Just Ask: Technicolor colorist Tim Vincent takes questions
Issue: September 1, 2016

Just Ask: Technicolor colorist Tim Vincent takes questions

HOLLYWOOD — Tim Vincent, senior final colorist at Technicolor, Hollywood, recently hosted a Webcast, inviting participants to “Ask Me Anything.” Vincent has applied the artistry of color to a number of popular shows, including White Collar, The Killing and  Portlandia. He work an HPA Award for his work on AMC’s  Mad Men, and currently serves as the HDR colorist on Amazon’s hit,  Mozart in the Jungle.

Here’s a look at what he had to say:

With so many delivery platforms, are there processes you employ to ensure viewers are getting the experience intended by the filmmaker, cinematographer and colorist?

“First off, I try to view my sample content on as many different platforms as I can myself: different high definition TVs, tablets, laptops, and smartphones. This gives me an idea of how pictures translate to the different mediums. That way I can give an educated opinion and guidance on decision-making depending on the delivery vehicle. Making sure my main grading monitor is properly set up consistently is extremely important in having confidence in what you’re making is correct.”

Do you take psychological or emotional responses to colors into consideration when choosing a color palette for film or television series?

“Good question. The color palette is always influenced by the emotional journey the storytellers are taking you on. You can definitely impact people’s moods with different color tones and the influence of light and dark.”

Do you discuss the creative needs of HDR projects in advance?

“At this point, I’ve experienced very few projects that discuss the HDR delivery ahead of time. For most projects, the creatives are concerned with how most people will view things right now. When it comes to the HDR pass, they just want to make sure the creative intent is maintained from the SDR to the HDR versions.”

With all the post systems out there, can you explain why one system works for an application better than another?

“I personally work on Autodesk Lustre for all my projects. That being said, all the different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses depending on the project you’re working on. One of the reasons for that are third party plug-ins being made for some systems and not others. So, you may be in a situation where you know there’s a tool to help you accomplish what you want to do, but you may not have it on the system you’re on. Also, there’s a difference in opinion regarding the speed of different systems. This can leave you with a feeling of one system being better for a particular job when it may be the operator or the lack of a particular tool/plug-in that the system may not have is the real reason.”

Have you seen any recent films or TV shows where you felt color inspired you or had a strong impact?

“I know it’s from last year, but I recently saw Carol and loved the way color was used in the film. I’m always amazed how Game of Thrones can have five DPs creating such amazing images. I do love how, in television today, so many shows are unafraid to really create such different looks.”