As a colorist/grader, Lez’s job is to materialize the objective of the creatives he collaborates with (directors, editors, writers, art-directors) to enable their vision to be enhanced and personified through the use of color. The combination of hue, tone, contrast and saturation can magically transform the visual to reinforce the intended emotion.
Q&A with Lez Rudge:
Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are, and where you’re from.
I was born in Singabore, spent time in Oz and now live in NYC. I’m one of five kids. My mum was a nurse and my dad was a singer. I’m the husband of a fantastic wife, and the father of three inspiring boys. I also have a dog named Elvis.
How do you describe the kind of work you do?
Currently as a colorist/grader at Nice Shoes NY, the majority of my work is tv commercials. I occasionally work on features, music videos and anything in between.
What has been your career path?
I got into this business thinking I wanted to be a sound mixer, since I previously had a background of deejaying. Fortunately while at a post house in Singapore, I stumbled upon color grading and have not looked back.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that influenced your life, therefore gave you direction?
My parents love of music and movies are the biggest influence on me as a creative. I was exposed to all kinds of aural and visual art, and to me they have always blended. Sometimes a scene will provoke memories of a song and the very opposite of a song causing me to imagine visual scenarios happens too.
Describe your style.
I am driven by strong visuals; whether it be glossy and elegant or gritty and sexy. The primary focus is the emotion of the characters coming through.
Do you have any creative rituals?
I try to pick a bunch of music that will inspire the relevant emotion. For me, sounds are huge stimulants.
Where do you get inspiration?
Collaborating with other creative minded people – not only people labeled as creatives but also those who innately have a creative/artistic soul – some of the most artistic and creative people I have met have been accountants/producers/IT people.
Is there someone you’ve always wanted to collaborate with?
It changes constantly, musicians, actors – I love the fluidity of falling in love with various sparks every now and then.
What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
It still makes me choke up when I see a tv spot I worked on for Make a Wish Foundation called “Beetle Boy”. It was a true story about a teacher pretending to be a villain, and with the help of the town the enabled a cancer stricken boy to live out his wish of being a super hero who saves the day.
Are you involved with anything else creative outside of your work at Nice Shoes?
Mostly because of my love of beautiful imagery and the need to create, I am actively pursuing directing. I have already shot a few beautiful spec spots and have recently finished a music video/fashion commercial for a clothing label called This is A Love Song and for the singer Fa’Vela Punk.
What are your plans for the future?
Although I love being a colorist, I am definitely plotting a course to pursue directing full-time. It will obviously not come easily, but I’ve never been afraid of working hard for the things I love. I am blessed that I have made many friends in the industry who have expressed their support for my future endeavors.
How do you define success? What has helped you to become successful?
Success to be is being appreciated and valued for what one has to contribute. I think my biggest strength is collaboration – I love bouncing ideas off others and absorbing (maybe not always agreeing) what their opinions and point of view might be. The moment I love is when someone mentions something I may have never even thought about, and I say, ” Wow, that is cool”.
Do you have a favorite quote?
It is from one of my favorite movies called Joe Versus The Volcano, and I’ve always believed it to be true :
“…almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.”