Nikhil Bhide in the Roh Screen Productions studio in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian Feature Film Pagari Bulan Graded and Edited Using DaVinci Resolve Studio

Blackmagic Design today announced that the Malaysian feature film “Pagari Bulan” was completed using DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software. Industry veterans Nikhil Bhide and Nik Johan of Roh Screen Productions used a number of DaVinci Resolve Studio’s Neural Engine AI features, including voice isolation and speed warp.

“Pagari Bulan” is set during the Japanese invasion of Malaya during World War II, and tells the story of a local Malay girl, Bulan, who along with her Chinese friend has been captured by the Japanese army to be a servant to the general.

Post production for the film was completed by Kuala Lumpur’s Roh Screen Productions, with editing, audio and color correction by Nik Johan and grading by Nikhil, both using DaVinci Resolve Studio, along with a DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G capture and playback card to handle video output. The two industry veterans have worked on dozens of films, TV shows and short form productions and have been using DaVinci Resolve Studio for years.

“We chose Resolve for editing and grading because the workflow is very simple. It is so easy to bring in and work with any camera footage, which lets the DP use any camera they want. And features like Resolve’s use of proxies helps save so much time with myself and Nik sharing media,” Nikhil said.

“Pagari Bulan” is set in the 1940s and is a mix of night and other low light scenes, such as a dark jungle, as well as beautiful natural daylight scenes that show off the amazing Malaysian coastline. The film also included many action scenes. Nikhil relied on DaVinci Resolve Studio’s powerful color correction tools to handle the mix of emotions and the look and feel needed for the film.

Nikhil explained: “We wanted to make it grand and big because it is a period piece. Beautiful color mattered and Resolve was a huge help in keeping a warm look that the DP and I were working for. A great example was with an important war scene, which we wanted to make warmer looking, but there was a challenge: the whole time it was raining. It’s not easy to keep warmth in the scene when it’s raining. It required me to go minutely into a wider gamut, then tweak the gamut and then use Resolve’s face tracking feature.”

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“Resolve’s face refinement features were very important for the grade,” Nikhil continued. “With the changing lighting, weather problems and action shots, we needed a lot of refinement work. Resolve’s features for this saved us a huge amount of time and money.”

DaVinci Resolve Studio was also used by Johan for audio work. This included extensive use of the software’s Neural Engine voice isolation feature, a powerful recently added AI driven tool.

Nik Johan explained how DaVinci Resolve Studio helped him focus on story development while being incredibly efficient: “On top of professional editing features, Resolve also gives me the ability to easily work with any type of media. And because Resolve includes all aspects of post, we saved so much time, in particular with Fusion. First, we worked with the raw footage, then Fusion for compositing and then back to color. Really amazing how much time and effort is saved using Resolve.”

Nik Johan continued: “The voice isolation feature was incredibly important for us. We shot a lot in the rain, both natural and manufactured. As a consequence, some of the voices are mixed up, and there’s obviously a pouring sound. So that voice isolation feature helped a lot. We can hear and see clearly at which point we are going to cut the dialogue.”

Following the completion of post production, both Nikhil and Nik Johan used DaVinci Resolve Studio to prepare the film for a variety of formats, including HDR and Rec 709 for TV delivery in Malaysia.

Nik Johan explained: “One thing in Malaysia is how different formats are required to be TV friendly and for delivering material to the station. With DaVinci Resolve I can worry less about delivery formats. Once I export it, I can reformat it.”

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