Video editor and film colorist in San Francisco : CLAi

CLAi, post production, video production San Francisco, 4k production, colorist, editor, color correction, color grading
editor, colorist, post, production, san francisco
CREATIVE POST
Cut, Color & Mix /
San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles

CLAi: the post-production professionals in the San Francisco South Bay area, are Chris Layhe (the CL) and a small but exceptionally talented group of independent post-production associates (the Ai). Chris has been around the Bay area for over ten years (after another twenty or so years in the business in London and on the East Coast). He is well known as a director, DP, cinematographer, and editor on video projects of all types; and as the editor and colorist (or color correction and color grading specialist if you prefer) on a crop of documentary and narrative feature films every year.   Together CLAi are video editors and film colorists, motion graphics and animation designers, sound designers and mixers, mastering experts and specialists in 4k and 6k digital cinema post-production – augmented with additional post professionals as they are required. We combine our years of experience and creativity with cutting edge post-production technologies and a gallery of mac pros to edit, color correct, audio finish and master natively in both 1080P and 4k UltraHD at our studio or your location.



CLAi’s Editing



CLAi’s Color Grading

CLAi are different to most post-production houses in that we work both as individual professionals and as a group. So on film projects Chris almost always works solo as a freelance editor and colorist on color correction and color grading, while we usually come together as a team on corporate and non-profit projects. We have a policy of only taking on a limited number of clients, so that we can offer each of them a highly personalized, but budget and schedule flexible, service at the extremes of creativity and quality. Every project we touch has it’s own character and style, every one is focused and each is created to enhance your vision and strongly motivate your audience. To see what our corporate and indie clients have to say about this keep scrolling down the page, or go to our fuller web site at CLAi.tv, or YouTube channel to see more…

Being English you never brag – but the big boss, Ms Stephanie, said he had to add:  While we do spend much of our time editing, color grading and audio finishing commercials and corporate projects, we are extremely indie film and music video friendly, with brutally discounted but realistic rates, a truckload and a half of festival awards and multiple distribution deals to prove it!   Chris especially loves working on social documentaries, and gets very excited about cutting and coloring narrative films. In 2016 Chris was selected as the 38th member of the Colorist Society International for his creative grading work on feature films – an extremely cool honor from the industry’s film elite!

 

  • All
  • Advertising
  • Arts
  • Audio Mix
  • Color Grading
  • Commercial
  • Corporate
  • Director
  • Documentary
  • DP
  • Editor
  • Film
  • Kickstarter
  • Live Event
  • Music Video
  • Narrative
  • Promotional
  • Video
  • Mind’s Eye

    Mind’s Eye

    Grade + Mix + Master

  • The Circle

    The Circle

    Produce + Direct + Grade

  • Shriners Hospital For Children, Houston

    Shriners Hospital For Children, Houston

    Grade + Produce + Direct

  • Dragon And Super Falcon, Monaco Yacht Show

    Dragon And Super Falcon, Monaco Yacht Show

    Edit + Grade + Mix

  • Jerry Day

    Jerry Day

    Edit + Grade + Master

  • BMW Barnstorm

    BMW Barnstorm

    Edit + Grade + Mix

  • She Devil In Disguise

    She Devil In Disguise

    Edit + Grade + Master

  • Ya Lay Lay!

    Ya Lay Lay!

    Edit + Grade + Direct

  • Modarri

    Modarri

    Edit + Grade + Master

  • Bad Tigger

    Bad Tigger

    Edit + Grade + Direct

  • K2C

    K2C

    Edit + Grade + Master

  • Searching For Nepal

    Searching For Nepal

    Grade + Mix + Master

  • Deep Flight

    Deep Flight

    edit + grade

  • Visage

    Visage

    Shoot + Edit + Grade

  • Feral Fauna

    Feral Fauna

    Shoot + Edit + Grade

  • Chickenfoot

    Chickenfoot

    edit + grade + shoot

  • Full Circle

    Full Circle

    grade + master

  • Swan Lake Dubstep

    Swan Lake Dubstep

    shoot + edit + grade

Editor

Are CLAi the best film and video editors in San Francisco? Our clients seem to think so, but who can really say. What we do 100% know is what lies at the very heart of great video editing. It’s always about succinctly telling a story to your audience in a way that excites and motivates them, with subtle layering and a solid emotional rhythm, in a style that has “appropriate” impact. We construct programs that are tightly focused, effective and induce profound change while remaining cost efficient. Our ability to step back from what the Director originally imagined, analyze what was actually shot, and see the best story that it can actually tell is what sets us apart from the crowd. After that it’s just down to putting the jigsaw that is any film or video project together in the smoothest way, and doing it right first time around, fast. It’s a talent that Chris Layhe and the gang have spent years in little dark rooms perfecting…

