An Interesting Few Weeks

So it’s been an interesting few weeks, spending some time in a remote part of the country I thought would be great for getting my course work done in a relaxing setting while spending some time with my family.

Day one the phone mast in the village went down knocking out both phone and internet for four days, so no chance to get any work done in the first few days, (for some people this would be relaxing but the stress of falling behind or to getting something done is not good for me). On top of that later in the week the muffler box on my car detached from the exhaust and my car spent the night in a garage and my phone went for a swim in the sea because while stand-in knee deep in water I just had to take a photo.

Back to Dublin and I then managed to give myself a black eye after a shoot trying to fold a 6 foot collapsible back drop, not easy when you’re 5’3. And after another shoot on Thursday I can relax into the weekend and focus on some editing and colour grading.

So what’s new. I finally sold my Ephonix MC colour grading control surface and have replaced it with the Ripple Tangent. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that the MC Colour is not compatible with Premier Pro and that is my main editing software. Avid and Adobe just do not get on.

Ripple Tangent

Reason number 2 is that the tangent is portable and runs off USB so it’ll be easy to have on set or when I need to get work done and travel and reason number three is it works great with Davinci which I use for colour grading and I have to say I am incredibly happy with it. Here is a few looks I created last week while using it.

Fiona graham, colourist, duo tone look, colour grade presentation
Duo Tone Look – Fiona Graham
Fiona Graham, Colourist, muted colour isolation look, colour grade presentation
Mued Colour Isolation Look – Fiona Graham
Colour grade based on film spectre,
Fiona Graham Colourist, Colour Grade Presentation
Warm Tones (Based on the film Spectre) – Fiona Graham

I’ll be offering 3D LUT design and Look design and presentation on my website soon but more on that later.

3D LUT and Look Design

Ok so today I am launching an updated website, Ive got a new logo which I’m much happier with but more importantly I’ve added a section to include a new service. Grading, 3D LUT and Look design

So what does this mean. I’ve decided I’m going to open up some of the work I do on my own Cinematography to the public, if they want to avail of it. These days colour management is so important and with budget and time constraints it can easily get swept aside but colour effects how your clients and viewers perceive and feel about your work. This applies to all audio visual projects from features to adverts, music videos, docs, anything.

All cameras have a ‘look’ or ‘LUT’ (look up table) that they apply to the footage they shoot. It’s one of the reasons people will argue for one camera over another. However the majority of cameras these days give you the ability to shoot in RAW which is a flat image with no ‘look’ on it, the reason people shoot in Raw is because it gives you more options in post including more ability to control the look of the image. You don’t want your end product to look like everyone else’s.

A Show LUT is a single LUT designed to control the look of a film, TV show or whatever project you are doing. It is used on set to monitor the colour and look of your production and insure your look is consistent. It is then used in post as the basis for your grade.

For Camera people there are plenty of LUT packs that you can buy out there but they’re generally a ‘one size fits all’, they tend to not give you really good film stock emulation or truly get the look you want. I can design custom LUTS based on the camera you are shooting on and catered specifically to the look you want.

The way this process works is that you will come to me looking for a look, LUT or colour space designed for your project. I will talk to you about the look you are going for we will discuss the tone and feel of the project, reference images and intended delivery.

I will then present it to you in the following format:

If you are at the point that you are just building your pitch or presentation these are a great addition to you look book.

Once we work out any tweaks or changes to the look I will then reissue this presentation along with the reference images and two .cube files, a 65 and a 33. (The 33 is for uploading to your camera and monitors for on set monitoring and the 65 is only for post as 65 is too big a file for on set monitoring but they are the same LUT)

It is important to have a LUT that is 100% correct because it needs to give you the look that you want without effecting the exposure of the camera.

This is a process I use for every project I shoot and it really does make a difference.

If you have any questions or queries email me at fionagraham@singlecellfilms.com

Lockdown 2020 Drone Footage

I recently had some Drone Footage I shot over the lockdown featured in The Guardian, Die Welt and Stern news sites. Here is the original video I posted:

The streets we eerily empty and its was a bit unnerving shooting the footage but as always Dublin looks great.