The process of color correction is an invariable part of the post – production of any given audio – visual product (video clip, movie, commercial e.t.c. ). When all the cutting and editing is done, the time comes to fix the colors of our scenes. Now, this might be the last thing we do before we finish our project, but it definitely is not the least important. Not at all. It’s a good practice to think about the color and the tone of all scenes, even before we shot them. That means we should make those decisions during the preparation stage of the project when we write our script. This is a very important thing to do because it will help us with the scenography and the lighting. All those things are tightly connected and spending some time to think about them all in advance, will make our work in post – production much easier, which will, of course, result in a better end product.
Nowadays, most of the new – generation cameras have the ability to shoot and record video in RAW format. This produces much bigger in size files, which occupy a lot of space on our hard drives but there is a good reason for that. Those RAW files contain much, much more information and they are also uncompressed, meaning the video won’t loose any quality before the final export. Another advantage that using this format gives us is the ability to color – correct the video without using any built in software effects. And this is great because those effects might get the job done but in many cases, they actually damage the quality of the picture. When we import a RAW video file in out editing or color grading software, DaVinci Resolve, for example, we are facing almost endless possibilities for correcting what we shot on the set.
Let’s imagine for a second, that you filmed some kind of video, you already did the editing itself and now it’s time to color – grade it. You simply click on the source file in the montage software and there it is. ISO, Color Space, Kelvin, Gama, Contrast, Brightness, Exposure and everything else. It’s like you’re back on the set and you are changing the camera’s settings while filming. All you need is a good software like DaVinci Resolve, which is absolutely free to use and at the same time receives worldwide recognition, and then as I like to say, you simply start painting your shots just like drawing with the paintbrush on a white piece of paper. Being video editors and color – graders, we are blessed by the endless variety of software and formats, new technologies offer us today. It’s much easier than 10 years ago for example. But still, if we don’t have a clear idea of what our shot are supposed to say to the viewers, we aren’t going to accomplish anything.
There are thousand of lessons and tutorials about editing and color- correction on Youtube alone. You can also find information on the net about the meaning of the different colors in cinema and in life. Every different color has its distinct subconscious influence on us. Ever since color cinema was invented, so many years ago, great movie directors are using the power of the colors to make their audiences feel in a certain way. There is much more to be said about the power of color and the impact our color grading has on the viewers and you should try and find all the info you can about it. Doing a deep research and getting intimately familiar with the science of the colors will significantly improve the quality of your work as a video editor or a movie director.
For a conclusion of this article, I’d like to share with you the words of one of my teachers in the university. She used to say: ” In order to know when to break a certain of video editing rule, you first have to know them well.”