Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Discussing color workflow and cinematic look development for Netflix series Mo' with Mistika expert colorist Juan Cabrera


Published On: August 25th, 2022





data-orig-src= width=1920 height=960 class=lazyload wp-image-0 />



Now streaming on Netflix, Mo comedy series was directed by Slick Naim and DP'd by Timothy A. Burton. Color grading and finishing was done at LightBender Post in Santa Monica by Juan Cabrera and Fran Lorite deploying SGO's full-finishing and color grading solutions Mistika Ultima and Boutique.

For LightBender's founder and senior colorist Juan Cabrera, the series Mo' is already the eighth project where he collaborated with cinematographer Timothy A. Burton. It feels like coming back home. I am very comfortable with his style of filming and our communication is always excellent, so it was a very exciting thing from the get go. Because of schedules and Covid situation, all the work had to happen remotely. But even with that, we barely had any color notes throughout the process. Working with the director (Slick) and the creator of the show (Mo) was an absolute pleasure.



-- Unconventional cinematic look inspired by Syriana and Texas

Mo' is a semi-autobiographical series inspired by Mo Amer's life as a Muslim refugee growing up in Houston, Texas. Despite the fact that the series is a comedy, Juan and Timothy wanted to stir away from the typical all bright and colorful look to develop a much more cinematic feel. We approached this project more like a thriller, with density, and smart color separation. We wanted the story to feel grounded, but without losing completely that veil of fantasy. For this, Tim used some creative LUTs on set, that we used as base to create our master look for the show. From there, we worked each sequence like its own little world, but with the primordial look in mind. Finally we added a layer of film-grain to complete the look.

In the series, there are two main aesthetics one illustrating the present where the main story unfolds combined with Mo's childhood memories. For the first one, Juan and the team wanted to feel the heat of Texas, so warm tones were a constant, usually compensated by greens and a few sparks of blue. The contrast had to be a common element too. Not to the point of losing shadow information, but enough to bring up textures and create expressive images.


class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />

class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />

class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />

class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />

class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />

class=attachment-full size-full lazyload alt= decoding=async data-orig-src= />


For the flashback sequences, feature film Syriana was one of Juan's mental references. Funny enough, it was more my memory of it. When I went back to watch it, the movie is way warmer than I remembered, described Juan and added that they did not aim for the conventional nostalgic flashback feel, but they wanted it to be stark and gritty, even dangerous. The atmosphere of the sequence where the family is at their house preparing to flee the country was almost completely created on the camera only little tweaks such as blooming in highlights and heavy grain was added later, said Juan, adding that the real challenge was achieving that same effect of the extreme look on other sequences that were captured in a more traditional way. At the end I think we managed to keep that consistency, even though some shots have fifteen layers with five different selections.



-- Mistika's Bands to control lower lights


The comprehensive and wide selection of different color tools offered in Mistika proved very useful for Juan and Fran. I honestly think we used every single color tool available. We are big fans of the Bands to control middle contrast and lower lights, and make sure the information is not lost. The same goes for highlights and the fourth HDR ball in the Primaries. The Proportional Hue Selection tool was also used extensively. Either to bring back spikes of color, create separation, or bring color into the Outside of the selection. The show was delivered following the full Netflix IMF workflow in 4K HDR so we did quite a lot of HDR-Specific color too!


data-orig-src= data-srcset= 500w, 700w, 1536w, 1920w data-sizes=auto />

data-orig-src= data-srcset= 500w, 700w, 1536w, 1920w data-sizes=auto />

data-orig-src= data-srcset= 500w, 700w, 1536w, 1920w data-sizes=auto />

Towards the end of the process, the team ended up doing the title design for the enti
See more stories from sgo

More from SGO Mistika


Shamans Documentary: Creating an immersive adventure into the unknown with Mistika Technology

Published On: August 2nd, 2023 data-orig-src=


KHORA & Mistika VR: Crafting immersive experiences to raise awareness

Published On: August 1st, 2023 data-orig-src= width=1920 height=1080 class=lazyload wp-image-0 /> dat...


VOYRE transforms Samsung's VR Training Modules into works of art with Mistika VR

Published On: June 7th, 2023 data-orig-src=


Join Mistika VR's Anniversary Celebration with a 20% discount to ALL VR plans

Published On: May 24th, 2023 data-orig-src=


LIVE SESSION: Streamlined Metadata Management and VFX Editorial with Mistika Workflows

Published On: May 3rd, 2023 data-orig-src=


The vision behind PHORIA: Changing the way of telling stories with Mistika VR

Published On: April 25th, 2023 data-orig-src= width=1920 height=1080 class=lazyload wp-image-0 /> Explor...


