Color correction in features now as aggressive as commercials, videos

The current trend in motion-picture color correction, observes visual-effects artist Stu Maschwitz, is uncompromising preservation of “correct” skin tones.

As filmmakers’ sensibilities became influenced by the possibilities of the digital intermediate (DI) — popularized by colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld‘s work on Bad Boys II and that of Jet Omoshebi on Underworld — more “pushed” looks became commonplace. Aggressive color correction is more likely to render skin tones in an unflattering way, so a colorist’s capability has been judged by the skill to hold pleasing skin tones through severe corrections.

Maschwitz’s article is illustrated by examples from THE INCREDIBLE HULK and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. He offers specific recommendations for primary and secondary color correction, taken from his book, The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap. [Prolost]

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Austin Burbridge

Austin Burbridge is Executive Editor of Cinema Minima for Movie Makers Worldwide. He co-founded Cinema Minima in 1997. In 2007 he started its initiatives, "Sustainable Cinema," and "Far From Hollywood." He works at TBWA\ Media Arts Lab and TBWA\ MAL\ FOR GOOD.

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