60 Seconds with Mill Colourist Thomas Mangham

For our latest edition of '60 Seconds with' we spoke with Mill Colourist and ukmva 2020’s Best Colour Grade nominee Thomas Mangham about how he became a colourist, his favourite projects and grading remotely during the COVID-19 national lockdown.
Community January 29, 2021

Adidas ‘Infinite Silence’

Tell us a bit about how you got into becoming a Colourist and what you were doing before coming to The Mill?  

It all started when I was lucky enough to do a week’s work experience at a post house, it was there where I was introduced to colour grading. The first time I sat in a session I knew it was something I wanted to pursue as a career.  


How did you find working from home during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

The work from home set up I had was excellent so nothing changed from a creative point of view. I was still able to grade the same way and produce the same quality of work I could from the office. The main difference was remotely collaborating with clients, Zoom and Teams are great but nothing can replace the buzz of being in the grade suite.  


Tell us about something that’s inspiring you right now?

This is a very easy answer, the NHS nurses and doctors working non-stop throughout this pandemic are a shining light and constant source of inspiration.


What are your four favourite pieces of work and why?

My favourite piece of work was for Adidas ‘Infinite Silence’. The brief highlighted mental health so for the grade, we chose a really strong moody look to reflect some of the harrowing images on the screen. This was something I graded very early on in my career when I was still a colour assistant. You never stop learning as a colourist but at the time my experience was very limited so considering this, I’m extremely proud of the end result.

Another favourite of mine is O2 ‘Breathe It All In’ This was my first experience grading a VFX heavy commercial and it couldn’t have been more fun.  I loved the experimental approach we took and the license I was given to explore different looks.

A more recent project was a promo for DJ Shadow ‘Rocket Fuel’. The brief was to recreate the moon landing footage which proved to be a real challenge. I spent an age going over old stock footage from that era to replicate it in the grade. It’s easily my favourite music promo I have worked on and was Directed incredibly by Sam Pilling, it cracks me up every time I watch it!

My final pick has to be EA Sports ‘Feel Next Level’. I’m most proud of this one because I graded it from home in isolation.  Working with Mill Director Carl Addy is always a blast but this was particularly fun as I was given licence to experiment and break the rules with our grade techniques. We pushed and inverted colours to get some really unique looks. One of my favourite things about Carl’s work is his use of texture and this grade is a great example of that, using different types of grain throughout.

You can view more of Tom’s work on his Creator page and get in contact with our Colour department here.