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What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?

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Daniel Morgan
What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 26, 2012 at 11:28:32 pm

I'm editing a short film, and the DP requested that he color correct the film because he wants it a certain way and does no trust my color correcting abilities. Recently, he said he does not have the time to color correct the film and said to send it to his friend to color correct it. I'm concerned. Doesn't the editor do the color correction? Is it common to send a film to a colorist after cutting? What's the difference between an editor and a colorist?


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Shane Ross
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:24:21 am

[Daniel Morgan] "Doesn't the editor do the color correction?"

Typically...no. It is VERY rare for the editor to also be the colorist. The editor is also known as the "offline editor" or "creative editor." Their job is to tell the story. That's it. Then there is the "online editor" or Colorist. This typically is the same person, but there are times where there is the online editor who will bring everything up to spec and full res, and then a Colorist who's sole job is to grade the project. Colorist is a full time, separate profession. And in Hollywood, 99.9% of the time, the editor and the colorist are different people.

[Daniel Morgan] "Is it common to send a film to a colorist after cutting?"

VERY common. But it depends on your budget. Some shows can't afford a full "grade," and they opt instead for an "online," meaning that the look was done while shooting, and all the online guy does is make sure shots match, and that it can pass broadcast spec.

One man band shops will have people do both...on lower end things. And I can do both...but that is rare. Typically I am either the creative cutter, or the online colorist. Rarely both.

There is a completely different skill set involved in both professions. And they are separate professions.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 27, 2012 at 2:32:12 pm

As Shane sais, but I have to add that till recently, professional tools for Color Grading (software/hardware) were out of the reach of most video makers and being an skilled colorist was reserved for a few.
Things has fortunately changed.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alan Okey
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 27, 2012 at 2:41:09 pm

Just to piggyback on Shane's comments, the caveat is what market or level of production you're talking about. For broadcast and feature film work, editing and finishing are two separate processes performed by different people with different skill sets.

Outside of film and broadcast, it's very different. Not only are editors expected to edit, but they are also increasingly expected to do color, motion graphics, sound mixing, compression, DVD/Blu-ray authoring and just about any other ancillary duty one might think of when producing content. Just look at any entry level or mid-level video job listing (Craigslist, etc.) for a reality check. It's also not unheard of to be expected to shoot and do sound and lighting in addition to everything else in post. This is practically a given in many corporate video gigs. It's crazy, but I see it all the time.

It's really a select few at the top of the industry who have the luxury of being just an editor.


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Rafael Amador
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 28, 2012 at 1:59:15 pm

Alan,
I spent 12 years being a full time editor and these were the most boring years in my career.
I love to do everything from shooting to delivery, except graphics and sound.
I'm very bad for those two tasks.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alan Okey
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 28, 2012 at 2:27:02 pm

Rafael,

That's great that you are able to do so many different things that you enjoy. I also have multiple skills and interests within video production, but there's a difference between taking on tasks and duties that you enjoy versus being forced to be a Jack-of-all-trades / master of none due to time and budget constraints.

While I think it's important to have a broad skill set, I don't think it should be at the expense of depth of knowledge. I'm pretty detail-oriented, so being broad and shallow doesn't appeal to me as much as being narrow and deep. I personally find it more satisfying to work at a high level of proficiency / master a focused set of skills rather than having only basic knowledge and skill in a wide variety of tasks. If you can manage to have both breadth and depth, then that's great!


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Rafael Amador
Re: What's the difference between Video Editor and Colorist?
on Jun 28, 2012 at 3:53:30 pm

[Alan Okey] "While I think it's important to have a broad skill set, I don't think it should be at the expense of depth of knowledge. I'm pretty detail-oriented, so being broad and shallow doesn't appeal to me as much as being narrow and deep. I personally find it more satisfying to work at a high level of proficiency / master a focused set of skills rather than having only basic knowledge and skill in a wide variety of tasks. If you can manage to have both breadth and depth, then that's great!"
You are right Alan, but i started on this business when a video editor (montador in my country) was in charge of every kind of operation that involved VTRs, from editing and postproduction, to making sport replays, recording every kind of source in a TV station, etc.
Somehow I tried to fallow that tradition now working with a computer and I think that Color grading and Video compression are two new tasks that technology has bring to the editor and I don't see them like a burden, but have enriched my job.
Now i have to do everything because I'm almost a one-man-band, and some times is tiring to have to take care of everything,. I'm not a genius on any thing, but i'm able to do a very decent job and a good product. Sure, is about preferences, circumstances and markets, but personally i found this more rewarding than doing over and over the same thing.
In 26 years you have time to be deep enough and not too narrow.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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