Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that intersts you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?

New Talent

New Colours: 14 Up and Coming Colourists You Need To Know About

LBB Editorial, 1 year, 8 months ago

Get to know the industry’s rising telecine stars

New Colours: 14 Up and Coming Colourists You Need To Know About

Post production is an industry notorious with a tricky entry route. Learning the relevant skills at university or college is just part of the journey; after that lies a long road of running and late nights of learning with a post house’s established artists. Perhaps the longest and hardest role to get to in the post world is that of the colourist. Many post houses have their ‘superstar’ colourist and it can be difficult for rising stars to break through and make a real name for themselves. But it’s equally pivotal for a learning colourist to pick the wisdom of said superstar. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with some of adland’s most exciting up-and-coming colourists to see what inspires them.  


Edwin Metternich, Framestore (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

You’ve seen how much graders get paid...? But seriously, I love grading because it suits me. It's creative and you face a new challenge every day. There is no right or wrong, it’s like a language that has no rules, a language that is different for everyone.

There is also a simplicity in grading, a total focus on only one element, that I find rewarding.

What inspires your work?

The people I work with, both my colleagues and my clients. 

What’s your favourite colour? 

Blueredmagentaorangecyangreenpinkgrey


Marty McMullan, Rushes (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

Working closely with the director and DOP to achieve a shared vision is extremely rewarding. In many instances, it is the colourist that has the final creative input so you have a satisfying impact on the final piece. 

What inspires your work? 

My dad is an artist so I grew up influenced a lot by his work and how he talks about colour and light. I have also been lucky to work with some amazing colourists in my time with Rushes. I also take a great deal of inspiration from cinema, photography and design.  

What’s your favourite colour? 

I don't really have one! Every project is different so it’s important to go into a grade with an open mind and no colour bias. The end goal is to achieve something that the client and myself are happy with.


CJ Dobson, Pocket Post (Melbourne) 


Why do you love working in colour? 

I find grading to be the perfect balance of creative and geeky. I love gadgets and I love pretty things. I also enjoy collaborating with filmmakers and being able to understand and translate their vision. And hopefully take their images to a whole new level and get them excited. That’s very satisfying.

What inspires your work?

I’m really inspired by the real world. Ever since I started grading, I’ve been very tuned in to colour and light. It amazes me how the human eye can automatically correct for environments that are actually very colourful so I try to be conscious of this and use it in my grading. The world is not white balanced and I love that. 

What’s your favourite colour?

I don’t have a favourite colour. I love silvery blues and grungy greens and also early morning lilac skies. Every colour can be beautiful!



Holly Greig, Finish (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

I really like that the whole mood can be altered by the grade, colour is so evocative and can really help guide the viewer’s perception of a film.

What inspires your work?

Anything really! Films, photos and art are the most common inspiration but also I am inspired by music and sounds. It could be films you've been watching recently or if the subject matter has a certain feel or the tunes you’re playing whilst grading or even walking through Soho and the colourful characters you see on the way into work could even inspire you, that’s the best thing about it.

What’s your favourite colour? 

Probably burnt orange, the colour of sunsets, summers days and Pimms! But I am sure if you ask me again tomorrow I'll change my mind!


Eva Pomposo, MPC (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

Because, on one hand, there is right and wrong in colour grading yet there is often a call to break the rules, to come up with something that is new and fresh.

What inspires your work?

I love the results of the early experiments in colour photography such as the Autochrome, and the Trichrome Carbro process; classical painting for many reasons, but mostly for the creative use of light; filmmakers and DOP's that have come up with a look that has turned into part of their signature like Chris Doyle or Tarkovsky; And naturally the work of the colourists at MPC, who take colour grading to new directions every day. 

What’s your favourite colour?  

I don’t have one. I think that colours, like music notes, work in combination rather than isolation. 



Phil Choe, Nice Shoes (New York)


Why do you love working in colour? 

Colour grading in many ways is like painting.  You work with an almost blank canvas and you create the look and feel while effecting the emotions of your subjects.  Like any art, you have a whole array of people critiquing the feel – in this case directors, DP's, creatives – which I love. Collaboration is essential to the final piece.  

What inspires your work?

I am an avid museum/gallery goer, film watcher, magazine reader to name a few. These elements all inspire me.  Just recently I bought some old slide negatives from the ‘60s from a thrift store and restored some of them. That intangible original look I see from the raw negative has inspired me more recently.

What’s your favourite colour?

Orange. Simply Orange. Its such a bold colour.


Daniel Stonehouse, Crayon (Melbourne)


Why do you love working in colour? 

First of all, I love images – looking at them from every perspective; emotionally, clinically, how do they make you feel, what are their practical limits? I love the puzzle of navigating the different levels you have to keep in mind when grading - what’s right for the shot, what’s right for the scene, what’s right for the story and emotion, and what’s right for the project overall?! I love surprising directors at what’s there, sometimes hidden in their footage. I love when a small adjustment or a tiny detail in a single shot just makes a whole scene open up. I love the open-ended nature of grading, that there is no one absolute correct solution, you instead have to work to build your own. I love the collaboration – my favourite grades are when I have a director and a DOP in the room, and we all have strong opinions. I love the social aspect, that you have a room full of people to keep entertained, but also keep motivated and focused and working towards a goal. I love getting to talk all day long about film, filmmaking, directors, and the latest music videos on vimeo. I think most of all I love getting to play music while I work (I always feel bad for editors who can’t do this)!

What inspires your work?

When grading I’m definitely motivated by story, flow, and emotion. I tend not to go for heavy looks, or to present a wide variety of variations, instead I prefer to work with the people in the room to find the right feeling for that particular project. So often the greatest inspiration is the project I’m grading itself.

What’s your favourite colour?

