At the start of our meeting, I put on my “blue hat” and covered what my goals were for the block. I wanted to learn about color grading and the basics of visual effects by the end of the meeting. First, my mentor asked me, “what is the difference between a graded and non graded shot?” By the example he provided, I noticed that, once you improve the colors of the film, it subtly looks better than the footage that came straight from the camera. I didn’t realize that Nathan “placed” the yellow hat on my head. He had helped me learn new values and give me a new perspective, by asking me a question rather than just telling me the answer. As he continued talking about color grading, he put on his “black hat” and said that you shouldn’t “overuse [color grading] or it’ll look bad,” because it just “looks like the camera quality was lowered.”
Once he finished demonstrating color grading to me, I used one of my filming exercises to practice it. This was the result:
There are subtle changes between the original version and the color graded version, but most people wouldn’t notice. As my mentor said, “the changes are subtle but we subconsciously register it in our mind.” When color grading this, I equipped my “red hat”, and used my judgement to make it look good. Since this was my first time, I still have a lot of room to improve.
After Nathan taught me color grading, he used one of his short films for me to practice a basic visual effect called masking. When shooting the film, Nathan used string to pull a pair of glasses off of one of the actor’s faces. He used masking to cover up the string, and as a result it looked like the glasses were magically flying off of the actor’s face. Rather than just telling me, he asked me to guess how he did it. I put on my “green hat” and tried to come up with ideas. Eventually I realized that he used invisible string. He taught me how to do it afterwards.
At the end of our meeting, we put our “blue hats” back on and discussed the next steps of my project. We came to the conclusion that I should start working on my final film with Ethan and Angelina. I will have to discuss with them about our plans. If they need more time, I will continue improving my filming skills until they are done.