• Sonali Fernando

Home at last.

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

No place like the grade. Let loose on the image, only the image, we change palettes - subtly or dramatically - and create a new angle on our stories through chromatic change.

I love the grade, where we add the final polish to the visual image, as much as I love the dub, where we mix and perfect the sound. These final stages of a film's post production process - carried out in calm, relaxed environments with skilled technicians at the top of their game - are where filmmakers can breathe out and enjoy the fruits of their labour. The grade is where the obsessives come into their own, making minute tweaks to tone or hue or frame size that can transform the atmosphere of a scene, adjusting, enhancing and seeking out the hidden beauty in our images. The technology is sophisticated, but at root there are human beings using their sense of aesthetics, taste and judgements. Beneath it all, it's an act of love, and I'm lucky to have worked with some fabulous graders. Here I was with the redoubtable Darren Mostyn at his Brighton Studio, Online Creative.

This grade was for F is for Food, a short campaign film I directed for the Church of Sweden's international department, which was shot in Wollo Province in Ethiopia. The brief I was given was to make the successful use of microfinance in the area intelligible to a lay audience. I approached this as a story told to a child, with the help of a wonderful group of children from the local school and a variety of obliging animals.

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