Colorist

Color grading is all about the difference between unuseable and invisible; sophisticated and predictable; good and amazing. The Colorist’s role is to create what the DP and Director hoped to film from what they actually shot – to hide problems, recover lost areas, make talent look beautiful and provide the intended mood for every frame of the final piece, at the highest quality while meeting all of the technical requirements for distribution. Color correction is a subtle mix of fine art and high technology which is why it requires a unique personality and years of experience to make a good Colorist, and almost as long to find great one!

Video Editing
Video Editing
Color Grading
Color Grading
Motion Graphics
Motion Graphics
Mastering
Mastering

Clients

CLAi’s post production clients come from almost every part of the video and film spectrum in the San Francisco Bay area, San Jose and Silicon Valley as a whole. We are also growing a presence in Los Angeles and rebuilding contacts from many years ago in London. Wherever and whoever the client, our mantra is always the same: tell a story that is really interesting, and do so in a captivating and memorable manner that makes people take action or change perceptions. Your success is the goal by which we judge every project we undertake, whether this involves partnering with a multinational corporation, startup enterprise, advertising or marketing agency, broadcast network, feature film producer, internet strategist, a well known band, a minimal theater production or the 24 hour film festival team down the road… because it lets us do our part in creating powerful videos and films that excel, regardless of budget or complexity.

A Few Film Post Opinions



John Flores, Producer and Director, A Final Peace - Feature

My relationship with Chris Layhe Associates began in the spring of 2011 when it became necessary to hire an editing team to help finalize my independent short film “A Final Peace”. Due to the very personal nature of the content it was important to me that the editing team understand, respect, and share my vision as to the central themes of the piece. Moreover, I wanted someone who would be willing to challenge my choices when and if it became prudent to do so. In other words, I was looking for a true collaboration in which ideas could be freely expressed and considered by all involved. This is exactly what I found at CLAi. Chris and co. worked very hard to understand what I was trying to achieve, and to focus their efforts on seeing that vision realized. Without their help, patience, and creativity my film would not have been made. It is as simple as that. I cannot say enough about their professionalism, talent, and willingness to go the “extra-mile” even when doing so meant personal sacrifices on their part. I highly recommend their services to any filmmaker who seeks not just an editor but an ADVOCATE, someone who will embrace your vision and do everything in their power to see it succeed.

John Flores, Producer and Director, A Final Peace - Feature

Phil Deutschle, Producer and Co-Director, Searching For Nepal - Feature

CLAi’s masterful color-grading and sound-sweetening work on our documentary was extraordinary, turning ragged footage into works of art. They didn’t just bend over backwards to make our film beautiful, but performed reverse summersaults through flaming hoops. Their skill, creativity, and professionalism was instrumental to the great success of our film–winning three awards in our first five film festivals.

Phil Deutschle, Producer and Co-Director, Searching For Nepal - Feature

Justin Chon, Director and Actor, Full Circle - Short

Coloring by: Chris Layhe and Alexandra Conway. Just to let you know. They are the freaking best. Can’t wait to work with them again. Thanks guys. without you this short would look like s**t.

Justin Chon, Director and Actor, Full Circle - Short

Megan Schutzer, Producer and Director, The New Generation Queens - Feature

I was incredibly lucky to work with Chris and CLAi on a feature length documentary. Not only is Chris Layhe a talented colorist and sound mixer, but he went above and beyond to explain every decision, solve every problem and produce the best possible outcomes for our film. He was a pleasure to work with and I would count myself lucky to have another chance to work with him and learn from him again. Thank you Chris! PS. The New Generation Queens has just been awarded Best Documentary and Best Social Impact Award at the FilmShift Festival

Megan Schutzer, Producer and Director, The New Generation Queens - Feature

Cyn Lubow, Producer and Director, A Womb Of Their Own - Feature

Chris at CLAi took on finish-editing, color grading and sound re-mixing my feature-length indie documentary for a very reasonable indie price. He didn’t do it because he was passionate about my topic, which is pretty off the beaten path; he did it because he’s an amazing, generous, kind guy who likes to help indie filmmakers when he can, between jobs for people and companies who can actually pay him what he’s worth. He is extremely knowledgeable, skilled, experienced and one of the most professional people I’ve worked with in the film industry (or any industry). He communicates frequently, works very hard and long hours, including weekends, and solves every problem that comes his way. I had absolute faith in his integrity and was amazed that he never went MIA, even though my money ran out after the first of about 10 weeks work, and even when he was sick, on vacation, or having a birthday. He honored our contract and added soooo much more, despite all the unexpected problems my film ended up bringing him to solve. He always answered my questions within hours, changed everything I asked him to, and had the patience and tenacity of a saint. My film came out beautifully. He took (the technological mess of) my film clips stuck together on FCPX and miraculously made a stable, coherent piece of art out of them. I highly recommend Chris for any editing/production job you have!

