Zan Media Pumps Up the Color

One of the current trends among today’s production companies and cinematographers is to film what is called a “flat” image, that is, keeping the camera at basically the factory setting, without enhancing the image color or tone, then enhancing it in post production with apps like Resolve. I’m sure this trend came about because of the proliferation of inexpensive DLSR cameras and iPhone filming, where there are little if any controls to augment the image, and the person doing the shooting often knows little about professional image quality. My personal feeling is that if you plan to shoot like that, you’ll often be disappointed in the end product and lack of visual creativity.

Here at Zan Media, we still like to get the best image possible IN THE CAMERA before we go to post. There is no substitute for the original composed image with natural lighting as post production techniques can only enhance an image so far. When we filmed our latest documentary, A PASSION FOR THE VINE, we stressed getting the true vivid color for the vineyards, vines and grapes. One thing that had always bothered me about wine films was their inability to capture the true grape color of the red varietals, that deep purple hue.

Speaking of DEEP PURPLE, this documentary featured David Coverdale, lead singer of Whitesnake now currently on a USA tour, and former lead singer of Deep Purple, who has his own wine label. In a fun clip from the documentary,, David films his wife Cindy stomping grapes at a vineyard, and the grapes stand out with their vivid color. Using the Canon XF300 camcorder, we set the gamma to cine 2, which brought out the film-like qualities of the image, and set the color matrix to 40 out of a maximum setting of 50, pushing the saturation way up. Then, in editing, we used Final Cut Pro’s color board to slightly push the color saturation a bit more for maximum purple color readability. I think the result is an image that enhances the qualities of the grape as it should be.