Digital Intermediate Colorist

Manipulate overall color as part of post-production for films or TV.

What does a Digital Intermediate Colorist do?

A Digital Intermediate Colorist is the 21st-century version of a Color Timer, which means they digitally manipulate the color in a film as part of the post-production process. As part of a relatively new process for making motion pictures (called “digital intermediate” or “DI”), the Digital Intermediate Colorist is proof that technology has changed the way movies are made.

Here’s how it works: Movies used to be made exclusively with film that was photochemically finished in a film processing lab. Today, however, many are finished digitally instead, in which case they’re either scanned or—if the movie was recorded on a digital camera—downloaded, then manipulated electronically before being recorded back to film.

As a Digital Intermediate Colorist, you manipulate color using special color-correcting consoles. You color each scene, one by one, like you’re coloring the pages of an electronic coloring book. This allows you to make sure color, contrast, and brightness are consistent from scene to scene—even when different scenes were filmed in different light. It also lets you create different on-screen moods by saturating scenes with more red, yellow, or blue.

In other words, along with the Director of Photography, you help create the “look” for a movie.