Cyn Lubow, Producer and Director, A Womb Of Their Own - Feature

Nicolas Roquefort-Villeneuve, Producer and Director, Sex Addiction - Feature

I was told by so many professionals in the industry that finding the right Post-Production House was utterly crucial if I wanted to give my documentary a shot at getting distribution. Working with Chris Layhe and CLAi has allowed such an outcome to happen. Chris’ competence, professionalism, intelligence, and mentoring spirit has made my experience of post-production so enjoyable and intellectually stimulating. And I am definitely looking forward to more collaboration with him and his team.

Nicolas Roquefort-Villeneuve, Producer and Director, Sex Addiction - Feature

Some Corporate Opinions



Dan Fisher, Sr. Digital Marketing Manager, Harmonic

CLAI have all the right tools and skills to get the job done right and on time. I had the pleasure of working with Chris and Alexandra on multiple occasions and their professional  approach, sensitivity to timelines and overall creativity was exceptional. When they’re on a project you can be sure you’ll get amazing results. I’d recommend them in a heartbeat.

Dan Fisher, Sr. Digital Marketing Manager, Harmonic

Annie Liu, Executive Producer, K2C, City of San Francisco

Working with Chris has been an amazing experience, and a whole lot of fun! Chris helped us create an outreach video for our program, and went above and beyond to make sure that everything came out as we envisioned. He is personable, easy to work with, flexible, and clearly passionate about what he does. I would definitely recommend Chris for any future projects you may have.

Annie Liu, Executive Producer, K2C, City of San Francisco

Brett Simms, Producer and DP, Alkali Productions

Chris Layhe is a wealth of knowledge and extremely skilled in both pre-production, production, and post-production. I have had the opportunity to work with Chris, and his company CLAi several times both as a client and as a shooter. 

Chris’ knowledge surpasses almost anyone I know. He is able to think on his feet and quickly solve problems in all aspects of production. CLAi is a true full service production house being able to take projects from conception to completion. 

Chris is also an amazing Director of Photography who knows how to convey emotion thru images, and the lighting design that goes into each shot. Chris has a terrific facility for all aspects of post-production. He has the ability to handle footage other production houses can’t… from editing to color to sound Chris has the resources to get everything done in house. 

I would recommend Chris (and CLAi) to anyone looking to produce high quality video content with someone who knows how to get things done quickly and painlessly.

Brett Simms, Producer and DP, Alkali Productions

Justin Keller, Marketing Director, Visage

I work as the marketing director for a tech company in the heart of San Francisco. I first hired CLAi to do a brief video advertisement for a product that was, at the time, vaporware. My criteria for a video team were: High production value. Check Reasonable rates. Check Quick turnaround. Check Professionalism. Check What truly impressed me about CLAi, however, was the effort they put forth in truly understanding our business needs and the message we were trying to convey. There is a long road to travel between conceptualizing a project and receiving a finished product. I was amazed at how much of that distance Chris and his team were able to adroitly help us navigate. I’ve since used CLAi for video projects and would absolutely hire them again. This is a terrific team that can produce astounding work. Highly recommended.

Justin Keller, Marketing Director, Visage

Elaine Kiernan, President, Financial Resource Associates

While it’s been less than three months since you finished our “unique” video advertising pieces, we’re already enjoying new business from them. Your creativity and inspiration truly have given us a boost within our industry. Thank you for your great ideas and impressive professionalism. And thank you for making me the hero.

Elaine Kiernan, President, Financial Resource Associates

Tammy Robbins, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS, SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN ST. LOUIS

Holy Cow, Chris! It brought tears to my eyes! I’ve watched it four or five times already this morning, and I’m so in love with it that I’m having a hard time looking at it with a critical eye. Which probably means there’s no need to look at it with a critical eye. Wonderful. Wonderful.

