Picture Shop proudly provided color finishing on 5 shorts film from Ghetto Film School’s Los Angeles StudentsGhetto Film School, an award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000 to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of storytellers, partnered with Picture Shop for the color finishing post-production on 5 of their Los Angeles filmmaker’s short films. The students were empowered to shoot their shorts on 16mm film in partnership with the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. In addition to a curriculum co-taught by Huntington curators, the filmmakers had access to the Huntington’s art collection for inspiration and their vast grounds as the setting for their films if they so chose.The collaboration between Picture Shop and the filmmakers allowed an exciting opportunity for established colorists to connect with bold new voices. One of the projects, “9:31” was directed by Julia Song, whose filmmaking primarily focuses on stories around mental health advocacy. Song worked with Picture Shop Senior Colorist Tony Smith on the color finish.

9:31 by Julia Song

9:31 is an experimental personal narrative that employs the use of dance and voiceover to explore gender identity and self-acceptance. It was shot on 16mm, which was new, exciting and challenging. Because I only had a limited amount of filmstock, I approached the shotlist with a great level of precision and intention than I would have if I were shooting digitally. I then worked with Tony on the color, which was my first time working with a professional colorist. I was able to watch and observe his process. We discussed the creative foundation and intention of 9:31 and it was really cool to see how Tony could help make my film fulfill the vision through the unique lens of color grading,” describes Song, who will be continuing her film education at NYU Tisch School of the Arts this Fall.“Julia shot 9:31 on a hand-cranked Bolex 16mm. We wanted to preserve the organic feel that she had already created. There are certain anomalies with grain and tonal depth shooting on 16mm and we wanted to preserve that. Julia was a pleasure to work with. She’s driven and a courageous storyteller with a unique, intimate narrative in 9:31. It’s very exciting to be able to collaborate with emerging filmmakers like Julia and I look forward to watching her career unfold,” adds Smith.Another short in the program was Trapped, directed by Sarah Williams. Picture Shop Supervising Colorist Maxine Gervais.

Trapped by Sarah Williams

“Sarah’s is a talented young director with tons of potential. In Trapped, she metaphorically re-enacted classical patintings, which gave us a color reference for emulating the tones in the paintings while preserving the unique look she captured shooting on film,” says Gervais.Additionally, Senior Colorist Tim Vincent worked with filmmaker Alyse Arteaga on her short film Identidad, which explores Arteaga’s Latin heritage through the places and people that helped shape her as a child.“With Identidad, I wanted to see through the eyes of my childhood self and replicate the raw beauty I once felt a part of. Working with Picture Shop, I received an amazing mentorship in color grading post-production from Tim. We collaborated and ultimately crafted a film with amazing vibrancy and life,” explains Arteaga.

Identidad by Alyse Arteaga

Vincent adds, “I truly enjoyed working and collaborating with Alyse on her film. She is very passionate about telling stories that mean something and I see a bright future for her. Alyse’s film told a story close to her own life experience and we used looks that helped convey the feelings that matched the moments for her. Each portion of the story has a distinct look to bring out the environment and color tones that existed in those moments. We ended up with a film that is raw yet elegant in the way we shaped the different looks throughout. I hope to collaborate with her again in the future.”The other students’ shorts that were part of the collaboration were How to Calm Down by Memo Mora, color by Senior Colorist George Manno and Bunny Bear by Alice Vargas, color by Senior Colorist and Director of Creative Workflow Tony D’Amore.

For more information about Ghetto Film School, please visit: https://www.ghettofilm.org/