the Blockbuster look

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Brad Ballew

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the Blockbuster look

PostSun Jun 09, 2013 3:36 pm

For those who haven't heard of Juan Melara, he has some great info on luts and grading at his site: juanmelara.com.au

He has a great tutorial for getting the "blockbuster" teal and orange look in Resolve. Since I am about to do a 48 Hour film festival I though I would start experimenting with different grades and get familiar with them so they can be applied depending on the genre we get.

Here's a little test shoot I did to try my hand at Juan's grade. Would love to hear some feedback.. on lighting as well as the grading.

See it here:
Brad Ballew
Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Motion Graphics
http://www.bradballew.com/
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostSun Jun 09, 2013 4:42 pm

As a Director/Writer curious in the game of Cinematography and Color this guys website is a gold mine. Thank you very much for that.
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JB Schiess

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostSun Jun 09, 2013 5:25 pm

Grade worked for me. As did the lighting. Enjoyed the shot from the hallway outside the room where the actor was backlit, especially. Several of the shots could have been cut a bit earlier than they were, but since this is just a "test," I suspect that is not a concern of yours.

Nice Job.
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Iver Heen Ask

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostSun Jun 09, 2013 10:02 pm

That is a great site, thanks.

I liked your test, good grading in there. Well done.
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rick.lang

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostSun Jun 09, 2013 11:25 pm

Brad Ballew wrote:Here's a little test shoot I did to try my hand at Juan's grade. Would love to hear some feedback.. on lighting as well as the grading.

See it here:


Brad, both the Blockbuster and the Romantic grade look good. The Romantic could use some more work in terms of the look since it seems a bit half-hearted compared to the spot-on Blockbuster treatment. But I really liked your content change in the Romantic film since the hook at the end would be completely unexpected in that film's context. Thanks.

Rick Lang
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Brad Ballew

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostMon Jun 10, 2013 4:43 pm

As a Director/Writer curious in the game of Cinematography and Color this guys website is a gold mine. Thank you very much for that.


Yeah his site is great. His blockbuster tutorial was very enlightening since I had never thought of using the log controls to cancel out and mix colors between the shadows/mids/highlights. I feel like I have a better grasp of color grading than I did before.

Grade worked for me. As did the lighting. Enjoyed the shot from the hallway outside the room where the actor was backlit, especially. Several of the shots could have been cut a bit earlier than they were, but since this is just a "test," I suspect that is not a concern of yours.

Nice Job.


Thanks! Yeah the could use a little tightening up but since the goal was experiement with grades.. I am not too concerned. I am doing a 48 hour film festival in a couple of weeks and I wanted to show my team some different grades that we could potentially use depending on what genre we get.

That is a great site, thanks.

I liked your test, good grading in there. Well done.


Thank you very much!

Brad, both the Blockbuster and the Romantic grade look good. The Romantic could use some more work in terms of the look since it seems a bit half-hearted compared to the spot-on Blockbuster treatment. But I really liked your content change in the Romantic film since the hook at the end would be completely unexpected in that film's context. Thanks.

Rick Lang
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD


Thanks for the feedback Rick. Yeah I always felt that the Romantic look could use a little work. That's something that I will continue to tinker with as time goes on. I think it's amazing how different the feeling and vibe can be with video depending on how you manipulate the colors and contrast. That's the power of grading. Of course lighting is a big part of that too. The shots were lit more for a blockbuster look than they were a romantic look. I think some changes in lighting would have benefitted the romantic look greatly.
Brad Ballew
Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Motion Graphics
http://www.bradballew.com/

i am the one

Re: the Blockbuster look

PostMon Jun 10, 2013 9:48 pm

Please, PLEASE, people DO NOT go Teal and Orange!!!!
It is so ridiculously overused. I'm counting on you to make films with a fresh new look and NOT more TEAL AND ORANGE!
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostMon Jun 10, 2013 10:06 pm

i am the one wrote:Please, PLEASE, people DO NOT go Teal and Orange!!!!
It is so ridiculously overused. I'm counting on you to make films with a fresh new look and NOT more TEAL AND ORANGE!


Problem is, there is not much skintone friendly left in the color wheel.
Some folks tried green/magent, but didn't cut it.
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Brad Ballew

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostMon Jun 10, 2013 11:00 pm

i am the one wrote:Please, PLEASE, people DO NOT go Teal and Orange!!!!
It is so ridiculously overused. I'm counting on you to make films with a fresh new look and NOT more TEAL AND ORANGE!


I agree that it is everywhere but like Frank said it's about the only option if you want strong color contrast in your scene unless you are going for a surrealist look. That being said, it really depends on the genre for me. I did this grade as a part of a larger experiment to get a feel for different looks in preparation for a 48 hour film festival we are doing in two weeks.

Depending on the genre and the story we create I might do something more natural looking or more blockbustery looking. The fact is that the only people who take issue with an overused element like teal and orange are us filmmakers. The audience either doesn't notice or doesn't care most of the time. However, having good color contrast is pleasing to the eye and it has become synonymous with big Hollywood films.

As a story teller I think these are tools we use to try and connect to the audience. Just because something like enhancing color contrast in grading using teal and orange is used a lot doesn't make it any less of a artistic tool than using black in white or other types of grades.
Brad Ballew
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http://www.bradballew.com/

i am the one

Re: the Blockbuster look

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 3:16 am

A lot of the big Jan De Bont films (as cinematographer) look really fantastic, yet do not have the turbo Teal and Orange look. To me, overuse of that look is as bad as overusing explosions, movie posters that look the same, and


Why burn the audience out on "the BLOCKBUSTER formula" when you can do something original and exciting?
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sean mclennan

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 3:47 am

i am the one wrote:A lot of the big Jan De Bont films (as cinematographer) look really fantastic, yet do not have the turbo Teal and Orange look. To me, overuse of that look is as bad as overusing explosions, movie posters that look the same, and


Why burn the audience out on "the BLOCKBUSTER formula" when you can do something original and exciting?


Jan De Bont? Have you seen Die Hard? How about Lethal Weapon? He's used teal/orange before....

It's down to color science. Simple as that. I agree there are many examples where they've pushed it so far it's ridiculous...but if you look closely, the science is in almost every movie. For a reason.

i am the one

Re: the Blockbuster look

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 4:06 am

sean mclennan wrote:
i am the one wrote:A lot of the big Jan De Bont films (as cinematographer) look really fantastic, yet do not have the turbo Teal and Orange look. To me, overuse of that look is as bad as overusing explosions, movie posters that look the same, and


Why burn the audience out on "the BLOCKBUSTER formula" when you can do something original and exciting?


Jan De Bont? Have you seen Die Hard? How about Lethal Weapon? He's used teal/orange before....

It's down to color science. Simple as that. I agree there are many examples where they've pushed it so far it's ridiculous...but if you look closely, the science is in almost every movie. For a reason.

Hey Die Hard has some orange, but they went really light on the teal.
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sean mclennan

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Re: the Blockbuster look

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 4:17 am

I know, but that's my point. Like Frank said...if you're working with skin tones, your options are limited. It's possible..but any "look" is going to get old if it's used repeatedly.

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