How To Improve The Look Of Your Film In 30 Minutes: Color Correction Tutorial With Stu Maschwitz

June 4, 2012 · 5 comments

Color Correction is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a film. There are many layers involved in the process and can take some time to perfect. With the proper knowledge and tools it can help improve the look and quality of your low-budget film immensely.

Below is a video tutorial on color correction narrated and demonstrated by one of the masters of low-budget visual FX Stu Maschwitz- former co-owner of The Orphanage and visual FX supervisor on such films as: Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, and Sin City.

(*He is also author of the informative filmmaking book The DV Rebel’s Guide which you can find out more about in an early post we did at:

Creating a Summer Blockbuster Film Look

I hope this tutorial helps allow you to enhance the quality of your films and lets you achieve those Big Blockbuster looks you’ve been craving. For more impressive tutorials like this one be sure and checkout: where you can find a huge catalogue of amazing tips and tricks to improve your films.

Also, if you have any questions or comments regarding this video be sure and leave us your thoughts at the bottom of this page, we’d love to hear from you.

Did you like this post? If so, be sure and SUBSCRIBE at the top of the page and SHARE the article with your friends ~ Bill and Alexander Shumake

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey June 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm


I just have a question? I have FCP X and unlike some who dislike it I’m the opposite, I’ve used them all. But my question is cant you achieve the same looks in your own editing software? I already have. This software is expensive and when your on a tight budget as an indie filmmaker its hard to afford this stuff(They’ll never make the RED camera affordable for us little guys). I’d just like to see more with the indie stuff in terms of budgeting, distribution and other tough hurtles for the indie filmmaker(s). I just spent almost $400 on FCP X I cant afford this software, and After Effects forget about it. Adobe I always find them pinching the consumers pockets for more cash.

admin June 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

Good question Corey, the answer to your question is yes and no. In terms of getting a blockbuster film look as demonstrated in the video the answer is “Yes” you can do this in Final Cut or Premiere. However, with certain products like After Effects(AE) you are allowed a lot more control over the color grading and can even purchase additional color correction plug-ins that can improve the quality/make the whole process a bit easier. Personally I still like color correcting in AE because typically I do that last on any project I’m working on. Plus, almost all of my projects already have a lot of digital FX so it’s easier just to go ahead and color correct in AE then having to export everything back to premiere just to color grade the film.

But to do what you want or to achieve a look as shown in the video- “Yes” you can achieve this with everything you have:)

admin June 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

Also, thanks for letting me know that you would like to see more indie stuff on budgeting and distribution! That really helps us, and we’ll be sure to include more posts on those subjects in the coming weeks:)

Jim June 7, 2012 at 5:26 am

Outstanding lesson! Thank you so very much! Please keep ‘em coming.

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