SANTA MONICA — Colorist Cullen Kelly has joined the roster at boutique color and post production studio Apache (www.apache.tv). The studio opened in the summer of 2014 and recently promoted colorist Quinn Alvarez from an assistant’s role to that of a full color artist.
Kelly (left) joins Apache from Labrador Post, a color grading studio he founded in Austin, TX. The move represents not just a new career chapter for him, but a relocation to Southern California as well. Alvarez (right) has been with Apache since 2015, joining from the production company Prettybird, where he handled all post production duties and worked closely with its directors and producers.
Managing partner LaRue Anderson says the addition of Kelly and the promotion of Alvarez reflect Apache’s continued evolution as a color and finishing house. “We’re currently working on several scripted and documentary shows for Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, in addition to our commercial work for agencies,” she explains. “We needed additional artists that come with a unique perspective to color grading to handle these assignments, not just helping hands.”
Kelly worked with Apache earlier this year as a freelancer, doing finishing for the debut season of Netflix’s American Vandal series. “My partners and I immediately knew we had to keep him,” she says. “He’s an innovative colorist with a techie’s brain and a quick smile, which is what made him attractive to us.”
Alvarez, she adds, “brought a list of dedicated, high-end directors and a thirst for collaborating with other creative people when he joined us. He's requested by our commercial clientele so often now that I knew it was time to get him out of the assistant role so he could grade full time.”
Kelly studied film at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena before launching his career. He worked in several post production jobs before realizing his passion for color grading. In addition to his work on the Netflix series, his reel includes short films and promos for The History Channel, FX Networks and SXSW.
A graduate of UC Berkeley, Alvarez says that while working at Prettybird he learned the craft of color grading from a director’s point of view, stressing the importance of story and substance. “I like the pace of color work, too,” he adds. “There’s always a new challenge, and new clients to work with. It keeps me fresh. And color is typically one of the final stages in a project – you’re putting the polish on things, so to speak, so people always leave happy.” His reel includes work for Nike, Absolut, Jack Daniels, Tumi, Toyota, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, as well as music videos shot by directors Paul Hunter, Eric Wareheim and Andy Hines.