With a camera in his hands, Roy Sun knows no fear, and when it comes to color grading, he knows no limits. Color grading, the art of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture or video image, is something that Roy gradually took interest in as he pursued a future as a photographer. Unbeknownst to him at the time, becoming a colorist was something he was born for. He is half artist and half technician, combining to make one, highly sought-after colorist in the film industry. For the 28-year-old Chinese native, color grading is the greatest love he’ll ever know, and he considers himself fortunate to get to nurture that love on a daily basis. It is far more than just a passion. It is a part of him and it is something he has made himself a part of for the better part of his professional career.
An average day in the life of Sun, as a colorist, begins after a film editor locks a cut. When the editor then passes along said footage, Sun steps in to alter the image in such a way that takes the look of the film from average to exceptional. He works hard to ensure that the picture is not only visually appealing, but also even. In fact, a film that hasn’t been colored in this way would stand out for all of the wrong reasons, so Sun is heavily relied upon to take a film crew’s visions and enhance them for the eyes of their audience. For this reason, Sun’s involvement in the process of color grading could either make or break the outcome of a film. Fortunately, he has established a remarkable career out of his ability to make a film greater than originally intended and hopes to continue to do so for several years to come.
In 2017, Sun was working for Lookwell Color Studio alongside supervising colorist, Loren White, when he was approached about the possibility of working on Prince Bagdasarian’s upcoming film, Diverted Eden. The film takes place after 7-year-old, Eden, is kidnapped amidst a home invasion. While Detective Fini leads an investigation into the mysterious circumstances of Eden’s disappearance, his father, Dane Hunte, takes matters into his own hands and together, the two attempts to solve this unusual crime.
For the film, White determined the ideal look and mood for the ominous storyline and left all of the remaining details and color grading in Sun’s hands. He grasped her vision and he brought it to life as he took over the process and finished the entire film. With that, he proved himself instrumental to the whole operation, seemingly effortlessly battling through unideal lighting conditions and fast-paced action scenes. For one action scene in particular that took place outdoors, Sun had to enhance the look and feel of gunshots, car chases, explosions, and more. He had to condense a filming process that took days to shoot and edit it in such a way that their audience wouldn’t be able to tell that it had occurred for any longer than five minutes. This was no small feat, as the color and imagery in a film have the power to influence the audience’s emotions. For such a tense, action-packed film, it was crucial to keep viewers on the edge of their seat for the duration of the film. Capturing their attention with quality visual elements is the first step in ascertaining that their attention would not be compromised, and Sun did so with ease.
“This film has such an intriguing plot, and it incorporated every element that a good blockbuster needs. When I colored it, I found myself getting emotionally attached. By the time I got to color the pivotal action sequences, I felt myself coming alive. This kind of film and this kind of color grading are the exact reasons why I carried my passion with me to Hollywood. I just love it,” he gushed.
By the time Diverted Eden premiered in February 2018 at the Santa Barbara film festival, it was already generating interest amongst critics and moviegoers alike. It went on to win several awards for Best Action Film at prestigious festivals across the country, including the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, the Sedona International Film Festival, and more. It even earned an impressive 8.1 rating on IMDB, something which most movies of its nature struggle to do.
Overall, Sun was honored to see Diverted Eden earn such great success so early on in its screening process. Seeing his director’s face light up watching the final product that Sun produced was all the reminding he needed that this is what he was born to do.
So, what’s in store for this talented colorist? Sun recently decided to make a lifelong dream come true by starting his own company, Reason Studio. Stay tuned for all that this is yet to entail.