Chicago’s Filmworkers is representing veteran colorist Craig Leffel for color grading projects in the Midwest. Leffel will continue to serve as executive producer of Big Spoon Industries, the creative production studio he formed last fall, while handling color correction assignments through Filmworkers.
Leffel has been a colorist in Chicago for more than 20 years. He has worked with all of the city’s top agencies for accounts including Coors Lite, American Family Insurance, Kraft, Coke, Chicago Blackhawks and many others.
Leffel’s background includes a 15-year run as senior colorist at Optimus and three years as director of production of its production arm, One at Optimus. He also was a partner in the company. He left Optimus last fall to launch Big Spoon Industries, a collective of directors, artists and designers focused on producing work directly for brands, digital agencies, marketing firms and others.
Leffel says his agreement with Filmworkers allows him to continue to pursue his passion for production and storytelling, while meeting demand for his skill as a colorist. “It’s a great opportunity. I’ve had a long relationship with Reid (Filmworkers president Brody), and we share a similar respect for color correction. I like the people at Filmworkers and the support they give to their artists. They are perfect allies.
“Color correction, for me, is a very iterative process,” he explains. “It’s about interpreting the thinking of the creative team and interpreting what was captured on the set, and turning it into something people want to see on screen. In the best scenario, it goes beyond what anyone hoped or imagined.”
In terms of tools, Leffel says he’s “ninja-level” on FilmLight’s Baselight, and proficient in Scratch, Lustre, Resolve, Speedgrade, and many others.