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  • 04 March 2024 09:40 | Anonymous

    Colorist Society (CSI) announces the launch of a CSI Chapter in Canada. Led by Abe Wynen, CSI, Senior Colorist at Redlab, Toronto, and Eric Whipp, CSI, co-founder and Head of Color at Alter Ego, Toronto, the chapter is open to colorists across Canada working in film, television, advertising and other media. The group plans networking, training and social events, both in-person and virtual, to support the development of a community of colorists in Canada and promote the art and science of color.

    Abe Wynen

    Eric Whipp

    “We want to bring colorists in Canada under one roof and show them how much fun it is when we share ideas and experiences with our colleagues,” says Wynen. “We want to encourage participation from both experienced colorists and those who are new to the profession. It’s about building a better culture and forming friendships.”

    Wynen is relatively new to Canada, having relocated to Toronto in 2022 after six years at boutique color and finishing studio Crayon in Melbourne, Australia.  His aim in co-founding CSI’s Canada Chapter derives from his experience as a member of the organization’s Australia/New Zealand Chapter. “The ANZ chapter was well organized and very successful in building a community of colorists from cities across Australia and New Zealand,” he states. “It was a great way to meet and learn from other colorists and to celebrate our craft.”

    Whipp also moved from Australia to Toronto where he co-founded Alter Ego. He became a colorist in the 1990s and collaborated with George Miller on his Oscar-winning film Happy Feet.  He reunited with Miller for the ground-breaking film Mad Max: Fury Road.  Recent credits include The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

    Last fall, Wynen and Whipp hosted a Colourist Catch-Up as a precursor to the formal launch of the Canada Chapter. Held at Danu Social House, it brought together Toronto’s top colorists and other industry professionals for an evening of socializing. “It was so lovely to finally get the colorists in town in one room,” Wynen says. “We are planning more events soon.”

  • 29 February 2024 10:18 | Anonymous

    New host Bobola Oniwura, CSI interviews Eric Whipp, CSI about coloring Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

    The Colorist Podcast is back, and it has a new host, Bobola Oniwura, CSI. A lead colorist and founder of Ingenuity Pictures, Bobola envisions the podcast as a forum for issues important to colorists and other industry professionals. Guests will include the industry’s top colorists, newcomers to the profession, and other industry thought leaders. In his first episode, Bobola talks with Eric Whipp, CSI, co-founder and director of color at Alter Ego, Toronto. You can listen to it here: https://spoti.fi/3uQ8274

    Bobola wants to use the podcast to explore the personal journeys of individual colorists. “Colorists often have unconventional career paths,” he says. “I want to know how they got their start, where they studied, how they learned color science.”


    Eric Whipp is an inspired choice for the podcast’s first new episode. Bobola talks with Eric about his past collaborations with Director George Miller on Three Thousand Years of Longing and Mad Max: Fury Road as well as his current work on Miller’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. “Fury Road was a very influential film and has become a massive reference point for color grading,” Bobola says. “In the podcast, Eric shares deep insight into the incredible work they are doing for the new film which will be in theaters in May.”

    Calling himself an ‘accidental colorist,’ Bobola has his own fascinating story. After studying Architecture in his native Nigeria, he began a career as a creative director. He became involved in producing social media content but found that no one on his staff knew how to properly grade video, so he taught himself by studying DaVinci tutorials produced by Warren Eagles, CSI. That launched him on a new career that included becoming the first Certified Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Trainer in West Africa. Among his recent projects is the action-comedy A Tribe Called Judah, which recently became the top grossing Nollywood film of all time.

  • 08 February 2024 12:26 | Anonymous

    CSI members are eligible for discounted subscriptions to IMDbPro (the code is available in the Members section of this site.) It is an excellent resource for promoting your career, networking and keeping track of important contacts and upcoming projects. Two levels of subscription are available, basic and premium. Both provide access to biographic and credit information, guild affiliations, representation contacts and other data not available on IMDb. Premium subscriptions also include a host of tools for managing your profile, adding images and demo reels, tracking people and projects, and much more.


