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Making the Grade: The Balance of Give and Take with Alexia Salingaros

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Forager colourist and NYU adjunct professor on the evolution of camera technology and her first dabble with colour correction

Making the Grade: The Balance of Give and Take with Alexia Salingaros

Alexia Salingaros is a half-Greek, half-Belgian, now New York City-based colourist and NYU adjunct professor. As a freelance artist, Alexia has coloured a wide range of narrative shorts, music videos, documentaries, and commercial work for brands including Nike, Uniqlo, AT&T, Twitter, Adobe, Canon and Vogue. Her latest feature film, ‘Disfluency’ was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Austin Film Festival.


LBB> How do you ensure that each colourist-director partnership is a success?

Alexia> Each collaboration should be an equal balance of give and take. The colourist approaches the material with fresh eyes, not having been a part of production or the editing process, and can therefore give a refreshing perspective on a potential direction to take the piece in. A couple passes later, the director’s vision will most likely merge with the colourist’s initial ideas, and the result is something both collaborators can be proud of. 


LBB> How is the craft and trade of colour grading changing?

Alexia> The evolution of camera technology is making it incredibly easier to capture a good image straight from set. It is almost not enough now for a colourist to deliver a 'pretty' image - which means we simply have to push ourselves to deliver a superb image! Automation will never replace the emotions behind a grade, the story-driving elements to every colour decision. 


LBB> What was your first experience with the world of colour grading – and when did you decide that being a colourist was a role that you wanted to pursue?

Alexia> My first dabble with colour correction was on the films I made myself in high-school. When I got to college, and was asked to colour other people’s films, I realized that the role of colourist was in fact integral to the finishing of each and every film. I was able to hop on so many more collaborations and meet new people in a way that I had never experienced helming my own films as director. 


LBB> How/where did you hone your craft and did you have any particular mentors?

Alexia> I have actually found that in teaching a class on colour at the college level I am constantly revisiting the base process of colour - attempting to simplify for my students and in doing so refining my own techniques. Having to update my class presentations forces me to constantly read new articles and explore updated technologies and truly stay in the loop. I look up to and study the work of all the (sadly few) professional female colourists crushing it out there!

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Forager, Wed, 23 Mar 2022 09:44:28 GMT