A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters, coming to Atlanta October 25-27.
In this episode: Colorist Robbie Carman!
How did you get started as a colorist?
My path to becoming a colorist started in music. I’ve played guitar since I was 6 or 7 years old and early on thought I wanted to be a rockstar!. After I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen, I got really interested in audio engineering and recording. During that time I was recording a lot bands and they were shooting music videos and needed some help – so I discovered video editing and dedicated my self to learning everything I could about video post. Flash forward – after college I found myself heavily involved in online editorial - that is uprezing shows, placing graphics and broadcast packaging at a post facility. In many of those session, clients were asking could I could do simple color corrections on shots. The more and more I was doing that, I discovered that I really liked color correction and grading. I dove in head first, learning all I could, shadowing a few fantastic colorists in my market and soon enough I was doing nothing but color. In 2005, my business partner and I left the facility we were working at and started our company Amigo Media which focuses entirely on grading for broadcast and film as well as postproduction education.
What’s one aspect of color you see people getting wrong all the time?
Trying to do too much! In my opinion, some of the best grades are often the simplest. Sure, you can add 40 secondaries to a shot to tweak every single aspect of the image but you should ask your self – am I really making it better or am I going to far? We have amazingly powerful tools for color correction and grading these days, but often the best looking grades are just simple adjustments to contrast and color. Its amazing what you can do with a deft touch on a primary grade.
Do I have to learn a program like Resolve to be able to grade my work?
Absolutely not! While dedicated tools like DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Speedgrade offer an amazing powerful tool set, your editorial application offers some great tools too. Nearly, every edit application will have tools like video scopes to analyze the signal, and a 3-Way color corrector to perform primary or overall corrections. Many also have secondary color correction tools to target corrections. There are also some really great color correction plug-ins for editorial applications.
What’s your personal philosophy as a regular trainer and author?
My personal philosophy is to try to make the the most complex subjects accessible, relating instruction to things that a student already knows about. I think when you’re able to make connections to existing knowledge it really clicks and you start to master a subject. I also try not to make things too serious, I always like to have fun and keep things light no matter if its a paragraph in a book, a session at a conference or an online training video.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?
A colorist I met right when I started out gave me some advice I try to live everyday – be nice and treat everyone with respect. There are plenty of folks in production and post who think the world revolves around them. They scream at people, make demands etc. These folks may have short term success, but in the long run, if you are fair, honest, and pleasant you’ll succeed. This same person also told me to try to help your friends as often as you can – if there is a work opportunity that they might be good for - recommend them.
What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?
Most of my sessions will revolve around color grading, including taking a look at secondary color grading techniques, and some common recipes for achieving great looks. I will also share some hard won knowledge that I think will be useful to small companies and freelancers about scheduling and budgeting projects with clients. Other than that, I hope to attend some sessions from the fantastic line up instructors, chat with attendees and just have fun at what promises to be a fantastic conference.
Register for the Southeast Creative Summit before September 25th for just $495 using the discount code: creativecow2013