“The brief was to grade in line with the previous series; maintaining the organic feel of the show and thereby making sure nothing is too bright or over glamorised/exaggerated. To stay true to preceding episodes, I kept everything natural with the addition of a slight olive tint. This allowed me to
complement and push the visual grammar of the show – connecting viewers with the underlying gloominess that runs parallel to Stath’s constant attempts to remain upbeat and positive even in the most uncomfortable situations.
Due to this natural feeling, we embraced the natural light as much as possible. However, the tricky part comes when making the characters clearly visible without burning out the window highlights. To achieve this, I had to find the perfect compromise between softening the highlights and avoiding bringing up the shadows – baselight’s texture highlight tool was particularly useful for this.
For episode one I did not use any lut, nor applied any camera colour space to the clips to keep the soft natural feeling. I personally decided not to use any luts as I wanted to achieve the best results I could working from a flat image and building up the grade layer by layer, tweak by tweak.
The main challenge for this project was the grading of exterior shots due to the changes in natural light. Particularly in the first montage scene of the ep, when Stath and Al run around the streets trying to find Stath’s car. This montage required a constantly evolving grade to stay in line with the progression of the story and complement the atmospheric changes within the scene – Starting on a bright and positive grade and then slowly transitioning to a gloomier vibe up until they find the car. To do this we first balanced all the shots of the montage to be coherent with each other, adding on a second pass a layer that would bring everything gradually colder and darker. This was very interesting as the grade had to slightly divert from the rest of the episode to be at the service of the joke and represents very well how as colourists, we are not just matching shots but very much helping with the storytelling.”