Before I wrote code for a living, I went to school for and then worked in film and television post production. After joining a local company I worked up to the position of Online Editor and Colorist, a role that combines visual artistry with deep technical skill.
The Online Editor receives the final edited cut of a project from the producer in a low-quality image format and must make every frame look as good as it can. This involves some automated work and a lot of manual work, like replacing temporary graphics with final versions that may not have the exact same timing.
A Colorist takes the next step by touching every frame of the footage so the color is even from shot to shot, as well as applying artistic effects to the image. Think “Instagram Filter,” except for a thousand shots and applied manually1 to account for variations in source footage. And then do that in two days.
I was the “last pair of eyes” for multiple seasons of major cable shows, commercials, and feature films.
Check out my old reel (the contact information is out of date, don’t use it!):
American Experience: The Amish
Probably the best work I ever did, the director was a true artist and the footage was unbelievably beautiful and enjoyable to work with. Despite the naturalistic look, we did a lot of careful image sculpting throughout.
Build it Bigger: Peru Dam and Tunnel
Integrated graphics and challenging lighting conditions make this episode a tour-de-force of technically challenging color grading. Maintaining skin tone and environmental consistency was a huge challenge here.
Mac’s Seafood: Know Where Your Fish Comes From
One of the last things I worked on. I really like the rich blues in this one.
Industry and economic conditions were against me and I had to abandon the field professionally in 2012. Since then I’ve occasionally lent my skills to old colleagues and friends:
Many of the images on my Instagram account are created this way, using a combination of manual adjustments instead of a predetermined filter. ↩︎