New Mastering Color Course Teaches Color Grading for Independent Filmmakers – Plus Giveaway!

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My friends over at MZed have released a new course called “Mastering Color” – 7 hours of a deep dive into what a professional colorist (Ollie Kenchington) thinks about and his workflow.

I haven't had a chance to preview this, but it looks freaking comprehensive.

Scott Emerton told me this about the training:

It’s very theory based, so while Ollie uses Resolve 15 to demonstrate most of the techniques it is easily applicable to any other grading or NLE package out there, and will continue to be relevant for many years to come.
When setting out to make Mastering Color both Ollie and I wanted it to be the definitive guide to color grading for independent filmmakers and I truly believe we’ve achieved that. Over the entire seven hours Ollie clearly explains core concepts like contrast, color balance, continuity and more so that viewers will have a true understanding of not only the “how” but more importantly the “why” of color when it comes to film and video.
Putting our money where our mouths are we’ve offered the entire first lesson – Grading Suite Setup – for free. So almost an hour of the course is available to watch on our site, showing exactly the tone of the course and the quality of the educational content.
To incentivise filmmakers to check it out we’re also running a big giveaway. To be in the running to win a Blackmagic Design Micro Control Panel and a heap of other colour tools they just need to watch the first module then answer a multiple choice question correctly. All up it’s a few thousand dollars in prizes – see here –

MZed – M'stering Color Course Contents

Grading Suite Setup

In the first module, Ollie shows us why setting up an environment where your eyes and monitors can be trusted is of vital importance. As well as seeing how professional suites are configured, thanks to a rare interview with CHEAT lead colorist, Toby Tomkins, Ollie also gives practical tips on how to create a home suite on a budget and how to calibrate your own monitors. He finishes up with advice on working with clients in the room, and how to decode emotive keywords that clients might use to describe the look they are after.


Here, Ollie breaks down the differences between contrast, tonality, dynamic range and luminance perception. He also teaches us the fundamentals of reading histograms and waveform monitors, to help avoid clipping and crushing when using lift, gamma, gain controls. To help illustrate these topics, Ollie uses a broadcast commercial for a sofa company, where contrast is used to make the product stand out against its surroundings.

Color Balancing

In this lesson, Ollie discusses the basic concepts of the additive color model and how we can use this knowledge to counteract color casts in our images. Along the way, we learn how to use the Parade, Vectorscope, RGB Overlay Waveform Monitor and RGB picker. We also hear from acclaimed cinematographer Brett Danton, as he discusses how important accurate colors are to him and his clients.


Continuity is the unsung hero in color grading, and an often overlooked part of the process. In this lesson, Ollie takes on the challenge of matching Canon and Sony cameras on a multicam shoot, using an X-Rite Color Checker Video chart. He then breaks down his workflow for creating visual harmony across a sequence of shots in a short film (The Storm, created by Vimeo Staff Pick winning director, Sam Buchanan), while discussing stills, image wipes and split screens along the way.

Skin Tones

With the fundamentals of primary grading dealt with, Ollie now turns his attention to one of the most important parts of color grading – skin tones. What are memory colors? Is there such a thing as the perfect skin tone? How do we make faces look realistic, yet cinematic at the same time? All these questions are answered by Ollie in this module, with valuable contributions made along the way by Academy award winning make up artist, Peter Swords King.

Creative Looks

Ollie starts here with a discussion about the differences between technical and creative LUTs. Ollie talks about the importance of owning your own images and gives tips on how to develop your own looks using curves and qualifiers, the differences between monochrome and desaturated looks and how to use split screens and versions in DaVinci Resolve to audition looks quickly.

Film Emulation

In this module, Ollie tackles the two distinct areas of the look of film – texture and colour. What can you do with stock effects? What can be achieved with dedicated tools, like FilmConvert? Ollie uses the latest music video from acclaimed celluloid DP, Jamie Harding, to show how he matches footage from the Arri Alexa and Arri SR2. He also gives a demonstration of how he addresses film halation, using simple techniques in DaVinci Resolve.

HDR & Raw

In Ollieʼs final module, he teams up with internationally renowned filmmaker, Philip Bloom, to look at the future of film production and delivery – HDR. Starting off in Philipʼs hometown of Richmond, the pair shoot ProRes RAW and Canon Raw Light during golden hour, while discussing the dos and donʼts of recording for HDR delivery. Ollie then heads back to the grading suite to show Philip what his work looks like on a 1000 nit HDR monitor, and how to set up, grade and deliver HDR video. Ollie also talks about raw workflow and how working in raw can benefit your clients, even if you are only delivering in HD SDR.

planetMitch note: if you buy, I will receive a small commission.

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