    If you are unsure of which subscription level is right for you, or want to know more about specific features, how to videos are available on the IMDB YouTube channel. Topics include setting your profession, managing personal details, and choosing “known for” credits. The short videos will help you get the most from your subscription.

  • 11 January 2024 14:19 | Anonymous

    CSI Fellow Walter Volpatto recently won an HPA Award for his work on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. He was honored in the category Outstanding Color Grading in a Live-Action Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature for an episode entitled One Ring Don’t Make a Dynasty. The event was held at the Television Academy in North Hollywood.


    Volpatto, who became a CSI Fellow in 2020, was twice previously nominated for HPA Awards. They came for Sweet Tooth (2021) and The Green Mile (2019). His many other credits include Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Dunkirk, Midway, The Woman King and Independence Day: Resurgence, as well as the television series Homecoming and Queen Sugar.

  • 28 December 2023 11:12 | Anonymous

    IMDbPro offers many useful features for conducting research and virtual networking. Premium subscriptions, available to CSI members at a discount, provide access to contact information for producers, show runners, cinematographers, post production supervisors and others involved in hiring colorists. The site’s “List” and “Track” features can be used to follow potential employers and upcoming projects.

    Subscribers can also customize their page by adding photos, biographies and employment data. They can also upload reels and choose which titles are included in the “Known For” section of the page. It’s even possible to add links to external news and clients.


    If you are new to the service or need help in updating your page, a series of How To videos are available via IMDB’s YouTube channel.

    If you wish to subscribe to the site, the discount code is available in the Members section of this website.

    And don’t forget…

    Colorist Society has an ongoing campaign to make “Colorist Department” a separate listing on IMDb. This effort is vital as colorist credits are currently inconsistently listed under editorial, visual effects and other categories. You can sign our petition and add your comments here.

  • 06 December 2023 11:42 | Anonymous

    Finalcolor has announced a new series of training courses. Beginning in January, it will offer a curriculum covering color from start to finish. Broken into three modules, the classes will cover such subjects as color pipelines, the look in production, color management, look development and folder structure.


    “I’m often asked where one should start with grading classes, whether wanting to learn from scratch, refresh existing knowledge, or take skills to the next level,” says instructor Kevin Shaw, CSI. “So , in 2024 I’m doing things a bit differently. I want to make it easier than ever for people to get to grips with color. If you want to better understand color and grading, this one's for you!”

    Further Details

    Book Now!

  • 04 December 2023 10:25 | Anonymous

    Sunday

    Camerimage is fast becoming a Colourist Festival. It began Sunday afternoon with the FilmLight Colour Awards, which played to a packed house. This year’s winning looks were diverse and, refreshingly, winners and finalists originated from big companies, boutiques, and freelancers alike. Congratulations to all! See the Winners.


    The panel discussion that followed was led by Lawrence Sher (cinematographer, director, founder of Shotdeck, and chairman of the FilmLight jury). One takeaway: whilst many colourists are involved before shooting, some still get the call after picture lock with little consultation before the final grading session. This is especially true for commercials and music videos. AI was briefly discussed with panellists agreeing that AI tools can be useful for conforming, rotoscope, tracking and depth maps, but are unlikely to replace the human interaction required for final grading.


    Monday

    Monday brought Colorist Society’s Colorist Mixer which featured a panel of award finalists and winners. Many topics were covered but one interesting fact that surfaced was that four out of the five panelists regularly employ colour management. Time and budget were also discussed. Whilst acknowledging that some big budget projects take months to grade, two weeks is more common for features and a day for commercials and music videos. Marina Starke, a freelancer nominated in three categories, noted that it’s often not a matter of how much time a client can afford, but rather how much time the colorist is prepared to spend…a factor of both money and interest in the project. Relationships with DPs, directors and producers was also touched on with the panel agreeing that communication and psychology constitute at least half of the job skills colourists must master.


