NAB Day One Wrap-Up


It was an incredible first day at NAB 2014. I had the opportunity to attend three sessions:

1. From Camera to Consumer: The New Post-Production
2. Shooting for Color Correction & Grading
3. Camera Movement for Modern Production

Here are a few quick take-aways from day one:

From Camera to Consumer: The New Post-Production

This session featured a panel of three speakers, each talking about the changing role of post-production in the overall production workflow. The central theme to each presentation centered on the idea that the lines between "production" and "post-production" are blurring. These two phases of production are becoming more intertwined. Post-Production begins on set, and often in pre-production. With more and more content being acquired digitally, there's a rising need to have an editor on location, managing media, exporting dailies, and sometimes starting on a rough cut.

Leon Silverman, from Walt Disney Studios, described the new post world as follows:

1. Creative - There are new digital tools that allow us to imagine previously unimaginable stories. Think Gravity or Life of Pi.
2. Complex - There are more cameras, more codecs, more formats, more resolutions, and ever-changing distribution and consumption platforms
3. Connected - Filmmakers, producers, and vendors are increasingly global, which means content is sent back and forth in the cloud throughout the post process.
4. Customized - Audiences and not content oweners now decide where, when and how to consume content. Therefore, that content must be customized to meet those preferences

Shooting for Color Correction & Grading

There is a difference between color correction and grading: Color Correction is an essential step in most video and film work. Every project needs color correction. Grading, in contrast, is the process of applying an artist, visual style to the footage. Grading, unlike color correction, is not essential.

Why do we color correct?

1. Image Continuity - to match shots that may have been captured on different days under different lighting conditions
2. To Fix Camera Mistakes or Limitations
3. To Enhance Shots To Their Maximum Potential
4. To Adhere to Given Standards and Requirements
5. To Make the Footage Look Right (i.e. as accurate to real life as possible)

Why do we grade?

1. To set a visual mood
2. To match popular stylistic choices
3. As a personal artistic statement

The color choices and palette for a project should be discussed early. Here are some things to consider while in pre-production, as it pertains to the final color grade:

  • Location scouting should take into account the final colors of the project. Consider the color of walls, position of windows, colorful fixed items, etc. For example, if you want a very stark, Matrix look, you don't want a location that has a bright red walls.

  • For exteriors it is imperative to study the sun's behavior and movement.

  • Wardrobe planning should also consider the final grade. If you want a low-saturated look, your talent doesn't need to be wearing an electric blue shirt.

  • Once a type of grade is selected, shoot a test. A good test consists of a few location shots with actors wearing what they will wear during the actual shoot.

The Camera Movement session featured a live demonstration of many available camera support and movement systems, including Kessler, Movi from Freefly Systems, and Redrock Micro. I plan on stopping by their booths later in the week.

Follow me on twitter for live NAB updates.