Color Grading Lesson: How To Achieve a Timeless Film Look

I recently released a Color Grading Masterclass, comprised of 12 in-depth lessons that cover the creative aspects of color correction.

Countless filmmakers have now taken the course, and after a tremendous amount of feedback I’ve decided to release a sample lesson here for those who would like a taste.

The lesson I’m sharing today is all about the “Timeless Film Look”, and outlines my process for correcting digital footage to look more filmic, without overly stylizing it.

I’ve never been interested in degrading the quality of my footage to make it look aged. Film scratches and burns were never quite my thing… But I have always loved the look of high quality motion picture film.

And that’s what this lesson is all about. We look at some of the unique characteristics – like highlight rolloff, contrast ratios, and color balance – that make classic motion pictures look so good, and explore methods for replicating them digitally.

For a little context, here is the full course outline for my Color Grading Masterclass.

The video below is taken from Lesson #7 –


1. Critical Tools– The most essential color grading tools, their primary functions, and where to find them in DaVinci Resolve, FCP X, and Premiere Pro.

2. Order of operations– A bulletproof workflow for RAW and compressed formats, designed to optimize footage for maximum creative potential.

3. Shot matching & base grades– The first critical steps of any creative grade.


4. Exposure Adjustments– Techniques for handling over/underexposed footage to deliver optimal luminance levels with minimal noise.

5. Balancing Colors– Best practices for executing the primary grade, geared toward a natural/organic starting point.

6. Perfecting Skin Tones– Assessing and fixing common technical issues that affect skin tones for a more flattering look.


7. Timeless Film Looks– A step by step tutorial, showcasing proper execution for several popular looks associated with classic motion picture film.

8. The Big Budget Look – From sci-fi to action and everything in between, this lesson teaches core grading skills for several popular big screen looks.

9. Ultra Stylized– Creative techniques for grading music videos, commercials, art films, and other projects that call for a more aggressive palette.


10. Black/White Levels– Finding the right shadow/highlight balance, and achieving consistent luminance throughout long form projects.

11. Grain & Film Emulation– Best practices for applying film grain and emulation in post, giving digital footage a more analog look.

12. Color Uniformity– The final phase, exploring how global settings, LUTs, and other tools should be used in unison to create a cohesive aesthetic.

To learn more about the full Masterclass be sure to click here!

And without further ado, here is the sample lesson on achieving a Timeless Film Look –

Don’t forget to also check out my Cinematic Color Grading LUTs at

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NAB Wrap-Up, Part 4

This continues my recap of my tour through the aisles of NAB. An important topic is where to put all those pixels. 4K, 8K and raw all demand more room. And, critically, they demand better performance.

One way to get more performance from storage is to move from spinning drives to solid state memory. At the Lexar booth, they showed a portable SSD with a capacity of up to 1 TB and a possible 900 MB/s write speed. That’s about 5 to 6 times the speed of an average single spinning disk drive.

NAB Wrap-Up, Part 4
This Lexar drive is nearly 6 times faster than a traditional hard drive.

For even more speed, I stopped at the G-Technology booth. They showed their G-Drive mobile Pro SSD. This unit takes the possible write speed to 2800MB/s.

NAB Wrap-Up, Part 4
Solid state storage was everywhere at NAB.

You might wonder why I’d consider storage like this in an edit suite. With a maximum capacity of 2 TB in their largest model, it doesn’t hold that much. (These days 2 TB isn’t much.) Obviously, it will work screamingly fast for small projects, but it’s also a great tool as a cache drive.

When you set up your edit software, you’re often asked to point to a drive that the software can use for caching—offloading data out of memory. You might also have to select a scratch drive for generating previews. Pointing to a very fast drive can make your edit experience much better—less waiting for the software to process data. These drives don’t have to be that big because the data stored is temporary, and the space is usually managed by the software.

All SSDs aren’t created equally though. Engineers have developed Non-Volatile Memory Express—or NVMe—a new way of using solid state in drives. Instead of the traditional drive control (position the drive head, write or read the data, seek a new position), we now have SSDs that are treated more like RAM. There’s no head to reposition, just a location to read and write to.

NAB Wrap-Up, Part 4
The OWC ThunderBlade uses NVMe to achieve blazing fast reads and writes.

OWC uses NVMe in its ThunderBlade drive. Comprising 4 NVMe modules in the chassis, it can achieve read speeds up to 2800 MB/s and writes at 2450 MB/s. It’s via Thunderbolt 3 with up to 8 TB of capacity.  

Finally, there’s shared storage using Network Attached Storage (NAS). Once relegated to complex and expensive Storage Area Networks (SANs), NAS was prevalent at NAB.

Qnap showed their NAS products. Using 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), which can run on copper, the multi-drive connected storage can deliver terabytes of 4K footage to multiple users. In a future post, I’ll talk more about how NAS has become more affordable.

Next time, I’ll cap my recap of NAB with a little bit about advances in edit software.

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The Filmtools Podcast Eps. 3 with Drone Operator Mike Fortin

Each week The Filmtools Podcast will talk with industry professionals in a candid conversation about their career, relevant news within the industry, and about the art and gear behind filmmaking.

