Teaching Color Grading - What do I know?

I was asked this week to have a chat to some Filmaking students about Color Grading as part of a day out put forward by the Shanghai United International School.

I've done some teaching here and there over the years but it's been a while. I only had 20 minutes to give the talk and I knew that most of these students were new filmakers so I didn't want to overwhelm, or more importantly bore them with every facet of color grading.

I broke it down into some really simple key points.

  • What is Color grading?
  • What are the two essential reasons for Color Grading?
  • When should you start thinking about Color Grading?
  • Will Color grading make your film better? (Kind of a trick question)

Then I just went straight to questions and answers. I think it went okay. I was almost the last person to speak at the end of what was a pretty long day for all of the students so I needed to keep it straight to the point.

I was really happy with the questions that came up at the end of the session. It brought to mind the phrase "You learn by teaching" and it made me realize that although I'd aimed to keep it simple that it could still quickly come across as complicated to someone who knows nothing about it.

There was one other thing that the session reinforced for me personally. It reminded me of how passionate I am on the topic of images and color correction. I know it's nerdy but It actually made me happy to be reminded of that. When your working away every day it's easy to forget just how amazing it is to work in this area of Post Production