Cullen Kelly on Correcting Skin Tones

“In the last five years I have maybe pulled one key for skin. I will avoid it at basically all costs. It’s just upside down, it’s wagging the dog. What are we trying to make look good with our primaries if not skin? Skin should be like bullseye, dead-on, by the time we’ve moved on from primaries and we’re working the secondaries. If it’s not – that happens all the time – I’m not saying I’m that good and I never look at skin and go ‘oh, that’s not quite right yet,’ but I’m gonna go back to my primaries and that’s my primary anchor when I’m grading with my primaries is to optimize skin tone, at least when there’s skin in the frame, because that’s people, that’s what we’re most sensitive to, that’s what our memory colors are, that’s what matters most in a color grade, so that’s what I’m going to prioritize with those primaries. So I generally won’t pull a key.” – Cullen Kelly

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