I have a love hate relationship with yellow. It’s the hardest colour to get right – It’s so easily too green or too red and it turns into something else. But get it right, and it sings.



Danny Wood, ENVY (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

I've always loved photography and grading has a lot of parallels with the printing process. You can massively influence the mood of a piece with colour, and being able to take elements of photography, art, film etc. and put it into your work is a joy.

What inspires your work?

I'm heavily influenced by fashion photography, I really like Guy Bourdin's work as well as B&W photographers like Helmut Newton and Man Ray. I also watch a lot of films, we've had some absolutely beautiful movie releases recently like 'Her' and 'It follows' which were incredible colour wise. I think colourists are inspired by everything, it makes you very analytical not just in looking at art or films but every day things, sunsets, lighting on a tube.

What's your favourite colour? 

Blue.



Kennedy Dawson, MPC (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

Being able to manipulate a shot by grading to change not only the look but also the mood is very satisfying. You get an instant result from the choices you take as you grade and taking an ordinary piece of film and turning it into something special is a great way to spend your day.

What inspires your work?

Working alongside some incredibly talented colourists at MPC has inspired me to be more creative in my own approach. All the artists I have worked with have a different approach and style to grading and seeing the way they work by sitting with them on a daily basis is priceless for my own growth and very inspirational.

What’s your favourite colour? 

Its difficult to select just one, but I do favour cooler tones, and a nice electric blue. 


J. Cody Baker, Company 3 (Santa Monica)


Why do you love working in colour? 

I love the hands-on, tactile way you can affect the final image during the colour grading. Some of the things I used to attempt when lighting on set I can now try on the image very quickly and see the results immediately. You can use colour in ways that are straightforward or you can do things that are very subtle, which impacts how the audience feels on an almost subconscious level.

What inspires your work?

Photographs. A lot of pioneering ideas that work well in music videos or movies have probably been attempted in stills first. That can inspire a new way to approach colour for moving pictures, and candid or street photography can remind you that less is more when it comes to colour.

What’s your favourite colour?

This changes, but today it's: R 68, G 496 and B 652 (10-bit RGB).



Julien Biard, Finish (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

I love the idea that grading an image can have an impact on people’s feelings and emotions; how they will respond to the film and what they will take from it.

Editing and sound design are often considered to be the main influencers on mood and emotion of a film. I find grading equally as powerful, it can touch the subconscious of the viewer and that’s what I love about it.

What inspires your work?

My work is mainly inspired by films, photographers and painters from all eras, but I'm also inspired by what is around me. I do spend a lot of my time in the French mountains where I grew up as a child as well as in the British countryside. These outdoor settings are probably my main source of inspiration.

What’s your favourite colour?

Apart from the colour of my favourite North London football team, I would say that I prefer a harmonious palette of colour rather than one single hue.



Sofie Borup, Company 3 (New York)


Why do you love working in colour? 

I love experimenting with all the different looks and styles. Every feature or commercial is different and I always enjoy the challenge of getting the best out of every project. I also love working with all the talented DPs and directors and art directors who come in contributing their own perspective from their field. 

What inspires your work?

It's hard to say because I don't think it's something we're always aware of. It can be real life. In LA, the light at sunset has a soft, warm feel and when I lived there, I loved to see that. Real life can definitely inspire a colourist’s work. I also look at art. Even abstract art, which doesn't really resemble the images I generally work on, can show me something about an unusual or particularly effective combination of colours. And, of course, I like looking at movies – especially from the time when they were shot and finished on film. 

What’s your favourite colour?

People always ask colourists that and I'm not sure why. For me, that completely depends on what you want for the image you're working on. Is a scene set on a cold blue night or a warm summer day that's maybe a little bit yellow? My favourite colour is the one that best reflects the mood of the scene.



Phillip Hambi, MPC (London)


Why do you love working in colour? 

Above all I love the fact that I can be really creative from the word go. I get a huge buzz from having such an impact on the look and feel of each project. It’s really exciting to manipulate the piece to suit a mood or create an atmosphere. I feel very privileged to be the guy who gets to work with the director and the DOP in helping them realise their ambitions.

What inspires your work?

To be honest, I try to take a little inspiration from what I see on a daily basis. Living in London it’s effortless as there is so much going on and so many different aspects of life to draw from. I have a few photographers that I often reference but I’m always on the look out for something new. Working with other passionate people really inspires me too. It’s great to get into a suite knowing that everyone is determined to achieve the best grade possible and I take pride in my contribution to that shared vision.

What’s your favourite colour? 

Tricky question as I’m afraid I don’t really have one. I remember green was a favourite when I was younger but now, in my line of work, my allegiances no longer lie with just one colour. 


Matt Hare, Glassworks (London)


Rising star Matt Hare is one of the most exciting talents in the industry. He has recently graded commercial spots for Adidas, Vodafone and BMW, promos for Disclosure and Miles Kane, and two feature films, bringing his talented eye and easy-going charm to a selection of happy clients.



Omar Inguanzo, Therapy Studios (Los Angeles)


Why do you love working in colour?

I love it because it is such a creative medium that takes you in a different direction every day, and in my opinion, is the most transformative part of the post production process. Having the ability to take something that feels dingy and flat, and then make it into a beautiful and bright piece right before a director or DP's eyes is pretty awesome. Seeing their expressions of both excitement and satisfaction that their vision has come to life makes it really rewarding!

What inspires your work?

Seeing the nuances in colour throughout my everyday life plays a big part in my inspiration. For example, the other day I came across these old colour photographs from 1913 and was in awe of them. The colours and textures were so unusual and beautiful. Rather than just accepting them as cool, old photos, I felt compelled to find out why they looked the way they did, so I found a digital copy, pulled them into Resolve, and looked at them using Scopes to analyse the colours and black levels. Colourist nerd alert!