How many times have you had the perfect colorist in mind for your project, only to finally lock your film and find out he or she is now booked solid for the next 6 months? Your deadline for delivery to festivals or distributors is a month or two out, and now you’re scrambling to find someone that fits into your budget and can deliver the quality you want by your deadline.
Big budget feature film and television producers have solved this issue by hiring their colorist at the beginning of pre-production. They shoot test footage in various environments and work with their colorist to create a look (or set of looks) for the entire film which are then turned into Camera LUTs that are either loaded into the camera, or monitors, or both.
This gives filmmakers a what you see, is what you get workflow – where no longer do you need to trust your DP when he says, “Oh, just trust me, it’ll look right when it’s graded.”
By using a camera LUT on a properly balanced monitor you’re seeing exactly what the polished finished product will look like, which really allows you to make all the fine adjustments required to get those shots looking exactly the way you want, right there on set.
You’ll know without a doubt that the color is the way you want it — if the exposure on one side of an actor’s face is too dark or too light, or if their eyes will look sunken, or whether or not that thing in the shadows you’re trying to hide will disappear, or the other thing in the shadows you’re trying to make sure is barely visible, is seen. You’ll know if those highlights are gonna blow. It’s like getting a live grade back from your DIT instantly!
Nearly every major camera platform supports 3D cube LUTs now, and there’s an increasing number of monitors and external recording devices that implement the loading of user created LUTs so owning or renting the necessary gear to run this work flow has never been easier. And shooting with LUTs is non-destructive, giving you the option to change your mind, and/or make little tweaks later on.
Spectrum gives you total control
ColorGHear Spectrum is a custom LUT service where you get production looks tailored specifically for your project by lauded colorist Shian Storm. Shoot test footage on the camera you’ll be using for production, and send it in. We’ll work with you to create a few looks based on your input until we get you that perfect look. We’ll export those looks as LUTs you can load into any LUT enabled monitor and/or camera system. Pricing is on a per LUT basis so you can choose to have as few or as many as you need. Go into your production phase without having to worry about that mad rush at the end.
Ease in post
Once in the edit bay, you edit your raw footage the same as you always have, but now you can easily apply the look and see what the finished product will look like. You can turn the LUT on and off while editing. (Off for speed and efficiency and On to feel the emotional impact of your graded footage while making decisions on cuts) And when you’ve locked your edit, turn it back on, export your movie, and color is done. Now you’re only worry is sound. We can’t really help you in that department, but now you have one less headache.
Sure you might have to do a tech pass to even out the exposure on a few shots or perform a few power window adjustments, but not to the extreme, as is often the case with on-the-fly indie productions with insufficient monitoring. And colorists that can handle those adjustments are easier to find, and will cost you less, or in many cases you can pay your editor do it for a little more than you agreed upon initially.
For a talented colorist you’re going to spend between $1800 and $3000 for a short and $3500-10,000 on a feature for a quality grade and a DI delivered for DCP creation. the price will depend on how many looks are created, how much painting is done, power windowing, the size and length of the project, and the number of shots. Which doesn’t include the creation of the DCP for projection which can range from $2300 and up. So it’s not outrageous for an indie feature to spend upwards of $15,000 for color and delivery. But what if all you needed was a few touch-ups here and there, and then a DCP. If you didn’t need full-on color grading at all in post, your costs drop dramatically.
LUT creation starts at $1600 per LUT
[in addition: for cameras that shoot RAW, each LUT will also include screenshots the camera settings that were used in the creation of your look in addition to the LUT itself for input into the camera during production.]
Short films typically use 1 LUT
Feature films typically use between 3 and 5 LUTs
The Spectrum Feature Package includes 4 LUTs for $3200, and $600 for each additional LUT desired.
On Set Supervision; in person or remotely.
For an additional fee Shian can supervise your shoot in person or remotely. You can communicate with her via any video webchat service, or just on the phone. You can shoot a brief 3-10 second clip of your shot, have your DIT pull the RAW clip and send to her via U-send it or dropbox or any cloud service. She can download it plug it into Resolve along with your custom LUT, make any adjustments needed to camera settings, and or LUT and send back. This fee is negotiated on a per project basis, and is dependent on availability.
ColorGhear Subscribers receive a 25% discount on all Spectrum products and services.