21 Jun 2023

Video Color Correction Costs

Today, any video post-processing involves color corrections, whether it's an amateur video shot for an Instagram channel or a video for a full-length movie. All of this is required to draw the viewer's attention to your footage. With professional color correction services, you can achieve such feelings as empathy, enthusiasm, euphoria in your video by selecting the tones and colors correctly.

So, let’s get an insight into color correction and color grading services to learn how they can contribute to your visual story and how they are rated depending on the value.

color grading effect before and after on actor that acting in movie

What Is Color Correction in Video?

Cameras don’t know colors. You need to set them up before the devices are able to deliver the whole bunch of shades as they are seen on a production set. Still, shots taken with different cameras and in different lighting conditions have non-uniform brightness and color, and the difference can be really striking. Besides, the colors can look unnatural with cool or warm tones popping up, as well as the image can appear too dark, pale, or altered in some other way. This leads to the video looking unrealistic and difficult to perceive.

Digital video color correction brings all shots into accordance and ensures visual consistency by returning clean colors, adjusting brightness and contrast, removing chroma noise, and balancing the exposure. It hides minor flaws of the production stage and improves the overall quality of the video, making it more visually appealing and, thus, effective in delivering your main message. In other words, it bridges the gap between the initial idea and the final outcome in terms ofcolor perception.

Color grading expert working on color correction for music video using top equipment

But what is more, color correction goes hand in hand with color grading, which is a kind of creative extension to the technical processing. You can paint the whole video sequence following the director’s plan to create a special mood or boost a hue in separate objects to emphasize their meaning and deliver an expressive contrast. You can play with saturation, color balance, masks, and many other tools to stylize, convey an idea, add an atmosphere, and whatnot. From iconic greenish tones in The Matrix to washed-out shades in Saving Private Ryan, there are plenty of examples of how colors contribute to visual comprehension.   

But be it movie, corporate, or music video color correction, the job is quite meticulous while requiring specific skills and tools. It involves working with different formats and many parametersframe by frame, not to mention that objects are not static in videos. This makes a colorist’s job even more difficult since the artists should employ tracking and animation tools to animate masks and other modified areas. So, professional color correction video cost will depend on the length and initial quality of your footage, project deadlines, final goals, and the colorist’s skills, of course. And the latter aspect gives you pause for thought.

Freelance Artist Rates

$50 - $300 per hour

Mostly they are specialists with little experience in the field of color correction.Their main goal is to get as much experience as possible. They take an order, do not get into the subject too much, and try to quickly deliver a result that most often will not satisfy you. Also, the equipment used by freelancers with little experience is most often of low quality. Since not everyone is willing to shell out several thousand dollars at a time. Those who already have some experience will be interested in large and strong projects, so the chance to get to the responsible specialist is still there. But if you have an amateurish project and still decide to order color correction services, we recommend to try it by yourself or consult with specialists in the field to begin with.

Color correction and grading process of commercial video

Professional Colorist Rates

$500 - $2000 per hour

An average cost for digital video color correction is a bit higher in this group since the latter includes artists with years of experience in the industry (probably, in production or post-production houses). Usually, they strike out on their own, equipped with all the most effective professional tools and expertise in color grading everything you might think of, from indie shorts and corporate interviews to features and TV commercials. Thus, they could deliver the best value for money if they were not forced to act as a jack-of-all-trades. More often than not, such specialists have to do the work of a manager, colorist and editor at the same time. And when it comes to managing more than one project, few can cope with such a scope of work.

Color Correction Company Rates

$800 - $2500 per session (4-6 hours)

Though specialized companies are often reluctant to advertise color grading cost on their websites, giving preference to estimating the runtime and complexity of a project first, our research has shown that you can find quite attractive prices in this segment. The more so that the companies are sure to have a whole team of specialists to handle even big projects stuffed into tight schedules. Streamlined workflows and top-of-the-line equipment are usually also included, which adds to both quality and speed. And since the companies cannot just move to another marketplace if they screw up with a project, they are more inclined to keep their clients happy and maintain a good reputation.

Color correction and grading specialist working on movie project using high quality equipment


As a trusted provider of VFX compositing services, FRENDER places great emphasis on customer satisfaction. We believe in fostering transparency and delivering value rather than simply focusing on low prices. Our approach involves carefully breaking down project stages and costs, enabling clear communication and empowering clients to make well-informed decisions. With our technical expertise and unwavering commitment to meeting the unique visions and requirements of our clients, FRENDER consistently strives to deliver exceptional outcomes while effectively managing expenses.