Colour Grading Tag

How to make your videos look better in 2019

1.  Light. Light. Light. Light. It’s all about light.  Without it we would literally have no image.  Look for interesting light to capture… filtered, speckled, coloured, soft, dappled, twilight, harsh, glittering and glorious light.  Capture the contrast between light and shade and this will make your image more dynamic.  If the natural light is not interesting enough cut some of it out and create dark shadows.  Make sure your character has an eye-light – every character needs a light and a twinkle in their eye no matter how dark the scene is.  If you are filming a dark scene, light it up and put light into those shadow details then bring the exposure back down in the grade.  There is no coming back from an underexposed shot and your image may break up with noise.  Hire a good cinematographer!  She/he is worth their weight in gold.

2.  Create a visual mood board of the look that you want before your start shooting.  Show your collaborators and have this on hand when you’re making decisions on costume, location and set design.  Show your cinematographer and your colourist so that every one knows your intention and can aim for the same visual goal.  This planning and preparation will help make your videos look better – if you are wanting a soft colour palette then make sure your lead character or presenter is not wearing a black shirt or a bright, bold red dress.

3.  Stay away from cream walls as a backdrop.  If you’re shooting a documentary interior try and find a wall nearby with some colour or some pattern.  If it’s an interview set up give the shot depth by having them stand in the foreground of a location with a background with objects at different heights (buildings, trees etc).  If you have a stationary subject create depth and interest by adding something in the background which can be out of focus like a coloured curtain, a vase, a sculpture, or a painting.  Cream walls also make it more difficult to pull out/isolate some subject’s skin tones and it limits the separation between background and foreground.  We want a good separation between background and foreground so avoid cream and go find a wall of a different colour or pattern, or if you have time and budget paint the wall!


4.  Limit zooming in on full frame shots during the edit unless very necessary for the story.  Zooming in on a shot reduces the quality of that shot no matter what the source resolution.

5.  Leave enough time in the filmmaking process for the final finishing.  Lock your edit (!) and let the VFX, the sound and colour department have time to craft their magic.  This is the best part (in my biased opinion!) so try and avoid crazy finishing deadlines and soak up the wonderful experience of putting the icing on the cake.  Great finishing will elevate your video and make it look infinitely better.  

Angela Cerasi_grading_2018

Let’s do this!

I have decided to do something a little bit crazy but really exciting to help the gender disparity issue in our industry. Free colour grading for female directors/cinematographers for 5 projects over the next 12 months. I have created a press release (ooo look at me go).. the details of which can be read here:

20 March 2018


Sydney colourist Angela Cerasi is tackling gender disparity in the film and television industry with an exciting new initiative designed to support Australian women film makers and creatives.


With the support of ZIGZAG Post, Angela is offering free colour-grading to five projects over the next 12 months. The projects must have a female director or female cinematographer attached, they can be long or short form for film, television or multimedia platforms, the proposed grading schedule must be flexible and the project must not have committed broadcaster funding. The initiative is targeted at working creatives and is not open to full-time students.


Angela says she was inspired to launch the initiative after navigating the choppy waters of parenthood and work and realising other women in the industry are in the same boat.


Angela Cerasi said, ‘As a working mother of two young children, I understand the challenges of re-establishing yourself after maternity leave and juggling the work life balance. I’m passionate about encouraging and mentoring women who are committed to chasing their dreams. I believe that by providing my specialist colour-grading services to female filmmakers, who may not have the resources to finance this aspect of production, I can make a difference and show my commitment to gender disparity.’


Rob Saroff, Co-Owner of ZIGZAG Post said, ‘When Angela approached me about her idea, I welcomed the chance to be involved. Already a major supporter of the For Film’s Sake Film Festival ‘Big Pineapple’ competition, this seemed like a great opportunity to further support women filmmakers. Angela is a hugely talented colourist and has elevated the production value across multiple projects tremendously. I commend Angela on her generosity and taking gender matters from a conversation to action.’

Terms and Conditions


  • The initiative was launched in March 2018. Five projects will be offered free colour-grading over the next 12 months.
  • Applicants are invited to submit a maximum one page synopsis and vision statement for their project, a short biography and proposed dates for colour-grading.
  • The initiative is open to Australian companies and individuals. However, the director or cinematographer must be female and must be able to attend the grading session(s).
  • Grading sessions will be held at Zig Zag Post in Crow’s Nest, Sydney.
  • Projects will be shortlisted based on the strength of the synopsis, the film maker’s vision and the proposed dates for grading.
  • Successful candidates will be notified by email. Angela Cerasi and the successful applicants will agree on dates for colour-grading.
  • Projects must not have a broadcaster attached or be subject to brand-funding.
  • Female creatives must be working in the industry and not currently enrolled full-time at an institution.

Would you like to know more?


Email Angela at