Michael Bay is so cool. He’s the coolest . . . Okay, I’m not a Michael Bay fan. He makes cool looking movies, but he’s just like George Lucas in that he’s a digital & special effects guy. If you were to ask him to actually direct actors and not action, I think his head would explode. It would be a fantastic explosion that was budgeted at a cool 12 Million, but an explosion all the same.
Still, as I sit here in a coloring bay at Company 3 (a post production house) in Santa Monica, I can’t help but feel kinda cool knowing that this is the same place he colors his films. Oh, yeah, I’m here coloring my thesis film. Sorry. Didn’t I mention that? Yep. My editor, Lauren Walsh and I have reached a definitive cut of the film. Her roommate, Jarod, is a colorist for Company 3 and is doing the color correction as a favor to me. And he’s pretty good.
For those uninitiated to the filmmaking process, color correction is key to getting a film looking great. Sometimes, when you watch deleted scenes on a DVD extras menu, they look dull, and flat. Like it was shot on some primitive VHS Camcorder. That’s a film before color correction. The director and the colorist sit down and decide on a look and feel for the film — a color palate that probably coincides with what the director and the art director set out in production.
Well, Jarod, Lauren and I sat down at Company 3 and set the look for the film. There’s lots you can do to subtly enhance and direct the viewers emotions and perceptions. For instance, in my film, (Super) Dan, there is a scene where the main character’s mother invades his privacy and enters his room. When she enters the scene, we flattened the color ever so slightly to give the effect that when she enters his haven, she brings the mood down.
It’s really amazing what you can do in post to enhance the viewing experience. Subtle things that Michael Bay probably doesn’t consider because he’s too busy orgasiming over fighting robots. Take sound design, another post process. My sound designer for my film Belittle, James Thompson, did some great things to help accelerate the narrative. One trick had to do with the relationship between the two main characters. There are multiple times in the film that these two brothers are getting along and one will say something to ruin the moment. Whenever that happened, he sucked all the background noise from the film, creating an artificial “awkward silence.” It was brilliant.
In any case, I though I’d share some of the color corrected stills we worked on today. Lauren and I have been editing the film in a much lower resolution than what we filmed at — it takes up less space on a hard drive and, thus, makes editing faster. Now that we have full resolution and coloring, there’s a whole new, exciting layer. Here’s a few of the stills — they’re not even in full resolution so know that they’ll be even better when the film is finished. I don’t have the original versions, so just know there is a huge difference.