This week we had a fascinating conversation with drone operator and founder/CEO of Cinedrones Mike Fortin. Hear about Mikes path from flying RC helicopters for fun in Florida to capturing some of the most breathtaking aerial shots for shows like “Ozark” on Netflix, “9-1-1” on FOX, and “Goliath” on Amazon. Check out the episode below:

The Filmtools Podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Radio Public and Pocket Casts. Make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast listening platform and, if you like the shows, tell your friends!

The post The Filmtools Podcast Eps. 3 with Drone Operator Mike Fortin appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Art, Design and Creativity

At the end of every episode of The Terence and Philip Show I challenge our audience to “Do something creative,” but what do I mean by ‘creative’?

Creativity is a mix of randomness and restraint: extreme and editing. If there is no randomness, no sense of doing something different, then it’s hard to be considered creative! It’s equally easy to be completely random without restraint or editing and be unable to decide what is effective design or art. (More on those later.)

A long time ago in a country far away, I employed a graphic designer for some publishing work we were doing. I distinctly remember him generating three versions of an ad where he was unable to decide which was “best.” What was so odd, was that one of the designs clearly communicated content and mood better than the other two, which was immediately obvious (to me). He had random down, but lacked the editorial eye.

Creativity isn’t something exclusive to painters, sculptors and other practitioners of the “fine arts.” While they are a sub-branch of creativity, it is not limited to fine arts. To be really creative one has to be outside common bounds, while fine arts define common bounds!

Design is creativity applied to problem solving, which is why it appeals to me. Whether that problem is an icon design, a garden landscaping challenge or a new iPhone, the same skills of trying something new and different (randomness) combined with an editorial eye, work to solve the challenge.

It’s also beholden on the designer to be aware or changed opportunities: new tools, techniques and material make new opportunities possible. Applying those new solutions is definitely creative.

Art adds another dimension: passion. For about a year I shared a house with a college art student, David Middlebrook, now one of Australia’s more prominent landscape artists. Even then he had a very savvy understanding of “art” and had two working definitions, both equally true. “Art is what the art world will buy” and the much less cynical “Art is Passion.”

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a passion for people, for landscapes or for changing the world, Art is the expression of creativity with passion.

Bottom line: you can’t be conventional and creative.

The Friday Roundup – Fonts, Whip Pans and Key Frames

Free Fonts
OK so let’s kick off with some freebies!
Last week I linked to an article on how to add new fonts to your Windows system and to have those newly added fonts become available in your video editing software.
You can brush up on that one HERE.
As luck would have it, this week Shutterstock came out with a blog post listing a bunch of sites that you can check out…
Read more…

CRAZZIE Pro Gearҳ GTR-1: a huge backpack for video professionals

CRAZZIE Pro Gear's GTR-1: a backpack for video professionals

Designed for gamers, the CRAZZIE Pro Gear’s GTR-1 backpack has attracted the attention of film and video professionals who need to carry lots of gear. Now it was chosen by The Daytime Emmy’s.

If you’re willing to carry lots of gear on your back, the GTR-1 by CRAZZIE Pro Gear may be the ideal solution for you, as it can carry a lot more than other backpacks. Large enough to hold any gear up to 23 inches (58cm) tall by 23 inches wide (58cm) by 11 inches deep (28cm) and, as mentioned, able to support up to 70 pounds (31.75 kilos) of weight, the GTR-1 was funded on Indiegogo in 24 hours. The first bags were delivered to backers late February 2019, and the product is now available on the market, with a price of $199.00.

The GTR-1 was designed with gamers in mind and it can hold an entire 23″x23″ PC Tower, with room for accessories in and all around it, with molle strapping surrounding the exterior of the bag. It also can be configured for drones, camera gear, lighting and most media accessories, so it attracted the attention of owners of large gear that doesn’t fit in traditional backpacks. The video published here demonstrates the versatility of the backpack in different configurations, including one to carry a whole kit for video.

CRAZZIE Pro Gear's GTR-1: a backpack for video professionals

The Daytime Emmy’s adopts GTR-1

Matt Garner, Producer and President of Mint Studios says ““The GTR-1 CRAZZIE Backpack is a perfect option for guys like me and my crews…”,    and adds that “We always take a couple of CRAZZIE Bags.” Mint Studios is a full service media and digital agency that specializes in high quality video content and online marketing. Mint Studios was commissioned last year to help CRAZZIE Pro Gear with a Kickstarter video launch of their new product, the GTR-1 Backpack, and adopted the product to carry gear.

A new client for the GTR-1 is The Daytime Emmy’s, that recently reached out to CRAZZIE for dozens of bags to be delivered to their Golden Gift Lounge, to be handed to TV-Industry big wigs at the invitation-only Emmy event. The Daytime Emmy Award is an American accolade bestowed by the New York–based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of CRAZZIE Pro Gear's GTR-1: a backpack for video professionalsexcellence in American daytime television programming. Ceremonies generally are held in May or June, so the GTR-1 appear just in time for next edition of the event.

The CRAZZIE team anticipates a ton of video and film professionals will continue to gravitate toward the GTR-1, as well, and they may well be right, as the backpack is ideal for transporting lots of gear. While the backpack is technically large than most airlines specifications for carry on, there is a hardshell case for superior protection. Also, the GTR-1 doesn’t have wheels built in you can easily attach the backpack to any standard dolly/cart.

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