Colorist Alex Bickel creates mood, look in award-winning films
Storytelling with color is what award-wining colorist Alex Bickel does. His work on “The Big Sick,” “Lady Bird” and “Moonlight” has brought him and his company, Color Collective, recognition in the film industry and has given the public a glimpse into the role a colorist plays in bringing the director’s vision to the screen.
A colorist advises and gives creative input to the overall look of the production, ensuring there is consistency, and corrects any color differences or picture-related problems. If done well, you won’t even see it.
“My work shouldn’t be noticeable, but should help draw the viewer into the story,” Bickel says. “If a story has a strong point of view then every aspect of the film can be great. I’m just another paintbrush for the director’s and DP’s (Director of Photography) creative toolbox.”
Bickel earned a B.F.A. in Filmmaking with a concentration in Screenwriting from UNCSA in 2004. He continues to be a visual storyteller, but not in the way most people think. After graduation, he moved to New York City and was a writing assistant for television productions when the higher resolution of HD/2K began to take off. His interest in technology and storytelling intersected well as he began to get post-production work in the commercial grade industry. He leveraged his expertise in Apple’s Final Cut video editing software, which lowered the cost of production, to differentiate himself.
“If you make yourself useful, people will hire you,” he says.
His work as a colorist helped him develop connections in the commercial and film industries and also allowed him to take off three months each year to write.
I was coloring to support my writing. Then I realized I was getting my storytelling fix from coloring.
“I was coloring to support my writing,” Bickel says. “Then I realized I was getting my storytelling fix from coloring.”
With more work, came more recognition.