Veteran colorist Walter Volpatto, CSI has been appointed to the leadership of the Colorist Society International as a Fellow. A senior colorist at EFILM in Hollywood, Volpatto was nominated for a 2019 HPA Award for his work on the filmGreen Book. His more than 100 credits also include the features Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Dunkirk, Midway andIndependence Day: Resurgence, as well as the television series Homecoming and Queen Sugar. He joins Dale Grahn, Lou Levinson, Charles Poynton and Kevin Shaw as CSI Fellows.
As a CSI Fellow, Volpatto will act as a spokesperson for the organization at industry events and in reaching out to other segments of the industry. He will also work to build the organization through recruitment and the establishment of new local chapters. “Before CSI was formed, colorists had no way to come together and make their voices heard,” he said. “CSI is playing an important role in ensuring that colorists are represented in awards competitions and properly credited in film and television listings, and in establishing standards for our craft.”
Volpatto adds that one of his objectives is to push the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to recognize “colorist” as a distinct artist discipline. “I’m a member of the Academy and I would like to see more colorists become members,” he notes. “When the number of colorists reaches a certain critical mass, we may be able to leverage our numbers to establish our own branch within the Academy.”
Having grown up on a farm near Turin, Italy, Volpatto began his career as an engineer and visual effects artist. He got his start in color in 2002 with Cinecitta in Rome before relocating to the U.S. a year later to join Fotokem. He has been with EFILM since 2018. Over the course of his career, Volpatto has forged close relationships with many top directors and cinematographers, the former including Christopher Nolan and Roland Emmerich.
While acknowledging that colorists make a crucial contribution to the look and feel of movies and television shows, Volpatto says, they need to approach their craft with humility. “The project is always someone else’s vision and it’s the job of the colorist to get that vision to the screen,” he says. “Obviously, we all want to take ownership of our work, but we need to stay humble and focused on who the project belongs to.”