Colour Grade

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First, I only applied basic corrections to make the image more dynamic. This started with increasing the exposure and contrast followed by detailing, primarily with the whites and blacks sliders, to emphasise the lift lights in the reflection and deepen the shadows around Lenny. The highlight/shadow slider was used to balance the effect of adjusting these two extremes.

Lift 2 Grade v1

I followed this with adjusting the colour wheels, moving the shadow and highlight wheels towards cyan and blue to amplify the cold metal and mirrors of the lift and compliment the red of the blood on Lenny’s hands. I then used the midtones to create some contrast in Lenny’s costume and balance her skin tones.

Lift 3 Grade v2

Finally, I created a mask of Lenny on another video layer as explained in the YouTube clip recommended on the media factory site. Here I was able to increase the exposure on Lenny to make her stand out in the frame and adjust her skin tones so they were more natural. I also used the HSL Secondary to adjust the colour of the blood on Lenny’s hands. I wanted to draw more attention to the blood but I don’t think I achieved this very well – I would probably need to try this again using another mask. I also found that because of the reflections Premiere’s automatic path tracking wasn’t very effective once she started to move, this required correcting path points frame by frame. Lastly, I feathered the mask to make sure there were smooth the edges of any additional effects.

Lift 3 Grade v3

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I wanted to test the colour tones of the overall environment with this shot. For both colours I still felt the need to increase the contrast so that the edges of objects in the frame had a clear distinction. From here I pushed the highlights towards cyan as this seemed to be the colour originally captured that can be seen in the reflection of the lights on the elevator wall. From here I pushed the shadows towards green and the midtones towards magenta/blue to provide some colour contrast. I believe that the overall sickly green effect is acceptable because of how we are used to seeing fluorescent lights being graded. I created another mask for Lenny so that she drew the eye and was separated from the environment. I readjusted the colour wheels so that they were closer to the centre of the wheel to make the skin tones more natural while keeping some green in the shadows so that she was still connected to the world.

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In the second shot I attempted to flip the colour so that the environment had a magenta tone. I started by moving the colour wheels to the direct opposite point but needed the push the shadows further to the wheel edge and up into magenta actually produce a distinct colour. This colour seems much less motivated than the green, I don’t believe that it is a tint that is often used to colour a film. Magenta seems reserved as a special light produced practically in night scenes. It might be used as a dream sequence colour because it is so uncommon or unnatural. To lean into this effect I needed to decrease the contrast, take out all the shadows, reduce the blacks, add a white vignette and finally adjust the white balance tint to add more magenta.

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For the stairs, I wanted to get some more distinction from this low light environment so I increased the exposure, contrast, highlights and whites, while also crushing the blacks to keep the distinction in the shadows. I then wanted to bring out the colours in the tubes, so in the Hue Saturation Curves, I saturated the greens, yellow and red segments to make them more vibrant.

Stairs 2 Grade v1

The second version I played back towards the captured colours, again taking the shadows and highlights towards cyan and the midtones to orange.

Stairs 3 Grade v2

The final version I pushed the exposure to its full capacity and then followed suit with all the other basic correction tone sliders. This produced an almost painted effect, and when I desaturated the image it became almost like an old newspaper comic. To further this effect I used the Faded Film slider and added a highly feathered vignette to draw attention towards the white wall where Sharon would enter.

Stairs 4 Grade v3

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