Archive for April, 2008

Color’ist Stamina

I’m just bubbling up to the surface after 2.5 weeks of non-stop Color’ing. 10 hour days. 600 shots / day. Fair amount of secondary isolations with vignettes. Exhausting. More exhausting than I expected.

I usually have a few intense days of color correction that are followed by a day or two of finishing. I switch gears fairly regularly. 10 hour days are common and not too stressful.

On this past job I was downtown at Outpost Digital working as a freelancer on a Discovery series (all other details of the job are embargoed). I had the luxury of an Assistant Editor prepping timelines for the Color roundtrip and a Finisher to handle the graphics, formatting, & outputs. For me, it was all color correction all the time.

I was able to turn around 50+ minutes of footage, about 600-700 shots, in 13-16 hours across two 10-hour days. Essentially, an episode every 1.5 days (including client revisions). By each Friday I was completely wiped out. Far more so than if I put in a 50-hour week doing finishing. I contacted a friend who’s a long-time colorist about his stamina on the job. I was wondering if his eyes were used to the routine.

Apparently not.

While he’s no stranger to much longer days – he also finds diminishing returns after the 10-hour day. His words:

“I hear you 10 hours and I’m done.  I start to loose my peripheral vision and I know it’s time to rest.  Longer than 10 hours the slower I go to the point when I realize how long this is taking and stop.  I’ve worked in a few places and when I was at the CBC they had a nice monitor surround to take some of the stress off your eyes.  In my new place I have some strips of white LEDs behind the monitor and until they finish the room this will have to do.  I had a killer week last week and I wish I had the Herman Miller chair that I had from my last company.  This makes a big difference as well.”

Dittos on the Herman Miller chair (the one with lumbar support and tilt forward control).

In the future I need to dial back client expectations so my eyes are as fresh on Friday as they are on Monday.

– pi

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Click to listen to the interview


Meet Your Colorist: Patrick talks Color Grading, Finishing, Workflows, Final Cut Color
via Digital Production Buzz


Guto Barra, Director/Producer
Beyond Ipanema

"Your expertise and patience proved to be essential assets to finalizing our documentary, especially under the huge time crunch for our MoMA world premiere."

Chris Ripper, Director
Ressurection Man (in post-production)

"I love how you add production value to the feel of a shot not just "color"and create a mood appropriate to the content. And pushing your color a certain direction so cleanly. Impressive."


  1. to end, to finish
    From Latin, Italian finire; French finir
French m. (plural finis) - noun
  1. Aspect or texture of what has been completed.
    Un fini lisse: A smooth finish
French adjective
  1. Completed or done.
  2. Which has come to an end.
  3. (technical or philosophical) Which has an end, limited, finite.