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Cost Accounting: Color Correction

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Pixel MonkeyCost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 11, 2005 at 4:15:29 pm


In your collective experiences, have you deemed it worth the expense to have large, national-quality products color corrected by a pro? OR, have your Avid editors done an acceptible job at it? I'm getting quotes of $5,000 - $8,000 from Pro Colorists.

(Our production in question: 60 minute HD doc for PBS.)

`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey

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Charlie KingRe: Cost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 11, 2005 at 6:08:08 pm

Are you saying your Avid editors are not pros?


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Tim KolbRe: Cost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 12, 2005 at 2:27:41 pm

Pro editors are not pro colorists...I get the point.

I suppose it depends on your budget, but to my mind HD is more critical for this sort of polish than SD. There is just so much more to look at...

I do think that some days there seems to be an awful lot of unnecessary "mystery" around color correction, but there is no doubt that a talented and motivated colorist can easily pay for themselves on high profile projects.

...I might also factor in just how much "help" the material needs. Maybe there are segments that need a pro and others that don't. The danger here is inconsistency of course, but you'll have to decide what's appropriate for the project.


Kolb Syverson Communications,
Creative Cow Host,
2004-2005 NAB Post Production Conference
Premiere Pro Technical Chair,
Author, "The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro"
"Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series"

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Rich RubaschRe: Cost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 14, 2005 at 2:25:15 am

I agree...the question is not what format it is, but what you are starting out with. How much variance is there between cameras? How far does the director want to go? How competent do your editors feel with the color correction tools you have? Do you like their work?

You have a long project on your plate and $5000-$8000 seems reasonable since it's hard to know how much input a given director might want to offer. Could slow things down.

But talented eyes can even out all the color and give the show that polish that your own editors might not.

There is a lot more to the question than the cost of the job. It is also what might be required and how critical it is to the story.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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Charlie KingRe: Cost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 15, 2005 at 4:38:35 pm

I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers with my statement. I will say when speaking of talented eyes. One of the best video engineers I ever worked with (his job was matching cameras for live shoots) was totally color blind. His cameras matched beautifully and the colorimitry was exceptional. He was fantastic with a scope.


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Pixel MonkeyRe: Cost Accounting: Color Correction
by on Aug 17, 2005 at 12:40:20 am

The show was shot on one of the first Panasonic HD DVC Pro's ever made. For some reason, there's always a bit of a green cast (but at least it's consistent). The footage is in a historic Frank Lloyd Wright house, and has lots of contrasts - dark rooms with bright beams of light. It's great stuff.

My concerns:
- I've color corrected dozens of shows on our Avids, but it's all been guesswork. True, you don't need a diploma to say "Chickens aren't blue!", but, you get the point.
- Each of our Avids has a different brand of client monitor, and each was set up by a different engineer. For all I know, chickens are blue!
- I'd like to establish a relationship with a post house that has a DiVinci or other comparable system - just for the coolness of it, I guess.
- I can do a decent enough job of "correcting" the footage, but once the producer starts asking for intentionally different looks between scenes and locations, I'm back to hunt-and-peck guesswork.

This is the age where most home improvements have become Home Depot do-it-yourself jobs. That just means that there'll be less and less houses labeled "Historic Site" in 100 years. Some things need to be left to the pros.

`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey

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