“All you need is six buttons,” he said. “We can revolutionize the industry.”
It was a bit hard to believe. Color grading was a highly technical, semi-mysterious science. Power windows, HSL keys, tracking masks, eyedroppers, scopes, giant control surfaces in dark suites – our understanding was that you needed power tools to even play the game. A lot more than six buttons.
Nevertheless, it was difficult to discount what Dale was saying. Dale Grahn was a color timer – the film world antecedent to the digital colorist. And he wasn’t just any color timer – he had crafted the look of Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Munich, and hundreds of other films. When Apocalypse Now needed to be re-timed for Apocalypse Now Redux, they went to Dale Grahn. When Steven Spielberg needed a color timer, he went to Dale Grahn.
Dale doesn’t immediately slice up the image and start tweaking it. As a color timer, you don’t have those tools. You have to look at the image as a whole, and work with it on its own terms. It’s an absolutely, fundamentally different way to look at an image. Sometimes, that’s a lot more limiting than working with digital tools. Power windows are handy.
Often, the best way to approach these questions is to get back to basics. With, for instance, just six buttons.
“The goal is to learn how to think color,” Dale had said when we first met. It makes sense to us now.
This is just our first collaboration with Dale – we also have some some very exciting tools for film and video editors in the works. For now, we hope you enjoy Dale Grahn Color for iPad. With the app launched, we finally have time to site down with a hot chocolate and try to figure out why, in that one lesson, Dale added those two points of cyan…
To learn more check out http://www.dalegrahncolor.com