Tammy Robbins, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS, SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN ST. LOUIS

Burt Kempner, PRODUCER AND WRITER, DREAMKEEPERS MEDIA

A consummate professional, Chris approaches his craft with a keen eye, a steady hand and a fine-tuned sense of humor. I always look forward to writing scripts for Chris, because I know it will be a happy collaboration and the finished product will be first-class.

Burt Kempner, PRODUCER AND WRITER, DREAMKEEPERS MEDIA

Jo Ann Zuniga, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS, SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN HOUSTON

You must have telepathy because I have been meaning to send you a note of thanks in between mailing out 3,000 invitations for our East West event. Thanks again for your consummate professionalism and yet informal, chatty style that put so many of our hospital staff at ease despite the nervousness of being interviewed. You are a true pro – as you say, in a “good way!”, ha… I have told everyone I could, including our corporate folks, how much of a delight you all were to work with.

Jo Ann Zuniga, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS, SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN HOUSTON

Pedro Delbrey, Producer and Director, Arkhouse Images

Chris Layhe knows how to tell a mean story and he can do it in a number of ways. Whether writing a fluid yet thought provoking script, fine tuning the color grade in 4K footage, or directing an ensemble of RED cameras, Chris’ all around propensity for filmmaking make his productions a one of a kind event. Chris’ deep history and understanding of film/video production, his strong work ethic, and sense of humor make it a pleasure to work with Chris on any project.

Pedro Delbrey, Producer and Director, Arkhouse Images

Stephen Bigger, Composer and Musician

I worked with Chris on my YaLaLay music video. The end results are obvious in the video, but what could be better than having the most enjoyable production experience I have had in a long time! Chris is a consummate professional, patient (rare in production companies), and skilled. These are visionaries, innovators, and solid team members for your next project. I HIGHLY recommend them to you.

Stephen Bigger, Composer and Musician



The CLAi Mission
1. Everything is better, with a nice cup of tea, 2. 9 to 5 is a state of mind, we’ve heard all about it, 3. Creativity without a reason, really isn’t that creative, 4. Saying you are a storyteller, doesn’t mean you can edit a film, 5. Everybody wants a great video, but not everybody needs a video, 6. Think before committing, but always follow your heart, 7. Formula One is a race series, never a solution, 8. “Good” being not good enough, is the professional difference, 9. Being waaaay out there, doesn’t mean you’re lost, 10. “Thank you” makes people happy, be the one to always say it, 11. Almost everything is better, with a nice cup of tea!, Thank you
~~~

Our UltraHD Tool Box

CLAi have always been at the cutting edge of film and video technology, adopting tomorrow’s 4k UltraHD in 2008, and 6k UltraHD Plus for both video editing and film color grading and correction today. Embracing and mastering the latest technology and software in every area of post-production – if appropriate for the project – gives CLAi a unique edge, and a deep understanding of what is possible.  It allows us the freedom to take on any type of project and attack it the right way without compromise, providing an unmatched level of quality and sophistication to enhance our creativity… these are a few of the software tools that we pair with our five edit and colorist systems to use every day.

Avid
Avid

Avid

HD / 4K / RAW

Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X

HD / 4k / 6K / RAW

Da Vinci Resolve
Da Vinci Resolve

Da Vinci Resolve

HD / 4k / 6K / RAW

After Effects
After Effects

After Effects

2D & 3D animation

Adobe Premiere
Adobe Premiere

Adobe Premiere

HD / 4k / 6K / RAW

Final Cut Pro 7
Final Cut Pro 7

Final Cut Pro 7

HD / 4k

RedCine-X
RedCine-X

RedCine-X

6k RED RAW

3D Max
3D Max

3D Max

True 3D animation

Contact Us

So the last bit, getting in touch with Chris Layhe and CLAi – our main studio is at the Santa Cruz location, in the South Bay, and we have satellite offices just for meetings in central San Francisco and downtown San Jose. The good news is that we don’t mind coming to you, so long as you have fresh coffee! We’d love you to experience our post-production difference, so please do send us an email about your next project (use the form below, or you can contact Chris at Chris (at) CLAi (point) tv if it is misbehaving and you don’t get an answer within 24 hours) or call Chris on 831.419.7590… we really, really, really do want to be involved in it.

CLAi Main Studio
980 30th Avenue, Santa Cruz, California 95062


CLAi-SF Satellite
Taylor Street, San Francisco, California 94102


CLAi-SJ Satellite
South Second Street, San Jose, California 95113

831-419-7590 or 415-294-3141 or 424-625-9814

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