True 35mm Film Color comes to Digital Filmmakers from new company Koji

by Karin Gottschalk7 Comments

Frankly, I am not terribly sorry that the analog era of moviemaking and stills photography has passed. I spent way too long in commercial, home and publisher film processing darkrooms, most of them poorly ventilated and with abysmal health practices and conditions in effect. I paid the price in years of ill-health and debilitating dermatitis.

But what I do miss is the emotional richness and rich color of silver-based image acquisition and I am glad that another name is entering the world of film simulation for moving picture. And what a name that is “Koji”. And what a name behind Koji – Hollywood feature film color grading veteran Dale Grahn.

A well-earned admiration for analog color

I am clearly not alone in admiring certain aspects of analog filmmaking. Other photographers and moviemakers have ensured a well-established market for film simulation software already.

In the stills arena products like Alien Skin Exposure. DxO FilmPack, Google Nik Collection, On One Perfect Photo Suite 9 and VSCO have been around for a reasonable time. More recent products such as MacPhun's new Tonality and Rubber Monkey's Film Convert for Photoshop have entered the marketplace.

A slightly different tack

The movie world has taken a slightly different tack on the issue of film simulation. The standalone version of Film Convert and their plug-ins for various NLEs (non-linear editors) is beloved of cinematographer/educators like Philip Bloom. Red Giant's Color Suite 11 has its adherents too.

And let us not forget the different but related world of Look Up Tables (LUTs). In this realm names such as Color Grading Central, LookLabs, VisionColor and LUT newcomer Cineplus are to be reckoned with.

Choice is always good

There is no single true path to successful film emulation in color grading whether in stills or movies. At least, not insofar as my experience goes. I like choice and variety. One product may simulate a favourite film stock differently enough to have both on hand. Character counts. Methods vary. So do personal tastes and time available. And on that matter, over to you.

But for now, we are pleased to announce another possible arrow in your color grading quiver, Koji, and point you in their direction. In the immortal words of the Australian Mitsubishi TV commercial from 1992, “Please consider”.

10% off for 1 week!

(planetMitch note: we got a letter from the folks at CrumplePop who are the creators of Koji – with a 10% off code!

We have big news today.

For the past two years, we've been working with Dale Grahn, the film color timer for Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

With Dale's help, we've created something new.

It's called Koji.

Koji is highly accurate motion picture film color. You can use Koji with your own digital projects, starting today.

Here is a coupon that will get you 10% off Koji for 1 week:


You can use it here:

We are extremely excited to bring you Koji, and we've created a new company, Koji Color, to continue to develop it.

We hope you enjoy Koji and use it to create beautiful films.


Gabe, Jed, Patrick, and Sara at CrumplePop and Koji Color

Koji Launches to Bring True 35mm Film Color to Digital Filmmakers

Via Koji Launch Press Release:

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Koji Color has announced the release of Koji, a suite of highly accurate 35mm film emulation tools for digital filmmakers. Led by acclaimed film color timer Dale Grahn (Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Apocalypse Now Redux), Koji brings the striking color of true 35mm film to digital filmmakers for the first time.

Seeing that film as a medium was facing possible extinction, the Koji team began in 2011 to attempt the accurate preservation of film color. Working with experts around the world and the top film labs in Hollywood, the team was able to preserve six 35mm print stocks, sometimes rescuing film cans from stock rooms at the last possible moment. These recovered film stocks were painstakingly preserved digitally, and are now available for use by digital filmmakers.

Koji samples

With Koji, you can:

* Easily apply 35mm film color in Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe SpeedGrade, Adobe After Effects, and Autodesk Smoke.

* Dramatically increase the image quality of your digital film, whether it was shot on a DSLR, Blackmagic camera, RED Dragon, or Arri Alexa.

* Choose from among six 35mm film stocks, each with a unique look and history, including five color and one black and white stock.

Koji is available as three different packages:

* Koji DSLR. Brings beautiful, highly accurate film color to footage shot on DSLRs. Works with a wide variety of camera formats including Canon DSLRs, Panasonic DSLRs, and Blackmagic cameras (video mode).

