New app from film veteran teaches color correction skills

By Jefferson Graham

Dale Grahn spent years working as a film colorist for directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese. Now, he brings his years of talent to consumers, with anapp for the iPadthat teaches color correction skills.

The $3.99 Dale Grahn Color app (, which launched today, features videos of Grahn showing how to adjust color, and offers color correction tools to work on your digital photographs.

"This app introduces a new way of thinking," says Grahn, who worked on such films asMunich,Saving Private RyanandGangs of New York. "It's how to look at color."

The app is a collaboration with Minneapolis-based CrumplePop, a firm that makes plug-ins for Apple's Final Cut Pro X software.

CrumplePop hooked up with Grahn via his son Sean, who uses the plug-ins. After a series of e-mail exchanges, CrumplePop co-founder Gabe Cheifetz suggested doing an app with the legendary dad.

"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," says Cheifetz.

Even though CrumplePop is a company known for video, the Color app is targeted to photographers at first, "because we wanted to reach the widest audience," says Cheifetz.

He hopes to release a color correction plug-in for Final Cut later in the year based on the app.

Meanwhile, after spending a career working on over 200 films, Grahn retired in 2005 at age 52, not wanting to switch gears and re-learn color correction for digital.

For now, he's happy to pass on his knowledge, and hopes that with the app, there can be a next generation of colorists, with iPad in hand, on the set of big-time films.


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