Artist in the Spotlight: Nuala Sheridan.
26th April 2021
Nuala Sheridan is a Senior Colourist at The Farm Group in London. When asked about her favourite project she’s ever worked on, Nuala chooses a promo piece she graded for a fashion brand. “The brief was to ‘go wild’”, she says, “We had a lot of fun!”
At the beginning of her post-production career, Nuala had intended on becoming a Broadcast Engineer. She started at Todd-AO, a film lab in Camden. “I quickly realised that career path wasn’t going to satisfy me creatively,” she says, “and after learning about film development and the dark room at Todd I decided becoming a Colourist would combine my love of technology and creativity perfectly”. Nuala steadily worked her way up from a Colour Assistant, to a Telecine Colourist on film dailies, to the Senior Colourist she is today.
As Senior Colourist at The Farm Group in London, Nuala has worked on an extensive catalogue of British entertainment, documentary, and high-end dramatic television. Her credits include The Trial of Christine Keeler, a six-part BBC series on the 1960s Parfumo Affair. Nuala was nominated for Excellence in Grading at the 2020 Broadcast Tech Innovation Awards for her work on the programme.
More recently, Nuala graded Apple TV’s Long Way Up; an Apple TV+ documentary series starring Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman. The series documents the two friends as they travel from South America to Los Angeles on electric Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Nuala enjoyed the challenge of the project. “The ‘run and gun’ nature of the shoot meant so much story telling was left for the grade”, she says, “The team were receptive to my interpretation and I’m proud of the results”.
The ‘run and gun nature’ meant there were multiple camera source files. In order to match the grade between the varying cameras, Nuala needed to create a solid base. “I used the Colour Convert tool in Nucoda to map the multiple camera source files from their native colour space to P3. This gave me a good base when matching the grade between cameras. Segueing from beautiful drone vistas to onboard bike cameras, while ensuring continuity, was key.”
The challenge of the project is half the fun for Nuala, “Being afforded the opportunity to push boundaries in your work, and the client leaves happy, is a good day.”
Nuala’s favourite tool in Nucoda are the DVOs (Digital Vision Optics) plugins – in particular DVO Clarity. “It’s by far the best noise reduction tool I have ever used. It’s ability to remove unwanted noise in a way that doesn’t soften the image, or cause artefacts, is incredibly useful.”
Nuala’s advice for those starting in colour grading is observation. “Identifying what’s wrong with an image and then knowing how to make it better takes time and practise”, she says, “Sitting with a Colourist and watching what they do is the best way to develop your skills.”