Mixing Light Colorist Training – In Review
It’s been over a year since my initial review of Mixing Light.com, the professional colorist training site which delivers weekly insights to a growing community of international colour grading professionals, and so I thought it would be worth reporting back with a few more details.
If you’ve never heard of Mixing Light before the idea is pretty simple. In exchange for a monthly subscription fee, you get weekly training on all aspects of the life of a professional colorist, covering everything from colour science theory, time and client management, to look breakdowns and of course, a plethora of technical ‘how-to’ tips in several professional applications.
You also get access to an insightful community of international colorists of all calibres, who feedback on the training and share their own expertise, as well as direct personal access to Dan, Patrick and Robbie – the trio of professional colorists and trainers behind Mixing Light. This kind of instant Q & A access is actually really helpful if you need clarification on something, or want to raise a topic you think could do with some insight.
One of my favourite recent insights is a look breakdown of this lovely commercial for John Lewis Insurance graded by Jean Clement-Soret, (who you can see in action in this previous post on How To Become a Better Colorist), in which Dan Moran, a working colorist at Smoke and Mirrors here in London, demonstrates how to reverse engineer a look from a reference, and match it to your own footage.
These kinds of insights, not only help you recreate the specific look Dan is emulating, but empower you with a valuable toolset of techniques for performing the same recreation process when trying to match your own client references.
Is Mixing Light only for Pro Colorists?
As a freelance film editor, and not a colorist, there are parts to Mixing Light that go over my head, or might not really be that useful to me, which is totally fine with me, as the site is aimed at professional colorists, or people who are hungry to be colorists. That said, there is so much content on offer that there’s always something new for me to learn and that adds to my skill-set that day.
Furthermore, because the training also dives into grading inside applications like FCPX, Premiere Pro and Baselight for Avid, there are insights that apply directly to what I’m doing day-to-day. If you’re grading on Nucoda or Pablo Rio, as far as I’m aware there aren’t specific tutorials in those programs but most things can be easily ported. In many ways it makes sense that Mixing Light’s focus is mainly on DaVinci Resolve as that’s freely available for anyone to download and what Dan, Patrick and Robbie spend most of their own time working in.
Another nice aspect to Mixing Light is the variety of formats that the training is delivered in. Most of this are downloadable videos that are usually somewhere between five and 15 minutes long. But where it makes sense there are also written articles and frequent ‘mailbag’ podcasts, in which the trio behind Mixing Light get together to chat and answer questions. Being able to freely and easily download the training videos is personally really useful, as I can watch them on the go, on my new Amazon Fire tablet.
There are now over 370 individual training insights on Mixing Light, and you can check out the Google Doc that tracks them all here, which means that if you’re buying in now, you’re actually getting more for your money than someone who has been paying for a while.
Is Mixing Light worth the money?
If you are serious about improving your colour grading skills and want some professional help to that end, then Mixing Light’s year round training and access to experts makes it a very affordable solution. $249 dollars for an annual subscription works out to about £170, which isn’t ‘cheap’ but with an average of 130ish posts a year, that’s only a couple of quid per tutorial, and will make you a smarter creative.
Another benefit to being a subscription member are the ‘special member bonuses’, which recently included 20 free DaVinci Resolve 12 training videos from the monstrous 140+ title training series that the team about about to release on the updated software as a stand-alone extra product, which are also discounted for paying members. I previously reviewed the DaVinci Resolve 11 Deep Insights training here, and this, all new, Resolve 12 training is sure to be of an equal quality.
Another unique feature of the Mixing Light world is that have a December Marathon where they release a new insight every single day in the run up to Christmas, now that’s an advent calendar worth opening! (As well as your chocolate one, obviously.)
The best part about Mixing Light is that you don’t even have to take my word for it, but can sign up for a 24 hour test drive and check it out yourself.