364MC (PPP)

Many people mistake the difference between grading and correction. Correction is when one adjusts the footage to how it looked like through your eyes on the day of shooting and grading is where one adjusts the colours to the desired film look and style. It is generally better practice to colour correct all of your shots first to match. I believe that the best grading is the one that you do not notice; it is the one that gives the feel of the film that pulls the audience in. The test graders on ShootingPeople were so bad I knew I needed to this into my own hands and handle this like a pro.

I had a few possible options for grading and these included: Adobe Speedgrade, Magic Bullet Looks/Colorista and RedcineX Pro. Whilst the first two tools are very powerful on their own I found that the only program that comes to giving Red footage justice is RedcineX Pro. This goes back to the idea that red cameras record compressed Bayer data. This so-called compressed raw data allows white balance, gamma, sharpening, RGB, FLUX control, ISO to be adjusted in post-production. The sheer power of this program and format surprised me, so I decided to put it to the test and colour correct the footage first, and then grade it.

WorkflowDiscovering the perfect Red workflow (diagram created by me)

It was surprisingly easy to use (thanks to the advice of the DoP), all that one needed to do to colour correct is adjust the Reds, Greens, and Blues as well as the FLUT Control option. Once all the footage was corrected it could be graded. For grading, other options could be adjusted, for example Kelvin, Tint, Brightness and the Lift/Gamma/Gain setting. The beauty of this program is that the workflow was hassle free. You adjust the look of the image in RedcineX and it is instantly saved to a .RMD file next to the .R3D footage file (non-destructive workflow). Then back on Premiere, one updates the shot to match the just-saved look. Downside is that you have to update each edit to match the new look, however I came across a small utility called ‘Reset RED RMD’ thanks to Fallen Empire Digital, which batch reloads all the RMD files in Premiere saving you a lot of time.

ReloadRMBUpdating Premiere with the updated grading ‘look’ that was created on RedcineX Pro. Can be done individually or a batch reload (using the tool below) for all the shots in a project

Another really cool feature of RedcineX is the various colour sciences you have available to choose, for example you have REDgamma1-3 for gamma space and REDcolor1-3 for the colour space; REDgamma2 and REDcolor2 were used for the first scene to make it as flat as possible and then colours adjusted and for the rest REDgamma3 and REDcolor3 was used for that glossy, deep/rich colour look then adjusted to look beautifully vile. The founder of RED, Jim Jannard, said this about it:

“At 1st blush, you may just see subtle differences in REDcolor3 but it is a complete remapping of the color space and REDgamma3 makes a much better image on your monitor.. REDcolor3 is probably the bigger update but REDgamma3 is a welcome improvement.”

At first Premiere did not read these colour spaces I had to manually update it to support them, which was a tricky task but I was hit by a significant difference when I did. 5D footage was graded using the Magic Bullet Looks, a plugin I used from the first year. I passed on from using its presets and now have the ability to create my own; it’s fairly powerful but does not come close to RedcineX.

Enough with the technicalities. For the look of the film I wanted a something to match the likes of Se7en, Fight Club, Irreversible, Harry Brown, Company of Men (also our main film influences). I wanted a depressing, gritty, disturbing and dark feel to it. An almost dystopian atmosphere. The councillor scene is dark and dull, the outsides have a green cast to them for the stylistic purpose of making it look vile, cold and dangerous, and the club is all red to demonstrate the themes of madness, insanity, sex and those of a red-light district. The toilet is incredibly green again to show sickness and depravity and the rest is just dark and dull. It’s a cruel and hostile environment with no mercy for the weak.

The film is not meant to be pretty to look at. It is meant to be disgusting and horrible yet maintaining a level of art. The world the characters live in is not pretty. It’s harsh and depraved.

1 Stage 1 – the footage as the red scarlet captured it

2 Stage 2 – the colour corrected footage – how our eyes saw it on the day

3Stage 3 – colour graded footage

I honestly enjoyed grading; the software was so powerful it gave me great pleasure and experience working in it. One can really see the difference in colours from the rough cut (no colour adjustments whatsoever) to the final graded cut. It’s phenomenal, really. Makes me think I have potential to be a good colourist after all and that I should never have doubted myself! But it’s a massive learning curve and that’s what I’m here for, to learn.

A draft grade of the film:

password: eonsgrade

Premiere’s powerful title system allowed me to create the rolling credits with ease. It was incredibly user-friendly; I was able to create some fantastic looking credits and titles from the first time of using the tool, meaning I can be even more efficient next time.

A variety of networks exist to allow me to kickstart my professional career in the film editing industry. Below is an example of some online networks that allow me to do so.One sets up their profile with their showreel and contact details and then either searches and applies for available paid jobs whilst also waiting to be contacted by professionals.

I have now created a profile on StarNow and ShootingPeople advertising myself as a professional editor and colourist with a link to my latest short film and showreel. Hopefully I can get some projects to kick-start my career; I will choose to do free ones as long as I believe that they are worth spending my time on.

Industry Contacts

Gasper Noe – Director
Stuart Manashil (Talent Agent)

Dawn Coulson – Producer/Script Editor for BBC

Daniel Beckett – Director/Writer

Ben Wheatley – Director
Philip d’Amecourt (Talent Agent) Phone: 1 310 248 2000

Ian Killick
HND Digital Film and Video Lecturer – Warwickshire College (Leamington Spa)

Dylan Cozens – Media Professional

Julian Gilbey – Director – Eigerwand Pictures
Phone: 020 7317 4885 –


End of Nights – Film Poster


Ted is a neglected and tormented individual who lacks confidence when it comes to social situations. After a meeting with his psychiatrist, he is told that he needs to go out and start meeting new people, as well as establish an intimate relationship with Grace, his co-worker. However, obstacles start to elude him from her, as he begins to experience the harshness of contemporary society in England.