    The panel agreed that free entry for the FilmLight Colour Awards makes a big difference and adds prestige as awards don’t automatically go to big jobs and big companies. Each of these finalists submitted their entries themselves and included commentary about their work. Whilst good cinematography and colour grading are essential for a winning result, an explanation of the concept, research and decision-making process helps the judges better appreciate the colourist’s contribution.

    The talk also included a brief mention of how things get fixed—meaning VFX and editing issues. All noted unsolved problems that make it to the final grade must be dealt with…one way or another…by the colourist.


    Tuesday

    On Tuesday night, Colorist Society and BVK member Dirk Meier organised a wonderful seminar on look development with luminary cinematographers Steve Yedlin, Ari Wegner and Pascale Marin. Steve described his process for look dev using Nuke nodes. When asked if he was eliminating the colourist, he was very clear that colourist magic is still very necessary, but his method ensures his vision is maintained through edit and VFX.

    Ari eloquently explained how she plans a shooting philosophy for each film rather than locking into a pre-defined Look. The shooting philosophy might include the point of view, lens choices, framing, eyelines and much more.

    While noting that her projects tend to have lower budgets than the other speakers, Pascale said that she follows a similar approach. She relies on communication with colourists, directors and producers to achieve high quality solutions within budget constraints. Shared understanding and good relationships between all parties is crucial to a smooth and pleasant journey…and to great images.

    All the DPs were clear that they contact the colourist as soon as they get the project, and value colourist input, particularly for exploring conceptual ideas, creating show LUTs and planning colour management.

    The BVK/ CSI seminar is available to view here (the file is in the Camerimage 2023 Pictures folder). 

    Alongside these activities were plenty of other stimulating screenings and presentations. I found the Zeiss and Arri presentations especially useful. And, of course, the FilmLight Masterclass has become a tradition that never fails to mix interest and knowledge in an entertaining way.

    This year the organisers presented a curated mix of films, new and old. I had not previously seen The Truman Show on the big screen and was glad for the opportunity to do so here. Many scenes work incredibly well in a theatre but lose their impact on the small screen. In the example below, a life size Christoff (Ed Harris) appears to standiin front of the screen caressing the star of his show projected on the big screen. I did not appreciate the power of this image until I saw it in the cinema! I think everyone at the festival felt the love for cinema.


    This year the festival organisers arranged for the display of Polish artist Jan Matejko’s epic painting Astronomer Copernicus: Conversations with God (on loan from Kraków's historic Jagiellonian University). A national treasure, it depicts the great astronomer on a terrace adjacent to a Gothic cathedral in Frombock that still stands. Inspired by my experience at the festival, I enjoyed the story elements and chiaroscuro of the painting and how they compared to film print emulation as discussed by Steve Yedlin on Tuesday night. I am going to include more paintings in my look development research in future. (Cem Ozkilicci referring to exactly this in describing his inspiration for the Spotlight Award winning Possession.)


    If you have never been to the festival, you can get a feel for its unique flavour in this highlights reel .

    All in all, Colorist Society had a happy presence at the festival.  Before our society was formed in 2016, colour management was rarely discussed, let alone used and colourists were rarely mentioned. Whilst there are still very few awards open to colourists, the FilmLight Colour Awards are now well respected because they provide an even playing field and are judged by cinematographers and colourists who appreciate the challenges and the vision. Colorist Society cannot take all the credit for these landmark changes, but it is gratifying to know that we are moving in the right direction.


    I look forward to Camerimage 2024 and encourage colourists to submit entries for next year’s FilmLIght Colour Awards. It’s important to build on this year’s success in building the colourist community. The festival is teeming with cinematographers and full of enlightening chats after screenings and seminars…and during after parties. Torun is both fascinating and inexpensive. I hope to see you there next year.

