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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

Independent film look in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we are going to look at Color Grading in a kind of an Indie, independent film festival looking thing. We're going to go from this to something like this, before, after. All right, let's jump in. 

For this independent look let's bring in 'Color Grade 04', and make a sequence from it. It's basically very similar to the Hollywood one, we're going to kind of use skills that we've already learnt, and combine them. There's a couple little nuggets in here to help you with your editing flow. I am going to add an Adjustment layer, and this is one of the nuggets that I'm going to give you, is like, often you think, all right, I've already used that Adjustment layer, so I need a new one, because I've already used that for the Hollywood effect. 

This Adjustment layer doesn't actually have that on it, it is just a placeholder. I'm going to use that, put it on there, and you'll notice, when I select it, under the 'Effect Controls', it doesn't have Lumetri applied, so it doesn't have any of those things over here. So you can reuse the Adjustment layer over and over. The difference would be, is if you copied and pasted it over here - let's delete that one - then it will bring the effects. They're kind of applied afterwards. Make sure your Source Patching is there, so it is now-- it is the same Adjustment layer, but it has that effect applied, and if you do that, you might just turn it off or, no, not turn it off, because we want to use it. We're going to delete it, either way, you can reuse it, Adjustment layer, and it's the effects that get applied on afterwards that are doing the work. 

So let's get to the end here, hit our 'W' key, to trim up the Adjustment layer. I'm going to rename it, let's call this one, 'Indie'. So the way this effect ends up working, and looking, is, with it selected I go to 'Basic Correction', and it's the opposite, like, whereas we kind of-- let's go back to our 'Lumetri Scope', instead of-- sorry the contrast, instead of like bringing it all out and emptying-- opening up the contrast, we do it the other way. We drag it to the left and this thing doesn't work I found a trick, you noticed, this is what you'd be doing these to, it seems to kick it back into life. So we did this for Hollywood, and this for Indie. It just kind of crams it closer, there's no strong blacks, there's no strong whites, and this gets a lot of the work done. Yeah, it's a look. 

Same with this, there's a bit of playing around with the highlights, I want probably a few more of them, I want a little bit of it, it's mainly these, the shadows and blacks. So the blacks are the complete blacks, I don't want too many of those, somewhere down there, I'm looking at this, and the Shadows, which is this chunk just above the lowest black, this is kind of where most of the work comes from, and where it kind of gives it that washed out, Instagram Indie look, on and off. 

With a bit more control, you can do the exact same thing with Curves. You'll find tutorials online, you're like, "Oh, this guy's using Curves, this guy's using Basic Correction, this is how the guy is using this other thing, or girl," and this is certain, the reason is that there's just a lot of ways to do the same thing, and that's why Premiere Pro can feel really overwhelming, you're like, "There's so much to learn," you're like, "Why have I never opened this panel before?" It's just, it does the same thing, so in this case I want-- can you see, we're doing the same thing, we're kind of dragging it down, we're going no whites, and we're grabbing the blacks, and we're saying, no blacks, and in the middle here we might go--

So this is the Highlights, this is the Shadows, so Highlights, I'm going to go, maybe a bit higher, bit lower, what do I want? I'm looking at the image now, not the graph. I feel like that's there, and actually what I want, is to keep some of the blacks here, I think, and play with these Shadows, to give it that kind of washed out look. I know, what do you think? Oh yeah, about there. 

So not quite the highlights, it's not quite the mid tones, this is where the curves can be nice, where you don't have to be so precise. Curves on, Curves off, and just to prove the point, that there's a million things to do the same thing, I'm going to turn off Curves. So we've turned off Basic Correction and Curves, and I'm going to show you how to do it. Probably the easiest way, I should have shown you at the beginning, Creative, Faded Film, and this is probably the best way of doing it, because somebody who's a lot better than me, and you, a colorist has gone through and made this effect. 

What you'll notice is, can you see, over here, it's pretty nice to see, like over here, that's what it is, and can you see, it starts doing the blacks first. That gives you the kind of most control. See the blacks coming up, blacks and shadows, and then some of the highlights, and lights come in, all getting crammed into the middle. So basically what we're doing with contrast, but a little bit more, a little bit more grace, this one here. So we're going to go up reasonably high. 

The next thing we're going to do is the colors. Often the colors do some strange things, like, you kind of want to adjust to-- so on Creativity we've got Vibrance and Saturation, I've probably explained this in the previous course, Essentials, but Saturation is all the colors down, all the colors up, regardless of how strong they are initially. Vibrance is, leaving the saturated ones, like the ones in the dress alone, or at least not influencing them as much, and bringing up all the other ones. If you squeeze my mouse, it does that, I hate it, I'll turn it off. 

So Vibrance, bringing it up, won't as quickly-- if I bring Vibrance up a little bit and then down, providing Saturation up a bit and down, you can see, just everything becomes a bit too harsh. So that's Vibrance and Saturation. What I like to do is bring the Saturation down, which brings it all down, but then the Vibrance can bring some of the weaker colors up. You end up with this muted, but still colorful color, find some sort of balance here. 

This one has a really strong red dress so I can't go too far. Often it'll be a little bit further this way, and a little bit further this way, but I can't, because of that dress, it's quite rich and strong. Let's tint the-- let's do that, you don't have to do it for every single one, but that teal and orange thing is quite cool, and it's another excuse to go, "Hey look, I can do it here, under my Color Wheels," that's what we've been doing, Highlights and Shadows, but look, there's another one, under Creative, it's the same thing, this is a different place for it. 

So again, lots of ways of doing the same thing. This is the exact same thing in just two different panels. So I'm going to go-- the Shadows, I prefer in that kind of blue space, and the Highlights are going to go in the orange space. Oh, look how independent it's looking, Khan film festival, Dan, here you come. All we're missing is subtitles, and I think we got the look. 

All right, you get a little bonus tip here, at the end as well. Often when you're working there's lots of different scenes, this is just one. So what you can do is, you can play while you adjust, you might or may not know that, so I can hit my Loop playback, it's going to play through, and then I can start working on Creative and the Tints here, and be dragging it up and down. We're looking through more than one part of the footage. How far down, there we go, for all of it, how faded the film can be, will depend on lots of different shots. 

So you can kind of do this back and forth, until you find something you feel is-- my advice is, whenever you feel like it's probably the best, drag it back a little bit, that's my experience, anyway, like this could be just me overdoing things, happens a lot. So whenever I get to something, I'm like, "Yeah, perfect," I know from feedback, from the feedback people, from the stakeholders, that that's a bit strong, so now I go to where I feel it should be, and then bring it back a little bit, and the world is happy. 

Anyway, that is it, that is the Indie film festival, Khan looking thing. Let's get on to the next video.