1439297505Mr Turner © Thin Man Films Photo Credit: Simon Mein


Film | TV
Personality type:

The lowdown

  • Putting the final polish on the picture elements of productions
  • Interpreting clients' vision and aspirations
  • Giving advice and solving problems

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to: 

  • Understand the psychological effect of colours
  • Understand how to use colour to enhance the narrative 
  • Have a thorough understanding of Post Production processes
  • Have considerable videotape experience
  • Have in-depth knowledge of cameras and cinematography
  • Have an understanding of editing techniques 
  • Be able to use your initiative 
  • Have good problem solving skills
  • Be diplomatic and sensitive when working with clients
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be highly organised
  • Be able to work effectively under pressure
  • Be able to motivate yourself and others
  • Have good team working skills
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Have advanced IT skills
  • Understand the relevant health and safety laws and procedures

What does a Colourist do?

Colourists make sure that all shots in each scene match one another. They do this by balancing colour saturation and luminance from shot to shot. This way they make sure that no one shot stands out in the sequence. They look out for and correct colour differences and ensure consistency throughout the production. They also offer original and creative solutions to any picture related problems. This might be under or over exposure or day for night corrections, for example.

Colourists provide advice and creative input into the overall look of each production. They work closely with clients to interpret their ideas. They also document, file and report any related project information to relevant Producers or Project Managers. They have to accurately document and file all information relating to specific picture related problems and corrections. They make sure that all work is saved and backed up in accordance with relevant procedures.

Will I need a qualification?

You don’t need specific training or qualifications. But a relevant technical degree or equivalent qualification, may be useful. 

If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the film industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in film:

Film production courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

You can start out as a Runner in a facilities company and progress to other roles in post production. These might be Telecine or Quality Control and will give you valuable knowledge and experience of Post Production processes. 

You could apply to be a trainee through Trainee Finder, which gives you hands-on experience in the industry and helps you build those all-important contacts that are essential when competing for a job:

More information about Trainee Finder

Interested? Find out more…



  • Broadcast, weekly newspaper for the UK TV and Radio industry
  • Televisual, monthly business magazine for the broadcast industry
  • Audio Post Production for Television and Film, Wyatt & Amyes - ISBN 0-240-51947-7
  • How Video Works, Weynand & Weise ISBN 0-240-80614-X
  • Video Editing and Post Production, Gary H Anderson - ISBN 0-240-80337-X
  • Digital Editing with Final Cut Pro 4, Mamer &Wallace - ISBN 0-941188-91-4
  • Digital Nonlinear Editing, Thomas Ohanian - ISBN 0-240-80225-X
  • Editing Digital Film, Jaime Fowler - ISBN 0-240-80470-8
  • Technology of Video and Audio Streaming, D. Austerberry - ISBN 0-240-51694-X
  • The Technology of Video & Audio Streaming (2nd Edition), D.Austerberry - ISBN 0-240-80580-1
  • Video Systems in an IT Environment, Al Kovalick - ISBN 0-240-80627-1
  • All books available from: http://www.focalpress.com/


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