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The King’s Man shot and graded using affordable Blackmagic gear

The King's Man
(Image credit: Marv Studios)

The spectacular ‘Kingsman’ prequel used Davinci Resolve Studio for the whole digital production process. It’s a pro-level video editor from Blackmagic Design, but no more expensive than rivals like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro and also available as a very effective free edition direct from Blackmagic.

Resolve was used to ‘grade’ the footage using a basic film emulation LUT (lookup table, like a custom profile), and adapted during production to give scenes in the World War 1 trenches a more somber, desaturated look, while adding a “dusty yellowish” look to scenes of the Boer War to contrast with the greenness of England. Another scene in the Russian royal palace was given extra opulence using Resolve’s curves and HSL keyer tools to increase the richness of the gold and decoration.

It’s a sign of how even top movie productions are migrating towards lower-cost ‘consumer’ gear, and of how powerful this gear is becoming.

Davinci Resolve Studio is Blackmagic's pro video editing software but is also available as a powerful free edition. (Image credit: Blackmagic)

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro was used for action sequences in The King's Man. (Image credit: Blackmagic)

Blackmagic shoots action scenes

It’s not just Davinci Resolve that played its part. Second unit director Bradley Allan used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K and Micro Studio Camera 4K for key action sequences. The Micro Studio Camera was mounted on a Ronin S gimbal – another ‘consumer’ device – with a Blackmagic Video Assist 4K external monitor and Arri WCU-4 Wireless Lens Control for focus pulling.

While the King’s Man features Blackmagic software and cameras heavily, it shows the speed at which smaller and more affordable video gear from many different camera and accessory makers right across the board is working its way into the film industry.

Read more:

Best video editing software
Best cinema cameras
Best 4K cameras for video
Best camera gimbals
Best on-camera monitors
Best wireless focus pullers

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.