World: My Portfolio - Jean-Clement Soret

Jean-Clement Soret is a rather chatty type for a man who spends his working days in a semi-lit room, staring at a finely calibrated monitor. He is a telecine colourist and heads the telecine department at The Moving Picture Company in London. He began his career transferring movies from 35mm film to tape at Laboratoire Eclair in Paris but soon started working more creatively with clients. After the director of photography, the colourist has arguably the most influence over the look of an ad. The job involves making subtle adjustments to the colour, brightness and saturation of a piece of film. "It's half artistic and half technical," Soret says.

Soret can find influences for the particular look of an ad in many places.

He's a fan of photography, particularly the work of Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, while sometimes clients come in with their own ideas. And even though the decision over how the film will look has normally been taken by the time it comes into his suite, Soret will often try something else. "If it's been shot warm, I'll try cold - sometimes you get a happy accident and it looks better like that. It's good to make sure we've eliminated all the possibilities," he says.

Traktor, the directors, were after a futuristic look for Xelibri's "face of the future" ad. "There are a lot of silver metallic textures, which involved working with the highlights and then working on the skin tones," Soret explains.

Other work is more prosaic. Levi's "car", also by Traktor, involved matching different takes so the light levels were the same -some had been shot in bright sunshine, others in cloud. "It was about trying to take all the parameters and balancing them so it didn't look too much like a caricature," Soret explains.

Guinness "moths" was a similar case in point; some of the film had been shot day-for-night and some in actual night-time. "Often you need the help of the compositing department to drop new skies into the pictures," Soret says.

Soret worked extensively on Honda "cog", a job he thought would be done in three hours. "But the director and the director of photography told me they were a little disappointed with the way it looked in the edit." In the end, Soret spent almost ten hours making adjustments. And the one-shot format of the ad meant rehearsing these changes again and again until he could make them for the entire 60-second film. With no cuts, there was no time to reset his tools and start again.

- Jean-Clement Soret was talking to James Hamilton.

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content