Using 3rd Party Filters in FCPX: Who needs a Colorist anymore?


Very cool 3rd party filter provider, CrumplePop, just added ToneGrade™” which “makes it easy to apply HDR tone mapping to your footage” in FCPX. Here’s CrumplePop’s full description of the filter: By simply dragging and dropping ToneGrade™ onto your clip, you can create a subtle, “hyper-real” color grade that can be visually striking. ToneGrade™ works with Final Cut Pro X only.

Anyone who doesn’t know what HDR is, it’s a very cool stylized look that you can easily give to photos on the iPhone and now with this ToneGrade filter, your video. Click here for more info on what HDR is.  iPhone’s in-camera app lets you take photos HDR style in your phone, so if you have an iPhone and want to see what HDR looks like, follow these instructions. Also, check out Macworld’s article on when and when not to use HDR on your iPhone.

CrumplePop also has other great FCPX filters like an easy split screen filter and a tilt-shift focus filter. Click here to see them in action. And they even offer some free FCPX filters for download here.

So what does the title of my blog post mean then? (Who needs a Colorist anymore?) It means that your life as an indie filmmaker just got easier, especially if you have zero money to hire and pay a colorist. Colorists are the people who help filmmakers add mood and atmosphere to their films using different stylized color choices that more often than not help add to the filmmaker’s narrative story as well.

Most recently, colorists were using the software, Color, Apple’s branded software, but now with FCPX, apparently all of the coloring you would need is built right into the program, so you don’t need Apple’s Color software (which came with FCP7  as part of a suite and was $1,000+ when it was new). Apparently, there is another color program called Da Vinci out that just made their software more affordable because Apple is discontinuing Color and will no longer release newer versions nor updates.

I genuinely feel for Colorists, because they are only going to make a living now on films with higher budgets who can afford to pay them for their time and expertise. But it seems like most of the film world, at least on the indie side of the spectrum is shifting–imagine millions of indie filmmakers all running across a globe from one end to the other causing the world to spin catacylsmically, uncontrollably out of orbit. Imagine that FCP7 was the Sun for these indie filmmakers and now they’re running around the globe trying to figure out what the hell they are going to do next in order to continue to make their films. Imagine that a large portion of the film industry is part of this pack of people too, because a lot of them were heavily invested in FCP7. And imagine another sun being discovered called FCPX and everyone is like screw that new sun, we want our old sun, it was bigger and better, which is true, but, really, and this is fitting in with my new current philosophy about filmmaking, business, and social media, but smaller IS better. And the only way to survive in this tech-roided out world, is to think smaller which right now for indie filmmakers means you’re going to stop hating on Apple and learn to love FCPX. Believe me, I know it’s hard, half the time I’m an FCPX hater too, but thanks to our new 20K Labs’ instructor, Andrew Gleason, who teaches our Editing with FCPX workshops, I am learning to love FCPX. The only other video editing option is Premiere Pro 6 which has yet to be released.

20K Films will be testing out ToneGrade soon, and we’ll post more info as soon as we do!



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