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How Much Does Film Color Correction Cost? All You Need to Know

Costs of film color correction

How Much Does Film Color Correction Cost? Color correction is an important part of the video post-production process. If you are attempting to color correct your video, you may be wondering how much this process costs to complete. Today we will be examining the importance of color correction and answering the question “How Much Does Film Color Correction Cost”.

What is Color Correction?

If you are a newcomer to the video production world, you may have heard the term color correction before without understanding what it actually means. So what exactly is color correction?

Color correction is essentially the process of fine-tuning the colors of each shot in a video to make the video product fit the creator’s vision. It includes balancing the image and dialing in a specific look to match a particular artistic style.

Color correction is important because there is only so much you can convey during the filming process. The color correction can help add a little extra oomph to your video to give it the feel you intended.

Can You Perform Color Correction Yourself?

Many amateur filmmakers often try to perform color correction themselves. It is possible to do this properly if you understand the basic steps involved. This includes:

Primary Color Correction

The primary color correction is usually performed once all the video’s shots have been put together. This step involves making adjustments to

  • White balance
  • Saturation
  • Contrast
  • Gain
  • Gamma
  • Lift

The goal during this stage is to simply get a nice-looking image. You should generally ensure that your image is exposed properly during this stage. You can also adjust the shadows, highlights, blacks, and whites during this stage. Setting the white balance will also help you achieve a great looking image that accounts for the film’s lighting.

Secondary Color Correction

The secondary color correction involves making more focused changes inside the image frame. For example, you could have a good shot of a person holding a glass of whiskey. If you want the liquid inside the glass to really pop out, you could create a mask and apply it around liquid edges. You can then adjust the brightness or exposure to get the liquid to stand out in the shot.

When to Apply Color Correction

You will generally need to color correct every shot in your film in most cases. This helps ensure continuity between shots and prevents any one of them from sticking out as dull or unpolished in the final film.

As mentioned earlier, color correction is also performed as an artistic choice. So if you want to give your films a certain visual aesthetic, color correction is definitely the way to go.

How Much Does Film Color Correction Cost?

There is no shame in hiring a professional to take care of film color correction for you. After all, this process can be more complex to pull off than is described above. You may be wondering about the cost associated with hiring a professional video post-production expert to perform color grading for your video project.

The truth is that these rates vary greatly for different companies and professionals. Some may charge you based on the length of your video, while others may charge an hourly rate based on how long the color correction process takes.

For example, one leading company charges between $150 and $400 to color correct 0 to 5 minutes of video. This rate increases to $250 to $600 for 6 to 10 minutes of video, and so forth.

Hourly Rates for Color Correction Professionals

The average hourly rates for color correction professionals are summarized below:

  • Dailies colorists: $34.71/hour
  • Junior colorists: $37.29/hour
  • Assistant colorists: $32.26/hour

How Long Does It Take to Color Correct a Video Project?

It is difficult to estimate how long it will take to color correct a video project because this length of time will vary depending on the number of cuts, a number of locations, and color grade quality. All these factors make it even more challenging to estimate the cost of color correcting your video project.

Finding the Right Video Production Resources

As you can see, color correction is a complicated but vital process in the post-production of any video. If you want to learn more about video editing and production, check out the resources below.

5 Best Free Video Editing Software for Music Videos

Best Video Editing Software with Layers

Many color correction experts charge clients on an hourly basis.