[Tig] grading On-set
jpo at prestodigital.ca
Tue Sep 15 15:46:23 BST 2009
starting to go out on the shooting sets to the on-set pre-grading?
Do you see a future in the industry that we (colorists) start doing
that more, or is it a job for Our assistants. Or is it up to the DoP/
DiT/First AD/runner to take care of that?
If we "let go" of that market do you see a risk in our jobs becoming
less sought after?
From experience over the past 5 years, no, and no.
On-set is not in-suite. The two are almost incompatible in terms of
needs, priorities, pace, almost a different kind of air to breathe.
With the advent of acquisition formats that do not require on-set
Ditting but instead send meta-data, combined with the insurance need
to double-check/confirm data veracity, it is edging toward making
sense to do a "dailies" pass in the same sense of a neg shoot. If
you have a refined set of eyes and the judgement that has been honed
over the years to use them, that will never go away. I get a sense of
this with the Apple ProRes proxy codec -- that the concept of off-
line is not obsolete, and someone needs to eyeball the footage in an
undistracted environment and hand it off -- approved for use.
A finals (finishing) colorist will review hundreds if not thousands
of scenes in context day-to-day when grading a locked project. On-
set is a totally different focus (locus?) and the time span is
months, a couple of scenes a day, and you may not have the luxury of
shuttling back and forth over a sequence -- unless the cut is
progressing and you are trying to light/grade a scene into a match
with the previously recorded angles... or you may discover that the
work to this point is trash compared to what you're grade/ditting
into "today"... Seems like a bit of a vicious circle where the buck
There is a bigger danger in colorists overall limiting themselves
to being one-trick ponies, instead of culturing an overall awareness
(bordering on post supervision, with respect to the needs of
compositing and format). The squeeze will be on in terms of widening
the influence of editors (who now have access to the toolset) and
compositors, who need to do more in matching their plates, with the
result of the role of the colorist becoming a narrower slice of the
workflow. This can be justified as a business case in the view of a
project manager who wants to limit the number of links in the process
web. So instead of complaining that other members of the team are
encroaching on one's purview... as the saying goes.... "sauce for the
But. If you want to go out to set... do it. There is no doubt that
the function of grade/correction is changing, where would you want it
to go? What do you want to do if you could take ownership of the role?
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jpo at prestodigital.ca
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