I'm a 4th year student based out of Canada and I'm currently in the middle of a color grading crisis, if you will. I'm grading off of the school's calibrated Panasonic Ajax monitor. The corrections look great on the monitor, but when I view them off a regular LCD or my Mac, the color and contrast looks totally off.
My dilemma, is that this film will be mainly watched by most at home on a DVD, and most people don't have a color calibrated monitor, so is there really a point of grading in this case? or should I just grade off my 27' Cinema Display?
If your PANASONIC monitor is properly calibrated, that's the only valid reference. Your movie will look OK in every properly calibrated monitor, and that is what will be required from your products when you will be working.
I work with three different monitors and in each of them my videos looks different. I fallow the only one I can be properly adjusted.
If you want your movies to look OK in every single monitor/TV, you will need to make too many version.
The job of the colorist is to make it look as good as it can, on a properly calibrated monitor. Using a properly calibrated monitor ensures that your reds are really red, blues are blue...all colors are true...brightness and blackness is true. Give the best quality image possible.
What people view it on...how THOSE are calibrated...is out of your hands. You can't control that. But you need to ensure that you give the best image you can, so that their uncalibrated equipment doesn't show it even worse. And there are people out there that do calibrate their TVs properly, why cheat them?
Don't use substandard equipment to grade on (like your computer display) just because "what's the point, people watch it on crappy devices." That's chasing after the lowest common denominator. That's going "this is good enough," and there is far too much of that in the world. Take pride in your work. Make it the best you can. SOME people will see it properly, most won't. But you can't control that.