To be alienated in a warm world

I Want to Return Return Return (2020)

Photographed by GIULIA SCHELHAS

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I am a UK-born film colourist (since 2013) with a varied background in cinema-related professions including documentary production, camera operating, editing, screenwriting and film festival programming. Originally raised in West Africa, I have lived in over 8 countries and presently reside in Berlin.

A graduate of UP.GRADE, the DFFB’s revered 9-month, full-time post-graduate colourist programme, I have received extensive guidance and expertise from some of the most distinguished professionals working in the post-production industry.

Having worked for UP.GRADE (alongside my mentor Dirk Meier) since 2016, I now enjoy demystifying colour grading and motion picture imaging for other professionals, lecturing at film schools and on a one-to-one basis.

In my spare time I produce studies of the characteristics of film images or optical effects with the aim of reproducing them using image processing tools. I also explore the history of cinematography using forms of mimesis – for example by re-photographing location scenes from popular films. This site also contains a number of examples of my work with images, including cinema ‘timeslices’ and traditional still photography.

Freelance DI colourist

Between Berlin and the UK, I am a freelance colourist and workflow consultant. I enjoy developing creative partnerships with cinematographers, developing show looks that are tailor-made for specific projects and mainly work on long-form projects.

Grading tools

I typically work in Resolve, Baselight, Nucoda and On-Set Dailies and am experienced with developing and working within colour managed workflows (ie ACES) and working on projects originally acquired on 35mm or 16mm photochemical film.

Despite having been fortunate to work with photochemical material, more often than not clients approach me after seeing my work on mimicking the characteristics of photochemical processes using digital source material.

Showreel

How many of us watch a colourist reel until the end? Offering little in the way of narrative, anything longer than 50 seconds can be a tedious affair. Here I riff on the format and reflect on why the role of the colourist came into existence – to serve as a supportive partner to the cinematographer.

Developing show looks

Many productions use exactly the same combination of cameras and lenses, however its rare that any production should wish it’s film’s ‘look’ to appear exactly the same as many other productions. Back in the era of photochemical movies, a production could receive a unique look through optical and chemical processes in the lab stage.

Today a custom viewing transform or ‘show look’ can define a tailor-made rendering of the look and feel of the world of your characters. Having a show look in place in the imaging pipeline from the outset of production gives everyone involved a clear picture of their film’s visual style and will differentiate it from other productions. Personally I’ve found this approach dramatically reduces time spent on defining a look in final grading that everyone is happy with and helps cinematographers both carry forward and refine their aesthetic intentions.

A show look helps create a palette for the world of a film:

  • Defining how contrasty, colourful or harmonious the overall film appears
  • Defining the appearance of characters’ skin tones, foliage and other natural elements
  • Adjusting spatial characteristics such as sharpness, grain and diffusion

Here are some examples, for more see here.

Teaching imaging, post & UP.GRADE

Where and why

An industry shrouded in misinformation. Many productions use exactly the same combination of cameras and lenses, however its rare that any production should wish it’s film’s ‘look’ to appear exactly the same as many other productions.

To date I have had the honour to lecture for:

  • The German Film and Television Academy (DFFB)
  • The Norwegian Film School (DKN)
  • A Post Lab, Amsterdam
  • Berlin University of the Arts (UDK)

Sources of knowledge

Many productions use exactly the same combination of cameras and lenses, however its rare that any production should wish it’s film’s ‘look’ to appear exactly the same as many other productions. Back in the era of photochemical movies, a production could receive a unique look through optical and chemical processes in the lab stage.

Peter Doyle, Supervising Digital Colourist, Warner Bros.
THE MATRIX, the HARRY POTTER series, EDGE OF TOMORROW
More about UP.GRADE lecturers
Greg Fisher, Senior Colourist, Company 3
THE MATRIX, the HARRY POTTER series, EDGE OF TOMORROW
More about UP.GRADE lecturers
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All images copyright Edmond Laccon

One-to-one classes

Many productions use exactly the same combination of cameras and lenses, however its rare that any production should wish it’s film’s ‘look’ to appear exactly the same as many other productions. 

Films, cinematographers & festivals

The UP.GRADE programme

UP.GRADE history

UP.GRADE short courses

For more info

Art of imaging projects

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RE:imaging

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Photography

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Timeslices

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The Boys From Brazil (1978)

Lawrence Olivier’s ageing

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