Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups” Finished at Modern VideoFilm

MVF Logo LGColorist Bryan McMahan applies 4K grade to film set to debut at Berlin International Film Festival.

BURBANK, Calif.—Modern VideoFilm recently provided digital intermediate color grading and finishing services for Director Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. The new film, whose large, all-star cast includes Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, will make its world premiere on February 8th at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Captured by Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki on 35mm and 65mm film, and a variety of digital formats, Knight of Cups was finished in 4K at Modern VideoFilm. Bryan McMahan was the Digital Intermediate Colorist in his fourth collaboration with Malick dating back to the director’s 2005 film The New World. Modern’s services also included film scanning (in 4K), editorial finishing and deliverables (including 35mm film out).


McMahan, who also colored the dailies, worked closely with Malick and Lubezki throughout the months-long process of finalizing the film’s look. He notes that the finished film, which centers on a Los Angeles screenwriter, appears unadulterated and natural, and that considerable effort was applied to achieve seamlessness between elements captured with different camera systems.

“It’s beautifully shot,” says McMahan. “Terry prefers a ‘no look’ look, as if you’re looking out a window. He has a very sensitive eye and is very trusting with his collaborators regarding color.”

The Berlin International Film Festival runs February 5th to 15th.

About Modern VideoFilm

Modern VideoFilm has been providing post-production and distribution services to the film, television and media content industries for more than 33 years.  Its clients include all of the major movie and television studios, as well as leading on-demand streaming services, online digital media retailers, ecommerce sites, interactive entertainment companies, and other commercial entities across the United States and around the world. The company’s staff comprises more than 500 dedicated and talented artists, technicians, engineers, producers, client representatives and support personnel.

Modern VideoFilm’s Creative Services division offers complete, end-to-end resources for the production of original motion picture, television and media content. Its Content Management division provides comprehensive solutions for the management, repurposing, distribution and archiving of entertainment content.

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