I’ve found short films and passion projects to be the best way for me to cut my teeth on various techniques. Most of the time, the directors lean heavily on me to help define a look for the project. I also get to walk away with the footage to use for my own demo purposes such as experimenting with color grading to put up on sites like this.
This particular scene was actually shot at dusk in NYC. The environment was already rich, and it just needed some additional life added to it.
The first step I’ve been applying is a color space transform in Davinci Resolve, from the Arri Alexa color space to Rec.709.
Then I apply an Arri Log C to Rec.709 LUT from Davinci Resolve
The green is way too bright I think, and I also think the image is a bit bright. Overall image exposure is brought down.
I think that’s a good starting point for a dusk feel. However, I think the green in the grass and the leaves is a bit distracting. I could just lower the saturation, but after trying that, it felt a bit too sterile. I kept the saturation a little lower, and decided to try adding some gold into the green for an autumn look, which I really like. It neutralizes the green a bit.
From there I still felt overall it was a bit bright (you have to see it full screen, the white website surrounding the image makes it look dark), so I lowered the exposure again.
From there I just put a warm tint into the actor’s sweater just to give the feeling it’s a warm environment.