Artist in the Spotlight: Katherine Jamieson.
25th November 2020
Katherine Jamieson is a senior colourist at halo Post Production whose work ranges from feature music documentary to high-end factual television. She’s recently won the Broadcast Tech Innovation Award for Excellence in Grading for her work on Disney’s The World According to Jeff Goldblum. This year she’s been on maternity leave but is excited to get back into the suite.
Katherine is one of halo’s homegrown who’s been working in post-production since 2005 when she began her career as a runner at a post house. Katherine had initially done a post-graduate course in lighting and editing and completely fell in love with cinematography, “I was going to end up doing cinematography or grading really! But as I could edit I ended up going the post route”, she says.
Pre-maternity leave, Katherine had the great pleasure of grading the first series of The World According to Jeff Goldblum. “To see the world through the eyes of Jeff Goldblum was always going to be vibrant, colourful and fun. Though this was the overall series brief we also felt it was important that each episode had its own individual feel and tone”, says Katherine, “The whole team at Nutopia were very open minded and allowed us to really experiment and be playful in the grade which was so much fun”.
When asked to elaborate on the playfulness, Katherine recalls a moment in Episode 4: Denim. The production team had struggled to light the line dancing scene and as a result the footage had come out a bit flat. To rectify this, Katherine designed flare placements. “The flares I built using sapphire plugins helped to elevate the scene and give it the flamboyance it demanded”, she says.
Katherine has worked across everything from comedy to music to documentary. Her ability to jump from genre to genre seamlessly is something halo prides themselves in as a post house. “halo are privileged to have colourists with the unique skillset of being able to work across many genres spanning from high-end factual and scripted to long-running entertainment tv series”, Matt Locke Head of Business says, “Our team have a massive amount of experience, are incredibly creative, socially aware, and are nice friendly people!”
An ardent music documentary fan, Katherine has worked on many music docs while at halo including Liam Gallagher’s As it Was and Dolly Parton’s Here I Am. “I absolutely love Dolly”, says Katherine, “So to get the chance to work on a documentary about her life with award winning director Francis Whatley – whose David Bowie 5 years trilogy docs I loved -was a dream come true”.
Here I Am had plenty of archive material which Katherine lovingly attended to, “I added flares and light leaks along with subtle colour accents for each time period that helped tie it together and bring it alive”, says Katherine.
“I also spent a lot of time on the interviews, making them look as luscious as possible, using defocus diffusion to help shape the contributors and make them really focused on the screen”.
Katherine isn’t afraid to utilise plugins to bring out the best in client footage. The DVO tools in Nucoda are lifesavers during the grading process. “Clarity works wonders when you’re trying to clean up some grainy, low light archive footage”, says Katherine, “And the Flicker tool is brilliant for helping smooth out those inevitable iris pops you get.”
Any advice for budding young colourists? Observe the world around you. “Why did a particular advert grab you, the light of a certain sunset or piece of art. How did it make you feel and then how can you translate that back into the film/video world through light and colour”, she says, “It’s something that takes practice, a lot of it, but if it’s your passion it doesn’t feel like hard work, more like you are developing your skill, and it’s never ending…there is always more to learn. That’s the real joy of it!”