Grading 35mm

180pxandreas_wisniewski I spent the whole of yesterday in the main grading theatre at Midnight Transfer in London. We were working on the final grade for a 35mm short a friend of mine produced (Director Andreas Wisniewski, Producer Claire Trevor Roper), and they had a little bit of budget available, so we could use these guys and pay. Their suite is a Baselight Grading system, and is operated by a colourist called John Claude. I have known John for some time as I have interviewed him in various books. I have to say, the facility, and in particular John, are absolutely world class. I thought I knew what was possible with top end technology and experts, but I was blown away. The attention to detail John showed was simply humbling.

It made me think really hard about how much energy everyone puts into a film. And what a shame it is, when the writer director doesn’t really get that until too late, and realises too late that they really ought to have worked longer and harder on their script. It really was a sobering thought.

What is most impressive is that you grade on a calibrated 2K digital projector, so you are effectively sat in a cinema, looking at a 35mm cinema screen, but with all the tools of a state of the art electronic grading system to hand.

A couple of guys who are contributors to ‘Gone Fishing’ (under the philosophy of how GF is being made) managed to sit in for a few hours and observe the grade – and here is what film maker Mark Morris had to say….

‘Brilliant day and very eye opening… now I know the steps to a Professional grading and the process.’

Onward and upward!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author 

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