In our sixth episode of Finding the Frame, we chatted with cinematographer Charlie Sarroff and colorist David Cole about their collaboration on the hit film Smile. They discussed the DP and colorist relationship/workflow and how they brought the film’s visual language to life.
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LOGLINE: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
GET COACHED BY MASTER COLORIST DAVID COLE
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ABOUT DAVID COLE
David Cole began his career in 1996 in Melbourne, Australia in the telecine department of AAV Digital Pictures. While maintaining his position as a colorist, his role expanded to Technical Director of Digital Film. He also assisted in the visual effects department as a Technical Director, writing scripts and other tools for the CG group.
In 2001, Cole joined The Post House Ltd in Wellington, New Zealand, as a Lead Digital Colourist on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, and over the next several years helped pioneer DI in Australia and New Zealand. In 2004, Cole joined Weta Digital as Supervising and Lead Digital Colourist, setting up and leading the DI division for Peter Jackson’s King Kong, for which he earned a nomination for Outstanding Color Grading – Feature film, from the Hollywood Post Alliance Awards in its inaugural year.
Cole moved to Hollywood in 2006 and joined LaserPacific which later became Technicolor. In 2013 Cole moved to Modern VideoFilm and in 2016 started at FotoKem. Since arriving in Hollywood he has graded such films as Dune, The Tomorrow War, Minari (HPA nominated), TRON: Legacy (HPA nominated), Pride and Glory (HPA nominated), The Book of Life, Kong: Skull Island, and multi-Academy Award-winning Life of Pi (HPA win – Outstanding Colour Grading – Feature Film).
He has also helped create the look of many TV series, grading pilots for such shows as Sleepy Hollow, Jane the Virgin, Charmed, and Reign (HPA win – Outstanding Colour Grading – Television), and graded the entire animated series Maya And the Three.
Cole has been a regular panelist at industry events, including CineGear Expo, NAB, and IBC, as well as educational events for the PGA, DGA, ASC, and UCLA, and has helped in the development of the Lustre color correction application from Autodesk since 2001. He is an Associate Member of the American Society of Cinematographers, a Member at Large of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Visual Effects Society.