 1, 2016 at 10:07AM

4
Reply

Don't want to be rude, but posting amateur video on NFS is not a wise promo choice.

July 1, 2016 at 2:51PM

0
Reply
Sha Zhu
74

He knows Davinci and was making a tutorial but... I couldn't get into the grade. Very amaturish. I know its hard with the poor lighting and bland set but still, it could of been more polished.

July 5, 2016 at 6:10PM

0
Reply
avatar
Matt Battershell
Web Developer / Graphic Designer / Filmmaker
34