True tone: color grading's place in nonfiction filmmaking

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


New technology has made color grading an accessible storytelling tool for nonfiction filmmakers. The rise of color manipulation for storytelling purposes allows nonfiction filmmakers to communicate with their audience at an emotional level. Color grading can be problematic because it is an intentional alteration of the image and can, therefore, work against the truth claim of documentary media. Three successful nonfiction films, The Imposter, Nsenene, and Chef's Table: Mashama Bailey, were examined. The methods and strategies of color grading used by these films were then applied to a series of short films produced by the author with the goal of using color to effectively engage an audience without departing from the reality-claim of the documentary genre.


(un)Inspired is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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