collection of colored pencils drawing wavy lines on white background

Recently, FCC (Fremont Contract Carriers) reached out to us to create a commercial for them that was centered around the idea of “Home When it Counts.” With that inspiration, we collaborated with Andrew Sciba from Stella Productions and got right to work. We created a storyboard, a process we’ve discussed in a previous blog. We had a vision for this video of shots of the semi driving across the highway with a backdrop of blue skies, but when filming day came there was nothing but gray clouds. The gloomy weather was not the right tone for the video, but luckily we didn’t have to stick with what mother nature gave us thanks to the magic of color grading!


The first thing to note is the general importance of color within a film. Color can portray the professionalism of a film or whether a piece is realistic or not. Color can also show the emotions or tone of a piece. It seems simple, but dull gray colors can show the audience that the setting is boring, while a sunny yellow can portray hope. The role of colors is so important that Pixar creates a “color script” for every scene in their movies to make sure that the overall color scheme fits in with the story.


With the understanding of the importance of color in film, we begin to understand the process of editing color. The first step is called color correction, which is (believe it or not) to make sure the colors look correct. One common example of color correction is white balance, making sure that white actually looks like white. Color correction is also used to make scenes feel seamless. If there’s a major change in lighting between scenes, color correction can be used to make that change less obvious.


Then we dive into color grading. Color grading moves past making things look realistic and focuses more on creating the desired tone. For our project that meant transforming the dreary gray to a blue sky, and removing a truck that was driving behind our semi. These choices helped the footage match the original vision of the piece. Color grading is not only used to change inconvenient weather; it’s a common practice to shoot during the day and then later color grade the piece to make it look like night time. These aspects of color grading put less pressure on waiting for the perfect environment to film.

Color grading gave us the freedom to create the piece that we originally had in mind, but you don’t have to just take our word for it. Watch the behind the scenes video below to see the difference that color grading makes. Then watch the entire commercial to see how it helps the overall tone of the piece!

Interested in having your video or commercial stand out from the crowd (for all the good reasons, of course!)? Give us a call!

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