    Kevin Shaw, President of the Colorist Society

  • 28 November 2023 09:46 | Anonymous

    The 2023 FilmLight Colour Award winners were announced by jury president Lawrence Sher, ASC, at a dedicated colour ceremony as part of EnergaCAMERIMAGE in Poland on Sunday, 12 November.

    The awards, which are open to colourists on any grading platform, were independently judged by renowned cinematographers, directors and colourists.

    “Representing our fantastic jury, I’d love to congratulate the winners of this years’ FilmLight Colour Awards,” comments Sher. “These diversely talented artists – and the inspiring work they helped craft – are a testament to the critical importance of the colourist in the art of filmmaking. It’s great to see these artists come from across the globe – proving that good work isn’t limited to huge budgets or big shops, but available to everyone with a good eye and refined skills. Kudos to all and we look forward to seeing the submissions next year.”


    Image titles from left to right: Theatrical Feature winner, Barbie; TV Series / Episodic winner, The Pimp: No F***ing Fairytale (OT: Luden); Commercial winner, Zara Man – SS23; Music Video winner, Mayyas – Horra; Spotlight winner, Possession

    The award for the grading of a theatrical feature went to Yvan Lucas at Company 3 for Barbie. Yvan worked closely with director Greta Gerwig and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto to create the perfect ‘Barbie look’ for the critically acclaimed movie. Gerwig wanted the skin tones in ‘BarbieLand’ to be more pastel and less saturated, but everything else about the shots to be full of those pinks, turquoises, and other colours that stand out so much. The look was partially defined by a specific LUT that Lucas and Prieto created to enhance the strong feeling of saturation and pushed the colours into the ‘BarbieLand’ space.

    “It is like the recognition of a lifetime’s work,” comments Lucas. “It brings me immense joy that colour grading is recognised as an essential part in crafting the look of a film. The experience of working on this film with Rodrigo and Greta was one of the most artistically gratifying of my career.”

    The award for the grading of a TV series / episodic went to freelance colourist Dirk Meier for his work at D-Facto Motion on season one of The Pimp: No F***ing Fairytale (OT: Luden). Meier and cinematographer Tim Kuhn found look inspiration in a music video that used documentary footage from a sequence of the 1962 movie, Mondo Cane, shot in the red-light district around the Reeperbahn street. Meier developed a highly textured look with a dark and moody atmosphere. Especially in the HDR version he worked with the extended range of contrast and wider colour palette to create a period feeling with lifted black levels, while ensuring the 1980’s neon lights stood out.

    “When I first read the list of nominees and their projects, I couldn’t fully grasp how I made it into this group,” says Meier. “And now I’m really grateful and touched that the jury found my work merits this award.”

    The award for the grading of a commercial went to Tim Masick at Company 3 for his work on Zara Man, ‘SS23’. Masick, who also won the commercial category in 2021, worked with director Fabien Baron and DoP Philippe Le Sourd to create the winning spot. Masick worked to create a fantasy/dream world where the elements are subtly dramatised – recreating the mood and imagery of Red Desert(1964, Antonioni), Paris, Texas (1984, Wenders), and photographer Todd Hido.

    “I am honoured that our work has been recognised by the jurors among so much great work from around the world,” comments Masick. “Winning a second time is a great affirmation, but also feels like a challenge to go beyond and push things further.”

    The award for the grading of a music video went to freelance colourist Marina Starke for her work on ‘Horra’ by Mayyas – America’s Got Talent’s 2022 dance group winners. Starke was nominated across three categories this year, making her a five-time nominee of the FilmLight Colour Awards. Horra was directed by the all-female group’s choreographer, Nadim Cherfan, and shot by cinematographer Shadi Chaaban, who Starke worked closely with to create the moody, mysterious, and bold aesthetic that they were looking to achieve.

    “I am absolutely honoured,” says Starke. “It was such strong competition and amongst everyone I look up to, as well – I am extremely happy.”

