Colorist Awards Outline Part 2

06 January 2018 12:05 | Kevin Shaw (Administrator)

by Dale Grahn, CSI Fellow

Last month I discussed why awards for colorists have been long debated yet not actioned. In this second part I outline my view of what we can expect of Colorist Awards. It is a view that is supported by Colorist Society International and a view we plan to make a reality.

Independence 

What I am trying to accomplish here is to lay down the first basic categories, rules, conditions and expectations for receiving an award. These will be discussed privately in the CSI forum, then finalized and refined by the Awards Committee before being officially adopted. Membership involvement and opinions are very important and welcomed, so please take the time to visit the forum, even if it is to say “yes, I agree”.

By  ‘Independence’ I mean the separation of our unique or ‘Owned’  skill sets from all other skill sets in the film industry. An Owned skill is one that is unique to any craft, job, or workflow using unique equipment and or techniques that cannot be bypassed or accomplished by any other means.

A simple example is a cameraman shooting an image with a camera. That is a unique job, equipment  and workflow, so it is an Owned skill.

For a colorist, continuity or shot balancing is an Owned skill set. It is a unique postproduction workflow with uniquely needed skills and equipment. There are of course other colorist Owned skill sets that are in line with their unique interactions with the given projects that they work on. Until technology removes any or all our Owned skills, they belong to us, and we have every right to judge and thereby award those same skills as we see fit.

This type of independence will bring attention to us in our community in a way that will raise awareness of our unique contributions to the film industry. It will also serve to discourage any and all who would try to take credit for our contribution.

For these reasons, I feel that we should identify and award all our uniquely Owned skills. I consider all of the following award standards to be colorist Owned skill sets. These are the standards we should be recognized for and by which we should be judged.

Awards Standards 

Continuity

Accurate and exact shot to shot consistency is our most basic skill and an absolute requirement. Any inconsistencies in this area will be noted and points removed based upon the level of unevenness. Continuity is an Owned colorist skill set and is required. Points are deducted for any inconsistencies throughout the entire project submitted for any award.

Any artistic decision unbalancing the project must be explained in detail and must accomplish the proposed purpose.

Beauty 

Beauty in some form is an essential aspect of any work up for consideration of any award.

All recipients considered for excellence awards must have accomplished a unique work with a genuinely proposed artistic intent. An explanation of the intent and methods taken to achieve it should accompany all award nominations.

All applicants may be questioned by the Awards Committee concerning any proposed awards project.

Color Concept

Color Concept is truly one of, if not the highest of our skill sets. Mastery of the first two skill sets are needed to accomplish this third.

Color Concept is the use of color to tell a story, improve understanding of the imagery, or to add an extra dimension to a project. It must be used constructively in harmony with the standards of continuity and beauty as well as with other core elements of the project such as sound, cinematography and editing. Above all the color concept must be relevant to the project and influence the audience experience in a positive way.

Color concept is sometimes integral to a project from inception of the creative process. Recognition is given for the enhancement of the project design, but the introduction and execution of a meaningful Color Concept by the colorist is expected for the highest scores.

Colorist Award Categories

Colorist Special Award: Feature Storytelling - Original Concept 

For excellence in the use of color to create an original concept storyline for an entire theatrically released feature film.

This award expects an exceptional display of excellence and will only be awarded when an appropriate entry is received. This award might not be given every year.

The Colorist must be solely responsible for creating an original Color Concept for the storyline throughout the entire project. Work should not follow production’s original color vision by direction but collaboration with other creatives is allowed.

The Colorist must be supported and nominated by the production creatives for this award. The Colorist’s nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows.

CSI leadership may be nominated for this award.

This is a solo award to the Lead Colorist only and must be unanimously supported to win the award.

Colorist Award: Project Storytelling

For excellence in the use of color to create the storyline of an entire project.

The Colorist must be solely responsible for creating the color storyline throughout the entire project. The work should be the colorist’s own original idea with explanation of the reasons and techniques. Creatives may be involved but not direct the work.

The colorist must be supported by the production creatives for this award. The Colorist’s nomination can be submitted by self, the production, or individual full members of the CSI.

The Colorist’s nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows.

This is a solo award to the Lead Colorist only.

Colorist Award: Technical Excellence 

For excellence in the overall technical consistency within each sequence and throughout the entire project.

Many workflows and all projects eligible for any award, qualify for the Technical Excellence Award. Consideration is given for continuity, damage repair, storyline consistency, visual direction, and beauty. Entries may consist of a single feature film, a single program episode, or a series of episodes.

The Colorist’s nomination can be submitted by self, the production, or individual full members of CSI. The nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows.

This award can be made to an individual or a team of colorists. The award goes to the Lead Colorist first and then to the Team that he/she directed.

Colorist Award: Creative Collaboration: Theatrically Released Feature Film.

For excellence in artistic collaboration, accurately producing the original creative vision of and with the Head Creatives Direction.

The Lead Colorist must work directly with the main creative heads and be responsible for all color decisions during the entire feature film.

The Lead Colorist must be endorsed by at least two creative heads including the Director and Cameraman or Editor.

The production must submit the nomination for the Colorist/Team. The nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows

This award can be made to an individual or a team of colorists. The award goes to the Lead Colorist first and then to the Team that he/she directed.

Colorist Award: Creative Collaboration: Project 

For excellence in artistic collaboration, accurately producing the original creative vision of and with the Head Creatives Direction.

The Lead Colorist must work directly with the main creative heads and be responsible for all color decisions during the entire project.

The Lead Colorist must be endorsed by at least two creative heads including the Director and Cameraman or Editor.

The production must submit the nomination for the Colorist/Team. The nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows

This award can be made to an individual or a team of colorists. The award goes to the Lead Colorist first and then to the Team that he/she directed.

Colorist Award: Friends of the Colorist

Awarded to one or more Creatives for artistic collaboration with a colorist in producing a creative vision that best displays Color Concept, beauty and technical excelllence.

The Lead Colorist or individual full members of CSI must submit the nomination for the Creative(s) with one or more projects for consideration. The nomination must be approved by at least two seated CSI Fellows.

This award can be made to one or more individuals that worked closely with the Lead Colorist.

N.B. Dale’s outline is integral to the CSI Awards which we plan to announce in 2018 with the first awards given in early 2019. The outline, terms and condisitons are under discussion in the CSI Forum. – Kevin Shaw CSI

Legendary motion picture Color Timer Dale Grahn is a Fellow of Colorist Society International (CSI). With hundreds of major film credits including, ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘War of the Worlds,’ ‘Minority Report,’ ‘Gladiator,’ and ‘Predator’ Dale Grahn has shaped much of the look of modern cinema, working with directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and cinematographers Janusz Kaminski, Michael Ballhaus, and John Mathieson.    



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