The film is influenced by the likes of Se7en, for its tone and portrayal of a really deprived society and a man’s will to show it to people; Irreversible, for being so incredibly violent and cruel to the point of being unwatchable; and Falling Down, for a man’s descent into complete insanity. It is also the product of a person who has lived in a city, that, unknown to many, is close to being a real life dystopia of decadence – giving the writer enough experience to write a story that has the power to bring this to light.

The majority of the film will unravel in a nightclub, as most can be seen as a vision of hell, especially with the chosen venue having a fully customisable lighting system. Principal shooting will commence on the 19th and 20th of March around Coventry, UK, with post-production to be completed in mid-April. It has already been rumoured to be the most controversial student film in recent years.

The Actors

Darryl Ryan Marc Hughes (Ted) is a Theatre and Professional Practice graduate and received a first class grade from Coventry University. He is personally known by Producer Rob Morley and is said to be very good to work with. Although he has no acting experience, he has the right characteristics for the role. He appears to be shy but polite, exactly what Ted is.

Laura Wilson (Grace) is a Manchester-based actress who has experience in numerous paid speaking and acting roles, as well as modelling and dancing experience. She has a gorgeous smile, a reason for Ted to develop an interest in, as it takes him away from the harsh realities of his environment.

Kyle Simpson (Levis) is a Birmingham-based actor who has had numerous paid speaking roles in films. He is a musician and singer, going by the name of Euro Dollaz. He has also recently become a Writer and Director, receiving funding for and creating a film called ‘Rolling Steel’, a film about the production and distribution of guns in Britain.

The Director

George Leon has a HND degree from Warwickshire College and is smoothly on his way to a future first class degree from Coventry University. He is prepared to craft the film in an exceedingly dark manner, with a drive to create an unsettling and thought-provoking masterpiece.  He has worked very closely with the writer in the past and always understands his vision of the final piece, allowing him to direct in a way that puts two minds into one. He believes that only the most disturbing subjects are worthy of film – something that consists purely of challenge in order to portray correctly.

My updated portfolio to showcase my latest editing/colouring skills and work in film.

Arist Statement

View ‘End of Nights’ (my latest short) and then understand why I believe that contemporary society has reached a point where it needs to stop and take a look at itself. Directing and editing the film, I carefully explore the very meanings with the obsession of confidence – a theme that today, goes through a lot of people’s minds and often overlooked in cinema. Furthermore, I love seeing the audience interpret my work in different ways – there is always more than one meaning to anything – I want people to talk about what they’ve just seen and experienced. In the world of film everyone has a set of creative skills, but they are nothing if one cannot entice a truly powerful emotional response from the viewer. It is therefore my vision and dedication that will make a film successful, using my crew, actors and script as jigsaw puzzle pieces to form a powerful piece of work.

George Leon, Director

One of the most important things as a media producer is to have your own unique showreel. But a crucial part that many people overlook is the process of getting a showeel to a high level producer – one needs to host their portfolio (either linking to Vimeo or YouTube but embedded) onto their website, not free looking, but a domain dedicated to their production company or name. This is where comes in. I created this website as a joint production company with me and my partner Rob Morley to showcase our work.

Web-design is something I learnt in my pass-time – I can create websites to a professional standard ( but I would not like this as a career choice, I do it simply for fun. It has, however, enabled me to make a presentable website for our filmmaking company.

We label ourselves as fearless and dedicated – we are not afraid of creating controversial content and we will do whatever it takes to shoot it. We failed at getting our nightclub scenes done at ClubM because of a lack of extras but the week after we completed it with a whole room-full of nightclub extras at The Dog.

This website features a link to our showreels, selling ourselves to potential employers – but it is the link to that which is most important which can be printed on business cards, linked around on social networking websites, or used in emails to professionals. Once a person clicks the link they are taken to a page on the site which shoes our best work. Consequently the site keeps the person there giving them a reason to explore further and check out our latest projects, other work, about us as producers and our blogs. A nice-looking website is something EVERY single media person should have, but not many do. This gives me that little step up from everyone else, a reason I could be chosen over another candidate.

During the 3 years of my media course I have expressed the highest desire to be a film editor. I find that post-production is my strongest point and a career path that I am suitable for.

Starting as an editor in the film industry is probably not going to happen straight away, one must always start as a runner or assistant editor.

Roles of film editor and assistant editor in the media industry

“Broadly as an assistant editor you work to support the editor. You organise and maintain the project on whatever editing system you are using, you liaise between the different post-production departments, and you produce deliverables at various stages for the director and executives.

As an editor you work with the director to shape the story and solve problems. You are a ‘fresh set of eyes’ and hopefully an objective viewer whose job is to help the film, even if that means losing things that the director loves. You will be involved in choosing which shots to use and in what order, creating the sound and music track. You might even be required to completely change the structure of the film and use visual effects to solve story problems.”

Taken from freelance film editor Michael Ho’s case study; he goes on to state:

“The more challenging aspects of the job are that often the working hours can be long, deadlines short, and the environment can be quite stressful. You have to be a skilled politician at times to mediate between strong personalities. Also sitting at a computer all day is not good for you.

If you’re looking to enter this career be sure that you really want to do it, as it’s not an easy path. Have a passion for filmmaking and be a perfectionist. Make all the contacts that you can and maintain them, that’s how you’ll stay in work.”

Michael is a freelance film editor who completed an MA in Film Editing at the National Film and Television School. He also has a degree in media and information studies from the University of Brighton.

Other Film Editor case studies

These case studies feature established editors in the film industry. I find it exciting reading about their experiences – this makes me more keen on being an editor. It fits my personality and motto of working to ‘perfection’.