Checking in with AlphaDogs’ Terry Curren on his latest color video

By Randi Altman

Colorist and editor Terence Curren is the owner of Burbank-based post house AlphaDogs. He is also a co-host of the Terence & Philip Show podcast and founder of the monthly Editor’s Lounge events in LA. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Curren recently produced his second informational video on the power of color. His first offering tackled fixing production mistakes using color correction. This new offering shows how color grading can help tell a story, whatever that story may be.

Shot with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera at a park in Burbank, Curren shows viewers how — by changing the hue and saturation of color — you can go from an ordinary picnic into a happy and bright family outing. He turns the scene black and white and isolates just one colored balloon to affect. He also takes us from day to night, to a crime scene in a contemporary police drama and into a horror movie. All thanks to color grading.

     Day for night after
                                        Color grading can help turn daytime into nighttime.

“Many years ago I realized that people only value what they understand,” he explains. “For example, if you don’t understand woodworking, you can’t appreciate the difference between inexpensive Ikea furniture and higher cost furniture that will last many lifetimes. So why pay more for that furniture if you can’t tell the difference?”

Curren believes this applies to our industry in a special way. “In the past, the barriers to entry were very high, so only the top craftsmen could make it. This kept the technical quality of movies and TV shows top notch. However, to protect the ‘magic’ of Hollywood, we hid the tricks we used to create that product. “

“Flash forward to today and almost everyone has the tools and the distribution platform at their fingertips to produce content. The typical consumer however, isn’t aware of the technical differences that skilled craftsmen can add to the end product. So why should they pay more for that product? In which case, why should producers pay skilled craftsmen?”

This led Curren on a crusade to get people in our industry to educate the public. “After a while I realized I should stop talking about it and do something. So I came up with these videos to try to get viewers to notice the difference in technical quality. Maybe, if they learn to distinguish good quality, we can all stay gainfully employed.”

The AlphaDogs crew loaded the Blackmagic RAW files into DaVinci Resolve where the color correction pass was performed by colorist Sean Stack. Then the timeline was rendered out to Avid DNxHD files and moved to Avid Symphony to be married to graphics and the final audio mix.

See the new video below and the first one here.

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