Colour Me Bad

Now what were you expecting with an article title like that? People of a certain generation and questionable musical tastes might have thought: “No! You spell it Color Me Badd, you moron! Give me some news on my favourite 90s American contemporary R&B group that was formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (I’m quoting Wikipedia).

Sorry to disappoint. but this article is about colour grading films using Adobe CC Speedgrade. But I didn’t want to use a title like ‘Making the Grade’, etc. So as the work on the Class Heroes films draws to an end and I inch closer to the final production, you’ll note that I’m going quietly mad.

It’s been a long journey and so much work but so, so much fun. I’ve loved every minute of it. The sound design is over halfway complete, so I’ve been burying myself in giving the films their final, visual polish. Amazing how much difference colour correction can make to a film.

Adobe Speedgrade - before - Class Heroes film

Adobe Speedgrade - before - Class Heroes film

You can make a scene more vibrant, set the tone, make it look badd-ass, really sex it up. I’m very much a humble student at the moment, but I’ve been slowly learnimg the art of it over the past few weeks. The tutorials on Adobe TV are really well put together and very helpful.

Hopefully, you'll have realized that the top shot is the original footage and the lower shot is the colour-corrected version.When we filmed this scene in Ipswich Hospital at the end of last summer, it was bright and sunny. The hospital itself might have the stark simplicity of a typical medical facility, but obviously it's not chilling, foreboding,  or unpleasant. I've darkened the shot to create a more threatening tone. I've added greater contrast, deepened the shadows and taken out the warmer, summer-y colours. It now has that starker, bleaker, bluer tones.

Every film and most tv dramas have been colour-corrected and graded. Think of the cold, stark colours of Winterfell and warm summery tones of King's Landing in Game of Thrones. 

Right, back to it.

And if you want to read how things started for teenage superheroes James and Sam, well why not start here with book 1, A Class Apart. It’s free on and