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DaVinci Resolve Used to Grade Terrence Malick's 'Knight of Cups' by Modern VideoFilm

Fremont, CA - March 12, 2015 - Blackmagic Design today announced that DaVinci Resolve was used by Modern VideoFilm colorist Bryan McMahan to grade Director Terrence Malick’s new film, “Knight of Cups.” The film premiered at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival in February and is the fourth collaboration between McMahan and Malick.

Starring Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, the film follows Bale’s character Rick, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, as he tries to make sense of the strange events happening around him. For “Knight of Cups,” McMahan was tasked with color from dailies to the final DI.

“With the dailies, we wanted to set the look early on, which was then finessed during the final DI,” said McMahan. “Terrence wanted a ‘no look’ look, so nothing processed and nothing warm or cold. He wanted it really natural, like looking through a window. Creating a natural look is often harder to do than creating a specific look, which can be more forgiving.”

McMahan used DaVinci Resolve’s Custom Curves and soft clipping to help deliver a natural look and balance exposure.

“There were a lot of exposure changes throughout scenes, such as shots into the sun or scenes that followed the characters as they walked outside and back inside again,” explained McMahan. “DaVinci Resolve helped me balance out exposure between interior and exterior shots, as well as between the DP’s exposure changes versus the ones I was making. The Custom Curves allowed me to change the slope on dynamics, which made it easier to adjust the curve of the changes within a shot to match closer to what the camera was doing and the way it was shot.”

In addition to unifying exposure, McMahan also found DaVinci Resolve helpful when it came to unifying the different camera formats used to shoot the film. “The film was shot with all different mediums and cameras, so I used DaVinci Resolve to go into the EDL in clip mode and batch the different camera formats together. It was very helpful to jump to DaVinci Resolve’s edit page and be able to group the same type of footage together and give each a size and color.”

McMahan concluded, “I love DaVinci Resolve’s node based functions and its multitude of tools. I can separate the RGB channels, focus on enhancements and even get as specific as tweaking certain areas of certain colors. I always look forward to learning new features and ways to do things with DaVinci Resolve.”

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About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to  

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New Magic Australia Pty Ltd is a recognised leader in the distribution and marketing of multimedia hardware and software, representing a carefully selected range of innovative, leading manufacturers and catering for both the professional and consumer markets. New Magic Australia established in 1993 is the Australian distributor of Blackmagic Design, Convergent Design, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc, Cubix, Matrox Video and Sony Creative Software products.