dale grahn color crumplepop

A new product from Crumplepop, not a plugin this time but a clever tool to sharpen your colour grading skills. They've teamed up with Dale Grahn, the color timer for Steven Spielberg, to develop an iPad app that teaches film color timing principles and techniques.

You might not have heard of Dale Grahn, but you have definitely seen his work. As the colour timer for Spielberg and other directors, he has a pretty impressive list of credits including Saving Private Ryan, Munich, Gladiator, Die Hard and Minority Report to mention just a few.

Colour timing is a film technique where each shot would be matched or graded in the lab to give the right look and ensure consistency between shots and scenes. Of course we are now in the digital world, but Dale has taken his skills and with the help of Crumplepop wrapped them up into a $3.99 iPad app called Dale Grahn Color.

With Dale Grahn Color, you can:

• Learn and practice Dale's techniques.  Can you match the master? See how Dale shaped the image, and then try to re-create the look yourself. Learn to "think color" using the same simple controls that Dale used to create the look of Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, and dozens of other films.   21 lessons, 3 difficulty levels.

• Try out your new skills on your own photos.  Use the same powerful interface to work with any photo in your iOS photo album.  

• Get instant scoring and stats.  Complete a color challenge with Dale, and immediately find out how you did.  See what you missed, and what devious tricks Dale had up his sleeve.

• Watch 20 exclusive video tutorials with Dale Grahn.  Can't quite figure out how Dale did it?  Look over his shoulder as he describes, step by step, his approach to the image and why he did what he did.  It's an unusual opportunity to watch a craftsman at work.


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"I wanted to bring all of my film color timing experience to the digital world and start from there," said Dale Grahn. "The digital world gave me tools that I did not have before, and that would have been very useful in fixing many problems that were very hard or impossible with film. I saw them as a blessing.  But the digital tools never gave me reason to change the way I looked at an image.  They did give me, however, more possibilities and more directions to go in. Yet another blessing."


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"We are honored to be working with Dale Grahn," said Gabriel Cheifetz, co-founder of CrumplePop.  "No matter how sophisticated our digital workflow is, we always hold film to be a medium that's somehow just a bit beyond us.  Working with Dale over the last year has been invigorating, and we look forward to bringing his techniques to the many, many people who are now trying to figure out a good approach to color."

It is not often you can get a lesson from a highly skilled Hollywood technician for the price of a pint of beer and this app  will help a lot of editors understand more about the subtleties of colour grading. 

Maybe the next step might be the exporting of the grades into an FCPX plugin so that they can be used on video. The Dale Grahn Looks package for Final Cut Pro X - you heard it first on FCP.co!

Dale Grahn Color is available for the iPad on the Apple App Store for a launch price of $3.99


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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