Editing is often underappreciated due to people’s lack of comprehension as to what an editor does and how it is important. Along the same lines, and perhaps to an even more extreme degree, professional colorists usually do not get the respect they deserve. The untrained eye often cannot distinguish the work of an expert colorist from untreated raw footage unless it is compared side by side. I admit to being rather novice at noticing good color correction myself (I like to use my red-green colorblindness as an excuse), but the first time I sat in on a Da Vinci session as a post P.A., I was blown away by the scope and precision of the colorist’s work. Not only did he correct for hue, brightness, and contrast errors in the original footage, but he also was able to enhance the tone and mood of each scene by applying lighting gradients and shading that did not previously exist. In short, he was able to turn ordinary looking footage into much more than what it was originally. And for that reason, colorists are rightfully qualified as creative artists, just as editors are. (Equally underappreciated: audio mixers, sound designers, and Foley artists, but I’ll save that for another post). Take a look at this series of images, all of the same shot, but with different color and lighting effects applied to each. They will help elucidate just how much creative effort goes into the color correction of each shot and prove how important it is to spend the money for a true online edit with an experienced colorist.