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How to become a DI colorist


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#1 precious nchanji

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 01:58 PM

I have started having an interest in the DI field, but i don't have any idea of how that functions. Do i need a school for that or are there books or DVD lessons which will give me good knowledge about DI.
Also what pro tools are being used now for DI coloring.
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 02:16 PM

I have started having an interest in the DI field, but i don't have any idea of how that functions. Do i need a school for that or are there books or DVD lessons which will give me good knowledge about DI.
Also what pro tools are being used now for DI coloring.


Hi,

Getting a job as a runner in a facilities house would be as good a start as any.

Stephen
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#3 Andre LeBlanc

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:48 PM

I'm sure people can become colorists from all sorts of varying backgrounds and disciplines, but I've personally witnessed people who started as compositors go on to become colorists.

Most compositors I know have some training in core arts: painting, photography, etc... I would think similar training would be helpful for a colorist, but again, I'm sure it varies case by case.

Edited by Andre LeBlanc, 03 May 2008 - 06:50 PM.

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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:31 AM

The way you become a colourist is to work for four to six years for less than minimum wage taking people food and drink - in postproduction this is called "running" not "waiting tables" and the principal difference is you don't get tipped. Its purpose is to ensure that only independently wealthy people with the sort of personality that's capable of putting up with this sort of treatment can become colourists.

I'm only half joking.

P
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 02:00 AM

Hi Phil,

I don't know anybody who stayed being a runner more than 18 months, many moved up way earlier.

Stephen

The way you become a colourist is to work for four to six years for less than minimum wage taking people food and drink - in postproduction this is called "running" not "waiting tables" and the principal difference is you don't get tipped. Its purpose is to ensure that only independently wealthy people with the sort of personality that's capable of putting up with this sort of treatment can become colourists.

I'm only half joking.

P


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 02:04 AM

Au contraire, I've known several people who were at it year after year. The BBC is particularly notorious for this. One particular individual I knew personally was running errands for five years before finally getting pissed off.

My purpose here is to warn potential initiates that the postproduction industry is known to use false promises of future advancement in order to secure cheap labour - say it ain't so.

There only actually needs to be a couple of dozen colourists in the UK, if that, with a core of six to eight doing the really high end stuff.

P
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 02:20 AM

Hi Phil,

Does the BBC really get away paying below minimum wage? I thought they gave good pensions too!

FWIW I started as a runner in 1979, the first proper DP I met was John Holland!

Stephen

Au contraire, I've known several people who were at it year after year. The BBC is particularly notorious for this. One particular individual I knew personally was running errands for five years before finally getting pissed off.

My purpose here is to warn potential initiates that the postproduction industry is known to use false promises of future advancement in order to secure cheap labour - say it ain't so.

There only actually needs to be a couple of dozen colourists in the UK, if that, with a core of six to eight doing the really high end stuff.

P


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#8 tylerhawes

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:04 AM

This runner deal sounds pretty sweet. Maybe we should get one of them! :)
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#9 tylerhawes

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 05:12 PM

Seriously, I recommend you start by studying Cinematography hard-core. Get some of the best films and watch them with the sound turned off to focus on the image. Understand how the use of composition, color and light draw the eye to the important subject in each frame, and imagine how you as a colorist could enhance that and aid the storyteller. Then get your hands on some imagery and a half-decent color tool (even the basic stuff built into NLEs is a start), and work on shots. Take it from there.
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#10 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:20 PM

Try to get a job at a smaller facility which will put you within several feet of the telecine room, then work (slave?) to get a night job timing dailies or student stuff.. After a year of timing millions of feet of film you will have been yelled at enough to know what people like and what they don't. It is essential that you have some artistic grasp of color itself!! then you need to figure out the knobs and buttons to make the machine sing..

An alternative might be to get a Color system together (does that new cheap tangent panel work yet?) and try timing indie HVX projects and corporate stuff... Not as good as running an older DaVinci888 with a telecine in my opinion (because there is so much less to work with in terms of color and latitude in these video projects) plus with a DaVinci everything is real time.. but it's another way to start...

-Rob-
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:24 AM

"FWIW I started as a runner in 1979, the first proper DP I met was John Holland! "


Thanks for that Stephen ! will have now get even more hair restore and Grecian 2000. :D
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:52 PM

Hi Phil,

Does the BBC really get away paying below minimum wage? I thought they gave good pensions too!

FWIW I started as a runner in 1979, the first proper DP I met was John Holland!

Stephen



I don't know about the runners in the BBC, but it has some strange practises. Years ago, in one region, their top film cameraman for many years (he got all the best productions) was actually an assist cameraman in a temporary grade. They didn't make it permanent grade for quite a few years.

I rather suspect you need to quickly start applying for jobs inside the BBC, otherwise you will get stuck as a runner.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 05 May 2008 - 02:52 PM.

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