SPOTLIGHT: Sam Woodcock – Colourist

Who is Sam Woodcock

I’m a colourist based in London with an interest in cinema (surprise, surprise!) yoga, writing, meditation and martial arts. I tend to enjoy more physically creative pursuits in my spare time but I always love seeing something innovative or well written and executed on the big screen too.

How did your career path develop?

My post production background began in video editing, primarily short form documentaries and community media. I still have a strong professional interest in documentaries and socially consciencious filmmaking in addition to the more strongly stylised looks I create for more commercial branded content. The variety of aesthetics available to a colourist and the ability to take footage, give it a cinematic feel and expand upon the lighting of the shot was what drew me to colour grading and still excites me about working on projects.

What do you consider your greatest achievement/s so far?

I would consider some of my greatest achievements more in terms of progressions. The speed that I can read many different kinds of footage both technically and creatively now, compared to when I was starting out, has dramatically increased. Working with a wide range of DOPs and directors on both edits and grades has given me more insights into the visual knowledge of other professionals. It’s also been an opportunity to realise these ideas within the context of my own stylistic leanings on projects that have a broader brief and require more creativity from the colourist when the DOP is not available or the project is more Producer and client led.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

Clients such as Crisis, Crossrail, River Island, Grant’s Whisky and National Express have all required different approaches but I also enjoy working on music videos and film trailers to create some of the more extreme looks.

The Crisis promo I edited and graded was one of my most enjoyable projects because it combined many things I have an appreciation for, including spoken word poetry, emotive sound design and stark yet familiar imagery that was both cinematic and also had a documentary feel. Combining these elements to bring attention to an issue like homelessness was also a positive and thought-provoking experience.

The work I did on the short film ‘Then and Now’ was interesting as well because it was fascinating to grade veteran actor Julian Glover and help to bring out some of the drama in his expressions and in the dramatic lighting that was used in certain scenes.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

I think that the importance of both communication in the team and retaining high standards in delivery can never be overstated and are very much linked to each other. In terms of life I think that being calm under pressure and listening to yourself, others and the world around you have given me my biggest lessons and enlightened moments.

View Sam’s Full Portfolio