Color As Character

Independent films are one of my favorite types of projects to color. Unlike a lot of the documentary or reality stuff I work on that tended to get a "normal" looking color correction, I can get a little more creative with indie movies. Color becomes another character in the film. 

ponies_poster.jpg

Back in 2011, I worked on a film called "Ponies" staring Sopranos actor John Ventimiglia. Ponies was a film about three immigrants living in post 9/11 New York City. The story revolves around horse betting and trying to make it in America. The world that is portrayed is not the glamorous 5th avenue world of Sex In The City, but another side of New York, a grittier and bleaker one.

The look I came up with for the film was a high contrast low saturation look. It is supposed to make NYC look and feel as bleak and hopeless. We view New York through the lens of our characters eyes. It is a desolate landscape with very little opportunity. 


Below are some still grabs of before and after the color grading. I colored this in 2011 using Apple Color.

Above: The "normal" looking uncolored raw footage and the gritty desaturated high contrast look in the finished  movie.

Above: The "normal" looking uncolored raw footage and the gritty desaturated high contrast look in the finished  movie.

"Ponies was a New York Times Critic's Pick.

It’s a riveting piece of work full of unpleasant characters whom you’re glad you’ve met but never want to see again.
— Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times