One of the most exciting, if arduous, phases of post-production is the Color Timing (or Color Grading) of the film.
At first glance, this would seem like it's some boring task of tweaking dials to make minor adjustments. But this is actually where the look of the whole film takes place.
Some of the adjustments are indeed minor tweaks. Some are major changes.
A frame from Finding Focus, before-and-after being treated with DeNoiser. (click on the image for a larger view)
I am using two relatively inexpensive products from Red Giant Software -- Colorista II and DeNoiser -- for this pass on my Final Cut Pro system.
We are also in talks with Light Iron -- who did the color grading for Social Network, Contagion, and the upcoming Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -- to do a real, professional pass. Make no mistake -- anything they touch will be leaps and bounds beyond what I'm able to do with these Final Cut plug-ins. But these Red Giant plug-ins are absolute game changers. The footage looks a 100 times better than what comes straight out of the camera.
The DeNoiser plug-in is a massive memory hog. I often have to quit-and-relaunch Final Cut after rendering 2-3 clips (and I now render one clip at a time, save, then attempt the next clip). It's a slow, slow process. But the results are worth it.