Color'ist Stamina


I'm just bubbling up to the surface after 2.5 weeks of non-stop Color'ing. 10 hour days. 600 shots / day. Fair amount of secondary isolations with vignettes. Exhausting. More exhausting than I expected.

I usually have a few intense days of color correction that are followed by a day or two of finishing. I switch gears fairly regularly. 10 hour days are common and not too stressful.

On this past job I was downtown at Outpost Digital working as a freelancer on a Discovery series (all other details of the job are embargoed). I had the luxury of an Assistant Editor prepping timelines for the Color roundtrip and a Finisher to handle the graphics, formatting, & outputs. For me, it was all color correction all the time.

I was able to turn around 50+ minutes of footage, about 600-700 shots, in 13-16 hours across two 10-hour days. Essentially, an episode every 1.5 days (including client revisions). By each Friday I was completely wiped out. Far more so than if I put in a 50-hour week doing finishing. I contacted a friend who's a long-time colorist about his stamina on the job. I was wondering if his eyes were used to the routine.

Apparently not.

While he's no stranger to much longer days - he also finds diminishing returns after the 10-hour day. His words:

"I hear you 10 hours and I'm done.  I start to loose my peripheral vision and I know it's time to rest.  Longer than 10 hours the slower I go to the point when I realize how long this is taking and stop.  I've worked in a few places and when I was at the CBC they had a nice monitor surround to take some of the stress off your eyes.  In my new place I have some strips of white LEDs behind the monitor and until they finish the room this will have to do.  I had a killer week last week and I wish I had the Herman Miller chair that I had from my last company.  This makes a big difference as well."

Dittos on the Herman Miller chair (the one with lumbar support and tilt forward control).

In the future I need to dial back client expectations so my eyes are as fresh on Friday as they are on Monday.

- pi

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