Color Correction Secrets from Eric Whipp
Australian born Eric Whipp has been working at Alter ego in Toronto since 2007 and is best known for Mad Max ‘The Fury Road’s iconic look, directed by George Miller.
Filmmaker U produced this course, and they have managed to bring real production value to it. It is refreshing to discover a course that does not focus on software training but actual skills that professional colorists bring to the table.
This course’s content fills a much-needed gap where a professional colorist opens up his treasure chest and shares some invaluable advice. It is especially useful to anyone who has not had an opportunity to work at a post-production company and needs to learn what happens behind the scenes.
Eric starts the course with an overview of the process from beginning to end and how the role of colorists has evolved in the past ten years.
Further, Eric shares some invaluable advice that is usually impossible to learn unless you have been conducting numerous grading sessions. One such advice, for example, is the importance of narration. Colorist needs to narrate, explain what he or she is currently doing for clients to understand and participate in the process. There are several other great pieces of advice on ‘How to manage color grading session successfully.’ The idea that you, as a colorist, will get material and do corrections based on directions given by the Director or DP is far removed from the truth.
A large part of the course focuses on the crucial aspect of the whole art of look creation and usage of color as a storytelling tool.
Developing a look for the movie, its main look, and what are sub looks and how they support the story arc. A dive into the context of the shot,
when to push it and when it is too much.
We also love the part that explains the importance of understanding the light. But by far, the most exciting lesson was when Eric matches two shots in real-time. This is genuinely the closest you get to watching senior colorist at work but without actually being physically there.
In the Pro Color Grading world, there is generally a split between colorists who keep it simple and those that treat every shot as a visual effect. Both approaches are adequate and are part of personal choice and style. Eric is the member of the 2nd group – where shots are treated as VFX plates, where he sometimes completely reconstructs the content to create the desired look and feel. In Mad Max, this was obvious as the look was built in the grading process, and in this course, Eric shows the number of detailed tweaks he was putting in when constructing the final result.
If you had enough of fake professional YouTube colorist tutorials and have not been exposed to conducting grading sessions, then this course is for you.