Color Correction and Magic Bullet Looks

Color correction and color grading are two of the most important yet least understood areas of film and video production. The color of your image is one of the most important tools to create atmosphere and environments that lead your audience through your film. Color provokes emotion and can stir up a range of feelings in your audience. 

There are a multitude of tools available to color correct and grade your image. Some of them are Magic Bullet Looks, Adobe Speed Grade, and Davinci Resolve. Below is a color corrected image notice how on the right the image is more vibrant and less flat. The blue sky pops between the dense branch background, the pink center of the flower pops and gives the eye focal points within the flowers themselves. This is an example of color correction. 

Color grading is the next step in controlling color in your image. Color grading allows the colorist to control the levels and strengths of colors in your image which in turn gives your video different emotional appeals. In general a cooler image with more blues and greens will feel colder and give the audience a less comfortable edge of your seat feel, think The Matrix or Blade Runner. On the opposite end of the spectrum a warmer image with more yellows and oranges will feel much more comfortable and less edgy, think Field of Dreams.
There are no set rules on how to use color, it comes down to your personal preferences as colorist and director. Often times directors develop their own "look" which gives their films a certain feel. Using saturation, contrast, and color hues you can develop a look which captivates your audience and further pulls them into the story. 
To learn more about color correction and a brief look at Magic Bullet Looks watch our video on Color Correction and Magic Bullet Looks: 

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-Christopher Settineri