I have finally received the files for grading the film, at such a late stage I have already accepted that it will be case of colour correction and balancing shots with no time for anything stylistic or creative. The VFX for the film have held up the post-production, whilst I respect this is an important element I’m not happy the fact my creative input has been completely removed due to members of the team running over on their processes.
Whilst the colourist in me is annoyed as a producer I accept the priority of VFX over stylistic grading. Without VFX the film wouldn’t make sense, having a plainer grade isn’t much of a loss. One of the major delays in getting the footage was Dan loading film grain over the entire film. In my mind this would be a random generator that doesn’t add too much, however he has invested in expensive stocks for After Effects and previewing the footage it makes a dramatic difference.
The grain samples the content in the frame to keep the grain consistent throughout, with the option to choose to replicate particular models of camera and stock. With the grain applied it makes a huge difference and has completed the majority of the grading process. Having previewed some footage I feel like my input for grading is dramatically less than expected, treating it as a colour correction job not only accommodates for what little time I have been given but also the fact there shouldn’t be much to grade.
Taking all of this into consideration I will approach the footage with an extremely open mind. It’s not necessarily good practice but I will try and avoid grading unless its for colour correction or a relatively simple style choice (e.g. subtle colour washes). The grain has had a huge impact on the grade, one of the reasons for reducing my schedule to a couple of days, and almost nailing the visual style and colour Dan, Nathan and I intended on getting.