PAINT BY NUMBERS: THE IMPORTANCE OF COLOR GRADING

You don't have to convince us at Spirit Animal that color grading is important, but the folks over at IndieWire felt obligated to educate other indie filmmakers just how vital a filmmaking process it is. They talked to three successful indie filmmakers - Josephine Decker, Sarah Adina Smith, and Ryan Piers Williams - and got their opinions on the color correction process. 

"Getting to see the movie on a huge screen in a dark room for the first time was a pretty epic feeling," said [Sarah Adina] Smith. "And then slowly exhaling clouds of watermelon smoke from your vape pipe like a fucking caterpillar while saying things like 'Let's be careful with how we introduce our reds.'"

An example of different color grading techniques

Each director has their own take on how to approach this final stage in post-production, but each stresses the integral role it has in developing tone and style of the finished film. Using descriptive imagery to describe how the color will inform each scene, discussing with your colorist which character deserves which palate  - these are the decisions that go behind why each of your favorite movies look and feel the way they do. The full interview is informative and fascinating, and makes you understand the real weight behind finding a color grader you trust and putting real thought into the correction process. And if you need any help with your independent film, stop by our Peacock Suite for some Grade A coloring.