what we do

Dirty Looks was set up in 2010 by Tom Balkwill to offer filmmakers a tailored creative experience, in a top end cinematic space. Specialising in colour grading and mastering of independent British feature films, Dirty Looks has also collaborated with directors of commercials, music videos, documentaries,, broadcast long form, short films and fashion promos. Projects range from Danny Boyle’s London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony shorts (including the Queen jumping out of the helicopter) to William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth, Terrence Davies’s Sunset Song and Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin

baselight colour grading

In-house FilmLight Baselight suite working in 4K Christie DCI Projection, Stereo 3D options and grade 1 Dolby HD monitoring. For lovely examples of our work please take a look at the portfolio page.

digital dailies

If you are shooting Arri Alexa, Sony, Phantom or Red etc. but are worried about all the data it will produce, look no further. To keep it tapeless we can produce Avid / FCP files to cut from then finish the film off the full res files. And we will back them up accordingly for you and your bond / insurance, of course.

We looked after all the Phantom dailies for Sherlock Holmes 2

online editing

In house editing facilities include Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro. Most of our editing is Online only, though offline edits can be arranged.


DCPs created from the Baselight’s outputs always look stunning. We generate DCDM XYZ TIFFs if required, and can create and review encrypted Digital Cinema Prints in our own theatre at 2K or 4K, and deliver on CRU, LTO-6 etc. KDM and DKDM encryption can be managed by our team, along with festival deliveries for both DCPs and any required keys.

Our 4K DCI grading theater is Truelight calibrated and we get fantastic results mastering out to 35mm DI negative and print. We have collaborated with Deluxe for film recording and printing, grading in P3 on Dom Hemingway and Under The Skin, and have previously worked with various labs and film recorders in Europe.

dry hire

Colourists with their own projects, or Producers with their own Colourists, are more than welcome to come and use the Baselight suite at Dirty Looks. This has worked great on several projects, from short promos right up to feature film projects. Colourists who collaborate with us include John Claude (ex Technicolor), Adam Inglis (ex Framestore), Vanessa Taylor (ex Animal Logic) and Lee Clappison (ex Goldcrest).

Our Baselight system can also be re-located to your production, for example providing additional digital lab services for World War Z in Hungary and Glasgow, and for Pinewood Studios on Thor 2.


Tom Balkwill can provide advice on projects from feature film editorial through to full DI pipeline, and also training and DI calibration.

baselight color grade

Very similar service to the above, but changed slightly in spelling and frame rate for our American friends. The .02 frames lost per second are negotiable.

quality control

Full QC services are available working from HDCamSR tapes, ProRes Quicktimes, MXF or other digital formats. 5.1 audio can be reviewed in our Online suite in the heart of Soho in Wardour St. Our QC team is headed by David Lale (previously of IBF) and has decades of experience working with clients including BFI, BBC Television, Sky, Pathé, Fortissimo Films, Content Media Corp and Argonon.

HDCamSR mastering, digitising and versioning

Layoff to tape, capturing and amending XR, 444 and 422 tape masters are all offered from in-house equipment to cover all HDCamSR requirements.

file transcode

Most major codecs and file types supported, AS-11, h264, XDCam, MXF etc.

upload and download

With Sohonet connectivity at Dirty Looks, your file can be delivered via Aspera or other file transfer systems quickly across the world.