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Artist Spotlight: Digital Colorist Vijey Adithya

May 3, 2023

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Vijey Adithya always loved movies, so as a young engineering student he decided to take a right turn and gravitate to the digital visual medium where he found a passion for developing and enhancing unique images for motion pictures.

He later left his native India for Hollywood where his expertise in digital color grading has led him to apply his craft to some of the biggest movies in the industry from some of its most acclaimed artists. His love of films is in full bloom as he shows his unique vision by collaborating with the visual effects team supervised by Hansjeet Duggal in the new Matt Damon film “Air,” now in theaters.

“I’m very excited to have been a part of this amazing new film directed by the Academy Award winner Ben Affleck, starring Matt Damon,” Adithya said. “It’s a great opportunity to join a talented group of people and share my own creativity in a story about real-life people who helped shape our culture.”

“Air” tells the story of veteran sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro and how he led athletic shoemaker Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan.

As a Digital Colorist, Adithya possesses a high level of proficiency in the art of color grading, which involves enhancing and refining the chromatic qualities of images captured by the camera.

“Color grading is one of the final stages the film goes through before it’s signed, sealed and delivered,” he said. “It involves manipulating color and adjusting other aspects of each frame on a cinema-sized screen. It’s the last chance the director has to leave their mark on the story, so it’s usually an intense creative process that requires expertise, composure and a good sense of humor.”

Through color grading, colorists can paint a character’s nails, make their tears more distinct and even change a character’s hair color. In some cases, the colorist will even re-light an entire scene digitally in post-production.

“Colorists enhance an artistic direction rather than change it, but what they do is strengthen emotional connections,” Adithya said. “Colors engage your audience’s senses, creating spontaneous sensations and a connection to them. An engaged and involved audience is how you build a fanbase of repeat viewers. Color grading can help you develop and create your own unique style. It can make your work recognizable and memorable.”

Such dedication to his work isn’t new for the young visual artist. Calling himself an “accidental filmmaker,” Adithya was often attracted to stories about interesting people and their unique journeys. After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Production Engineering in his native India, he redirected his career path toward cinematography, finding a deep fascination with the world of images and image-making.

Among his notable works early on was the acclaimed Student Academy Nominated documentary “Birds Without Wings,” which told the story of young children living in slums. Adithya found himself captivated by the story of NGO Voice of Slum in India and their journey to educate children living in slums. Color played an important role in this project as it aimed to depict the slums as realistically as possible.

Adithya and his team faced the challenge of balancing exposure and color for footage shot using more than seven different cameras, ranging from professional cine to go pros. The result was a film that captured the essence of slum life and the transformative power of color grading. The film premiered at several film festivals in 2020, including the Goa Short Film Festival, the Pune Film Short Festival, the Jaipur International Film Festival, the 10th Mumbai Shorts International Festival, and the 12th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, winning accolades along the way.

He would go on to work on such films as “51 Percent,” “Life Again,” “Howard High,” and more recently, “A Fragile Heaven” which has been playing in various film festivals around the world, earning it an award in the Best Colorist category in HALO International Film Festival and a nomination for Color Grading in the Benelux International Film Festival.

“As a colorist in that film, I was able to translate the events of the main character Seb’s emotional and altering state of mind due to the events that happen at his home and hospital,” he said. “Both these worlds were lit with contradictory shades of color connecting the viewer with the darkness that prevails inside the characters. The color palette at the hospital is green which gradually changes from a desaturated to saturated green as the film progresses and we begin to see a complimentary palette of warm colors and green shadows when Seb interacts with his mom at home.”

Today, Adithya has worked as a Digital Colorist on features, documentaries and music videos for various companies such as TUBI Originals, Amazon Prime, and many other production companies. Adithya’s passion for the art of film and his unwavering dedication to his craft serve as an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers everywhere. With his talent and vision, he is sure to make a lasting impact on the film industry for years to come.

For more information, follow Adithya on IMDb and Instagram.

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