* Koji Log. Fast, powerful film color for log footage. Designed to work natively with REDlogFilm, Arri Log C, BMDFilm, BMDFilmV2, Canon C-Log, and Sony SLog3.

* Koji Studio. Advanced film color for experienced colorists. Includes technical versions of the Koji film stocks with full color separation, as well as DCI-P3 output for Cineon.

Koji Products

”With Koji, you will learn many things about color timing,” said Dale Grahn. “And one of them will be that the two worlds –digital and film – are very much alike. Each with their advantages and disadvantages. We are now in a digital world and all of the images graded using Koji will be digitally corrected with digital tools. Yet the tools will come from a film color timer’s perspective. Hopefully the best of both worlds. We hope you enjoy both worlds!”

About Koji Color:

Koji Color is a leading provider of 35mm film emulation software for digital filmmakers. Koji’s color team is led by Dale Grahn, acclaimed film color timer for Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and on hundreds of major films.

Device Requirements:

* Requires MacOS 10.8 or higher
* 4GB Ram
* OpenCL-capable or Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics card
* 256GB of VRAM
* 500MB of disk space

Pricing and Availability:

* Koji DSLR (US$199)
* Koji Log (US$299)
* Koji Studio (US$799)

Koji DSLR, Log, and Studio are available worldwide exclusively through the Koji Color web store ( You can find us on Facebook (Koji Color) and Twitter (@kojicolor).

Copyright 2014 Koji Color. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Final Cut Pro X are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe SpeedGrade are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. DaVinci Resolve is a trademark of Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. Autodesk Smoke is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc.

Gabriel Cheifetz
Co-founder, Koji Color

(cover photo credit: snap from Koji)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk


  1. Too expensive. 

    First of all, VisionColor has already covered this, if I recall correctly, by using 35mm film scans for the color work. I’ve used them for a few yrs now with outstanding results w/ various Kodak Vision 3 scanned sources. Secondly, those prices are OUTRAGEOUS compared to not only what’s on the market of equal or comparable value, but just off of principle alone.

    As a creator myself, I can say with full confidence that this is overpriced by a HUGE margin. This will just end up being purchased by one party and re-upped for free via the web. Same as Cinegrain was, i.e. ridiculous pricing.

    C’mon now, people are broke today. Give us a break w/ this already.

  2. kahleem I agree, these are just LUTs, this is not a whole app that does a bunch of special processing like FilmConvert. So by comparison these LUTs are too expensive, especially considering there are so many others out there just like them that do basically the same film color treatment.

  3. Pingback: 35 mm | CINENIC Noticias

  4. I bought some CrumplePop effects several years ago, but I almost never use them. They’re slow, memory-intensive and buggy. I think I’ll stay away from this one, as well, as there are several good (and much cheaper) options out there already.

  5. Hi guys, Gabe from Koji Color here.  I wanted to respond to some of the concerns being posted here about price.

    We put an enormous amount of effort into making Koji the best film color option available.  This meant working with the film labs, all the way through the DI process, then on to densitometry, and then preparing the result to be used with footage from modern digital cameras.

    In one case, we rescued the last bits of a print stock before the stock was discontinued forever and the lab closed down.

    Being able to take all of this and deliver it to you as “just LUTs” took over two years and a team of people who have a profound knowledge of how film works and feels.

    If you’ve ever used LUTs before you’ll also appreciate that we adapted them for use with specific cameras (Canon DSLR, Blackmagic, RED, etc.).  So you can apply a single LUT and then get on with your creative grade.  No need to go searching for obscure conversion LUTs.

    Our goal was to provide filmmakers with true film color from the highest quality source.  We believe that we’ve done this and that it’s very unique – there is really nothing else like Koji.

    We think that all of this adds up to an extraordinary amount of value for the price, and I’d ask that you take this into account the next time you look at what we’re offering.

  6. gchei Thanks for taking the time to offer your comments. It does seem, though, that you’re using the old “Cost + Profit = Price” model that’s been long surpassed by the current “Market Price – Cost = Profit” model nearly all businesses must use these days. And there’s more to the ‘film look’ than color.
    Wishing you all the best success,
    – Rob.

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