    The Spotlight award, which showcases the craft that contributes to the creative impact of a low budget feature, went to freelance colourist Cem Ozkilicci for his work at Uhoert on Possession. Inspired by Scandinavian romantic and landscape painters, Ozkilicci completed the grade over 10 days, working closely with director Henrik Martin and cinematographer Oskar Dahlsbakken to create a nostalgic look with a unique patina – achieved through a combination of lenses and sharpening techniques in grading.

    “I am deeply honoured and humbled,” comments Ozkilicci. “Being shortlisted was in itself a reward for the hard work invested, but to be selected as the winner amongst all the nominees by such a remarkably talented, diverse and highly respected jury was unexpected. I am truly grateful.”

    The Colour Awards are lead and organised by FilmLight, in conjunction with EnergaCAMERIMAGE, and are supported by prominent international groups such as the ASC (The American Society of Cinematographers), the BSC (British Society of Cinematographers), the AFC (The French Society of Cinematographers), CSI (Colorist Society International), CNSC (Chinese Society of Cinematographers), Imago (the International Federation of Cinematographers), the Polish Society of Cinematographers (PSC) and many more.

    The full list of nominees can be found here.

  • 27 October 2023 06:56 | Anonymous

    A new member of Colorist Society Hollywood, Jason Bowdach is a colorist and finishing editor at Fox where he grades multi-platform marketing media for such hit shows as 9-1-1, The Cleaning Lady and The Masked Singer. He is also a certified DaVinci Resolve trainer, contributing author to Frame.io and entrepreneur. His company PixelTools develops “artist focused” plugins and presets for Resolve.

    A Southern California native, Jason got his start at Disney where he was involved in remastering and localization of entertainment content for international markets. Looking for a more challenging career, he sought advice from industry veterans and determined that color was his best bet. “The idea of influencing a viewer’s emotions through color suited my personality,” he says. “I enjoy helping filmmakers bring their projects to life.”


    Jason gained exposure to color through grading his own short films. Eventually, he acquired enough experience to leave Disney and pursue work as a freelance colorist. After having success in commercials and independent films, he landed a gig at EFilm as assistant to veteran colorist Walter Volpatto, CSI on Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence.

    He calls it a career altering moment. “It was a big adjustment to go from $100,000 indie films to a $200 million blockbuster,” he recalls. “But it was an amazing experience. It confirmed how much I loved color grading and that it’s what I hope to do for the rest of my life.”

    Around the same time, Jason developed an interest in teaching. He became a certified Da Vinci trainer and has taught color grading through such companies as Mixing Light, Lowepost, TAC Resolve and Adobe. He hosts the Color & Coffee podcasts and produces training videos, writes articles on post-production problem solving and leads seminars at trade shows.

    To facilitate his work as a trainer, Jason began developing presets for Resolve. They proved so effective in streamlining his workflow that he formed a business to license them. “In 2019, I launched PixelTools,” he says. “I create looks and presets just as I did for my project clients, only now, I do it for other colorists. There is nothing better than building tools for people I like shooting the breeze with.”

    Among the products offered by PixelTools is Hue Shift, which supercharges Resolve’s native tools for shifting hues and adjusting density. “It makes it easier to create looks and perform routine tasks,” he explains. “It’s a lifesaver when you have thousands of shots to grade and only so many days to do it. It’s a dream to take things like that that are in my head and make them a reality.”

    A member of Colorist Society since 2016, Jason says he was honored to receive an invitation to join the Hollywood Chapter. “I’m a person who wants to give back,” he insists. “That’s what attracted me to this organization. I want more people to recognize the artistry of color and the dedicated people who practice this craft.”

  • 19 October 2023 08:01 | Anonymous

    The Hollywood Professionals Alliance has announced nominations for the HPA Awards 2023 Creative Category. Colorist Society is a sponsor of the competition, which includes awards for color grading, editing, visual effects, sound and restoration. Among the nominees for Outstanding Color Grading – Live Action Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature is Walter Volpatto, CSI. Winners will be announced November 9th.

    A complete list of nominees is available here.

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