Originally posted by: Laserman
Of course colour is a subjective process, but you can tell when it is just plain wrong also.
If people's faces are bright orange, and white walls are leaning towards blue then you know the process has gone off the rails. As for setting the greyscales/gamma then that is totally subjective - In theory you want all levels of grey clearly visible, but a creative decision might be to darken up the shadow areas for 'mood' and so lose detail in the shadows that was there on the original film.
Also, a CRT cannot display the same colour space as film, so they are radically different.
True to life colors are not always a good measure either.
The balance is not always intended to be towards white. (remember matrix)
Take hoth blizzard scenes for example, they are blueish, yet it was shot in
day where there is enough light.
They couldn't possibly shoot it with 100ISO in the early evening in the middle of a storm.
There just isn't enough light in artic storm conditions to shoot it in the evening. It had to be
white day light to get enough exposure.