NAB Exclusive: Meet VR creatives Keeley Turner and Hugh Hou at SGO Private Cabana

Published On: March 23rd, 2023 data-orig-src=


Remastering History: A Colorist's Journey in Post-Production for the documentary Faulkner'

Published On: March 13th, 2023 data-orig-src=


Igelkott Studios AB revolutionizes the creation of VFX car plates with Mistika VR

Published On: March 8th, 2023 data-orig-src=


Experience the future of streamlined post-production workflows with Mistika Technology at NAB Show 2023

Published On: March 24th, 2023 data-orig-src=


Experience the love and beauty of Paris in VR 180 with Vanilla Lily: A Masterpiece created with Mistika VR

Published On: March 8th, 2023 data-orig-src=


A perfect look with Mistika: The art of Color and Finishing for Smiley', a Netflix Top 50 Best TV Show

Published On: February 21st, 2023 data-orig-src=


See the future of Media Management, Virtual Production and Immersive Storytelling with Mistika Technology at HPA Tech Retreat 2023

Published On: February 7th, 2023 data-orig-src=


Habitat XR creates immersive experiences at the new Ellen DeGeneres Campus with Mistika VR

Published On: January 31st, 2023 data-orig-src=


Streamline your Media Management with the latest integrations in Mistika Workflows: AWS S3, Dropbox, Vimeo and YouTube

Published On: January 26th, 2023 data-orig-src=


SGO's Special Black Friday promotion: free T-shirts and 20% off all Mistika VR and Boutique plans

Published On: November 24th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Mistika VR introduces a magic autocalibrate tool and immersive stitching in the Meta Quest 2 headset

Published On: November 18th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Flujo de trabajo de VFX de la serie Sky Rojo y el futuro de la Produccin Virtual en el centro del Da 3D 2022

Published On: November 16th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Restar Communications Corporation to reveal exclusive updates for Mistika Boutique and Workflows at Inter BEE 2022

Published On: November 8th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Vuelve el Da 3D, evento ms elogiado del sector audiovisual organizado por SGO, Canon, HP y Ovide

Published On: November 7th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Mistika Workflows introduces end-to-end intelligent Metadata and Media Management, unlocking next-gen post workflows

Published On: October 26th, 2022 data-orig-src=


UNESCO'S Van Nelle Fabriek virtual tour created by Panoptice with Mistika Technology

Published On: October 18th, 2022 data-orig-src=


Try out SGO's brand new filter for Instagram and Facebook stories

Published On: October 14th, 2022 data-orig-src= width=1920 height=1080 class=lazyload wp-image...


Live event 360 capture and post-production workflow in Mistika Boutique

Published On: August 29th, 2022 data-orig-src= width=1920 height=1080 class=lazyload wp-image-0 /> Du...


Discussing color workflow and cinematic look development for Netflix series Mo' with Mistika expert colorist Juan Cabrera

Published On: August 25th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www....


VRLAND revives WWII Operation Market Garden' in the Overloon War Museum with Mistika VR

Published On: July 19th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=


Mistika Technology at the core of Lexhag's Virtual Production

Published On: July 13th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src= width=600 height=400 class=lazyload wp-imag...


AXN NOW and SGO's Mistika Workflows win the Best OTT Project' at TM Broadcast Industry Awards

Published On: July 5th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.sgo...


A new generation of TAI University School of Arts students certified as Mistika Color Artist and Mistika VFX Artist

Published On: June 23rd, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=


Otra generacin de alumnos de la TAI se certifica como Mistika Color Artist y Mistika VFX Artist

Published On: June 23rd, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=


Explore CG Compositing and Color Grading workflow for Meta's Quest for Fitness'

Published On: June 21st, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=


Mirror Mirror' (2022), a parallel universe created by Antaviana VFX & Postproduction and post-produced in Mistika Ultima

Published On: May 20th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.sgo...


SGO's brand new Network Security Services for future-proof Network Architecture

Published On: May 9th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.sgo....


In-depth post workflow overview of Hulu's The Hardy Boys' S2 with Eggplant's Senior Colorist Mark Driver

Published On: April 26th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.s...


JOVRNALISM's inspiring immersive project More than Survivors' post-produced with Mistika VR

Published On: April 21st, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.s...


The latest release of Mistika Boutique and Ultima enhances integration with trending (post)production workflows

Published On: April 20th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.s...


The new European Investment Bank 360 video series created by Iralta VR and post-produced in Mistika VR

Published On: February 23rd, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://ww...


Mistika VR a tool of choice at Foren Project, a revolutionary neurological VR rehabilitation method

Published On: January 19th, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www...


SGO continues its support of the ICG Colorist Awards

Published On: December 15th, 2021 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src= width=1920 height=1080 class=lazyload ...


Tell us how you use Mistika Technology in your post workflow for a chance to win one of five prizes worth more than 7,000

Published On: December 9th, 2021 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www...


Enjoy SGO Black Friday Offer and save 30% on the first payment for all Mistika VR, Boutique and Workflows plans

Published On: November 25th, 2021 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://ww...


Restar Communications Corporation to showcase Mistika Technology at Inter BEE 2021

Published On: November 12th, 2021 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://ww...


Da 3D 2021: Debatiendo sobre la tecnologa revolucionaria de las Producciones Virtuales

Published On: November 5th, 2021 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www...


SGO releases a massive upgrade of Mistika Workflows, packed with exciting new features, enhancements and additional nodes

Published On: September 9th, 2021 -- -- -- -- width=1920 height=1080 c...


Mistika Boutique now with VR Headset Preview, AJA T-Tap Pro support and updated BRAW SDK

Published On: October 18th, 2021 -- -- -- -- width=1920 height=1080 cl...


Mistika VR and Boutique takes the user experience to a whole new level with a brand new VR Headset Preview feature

Published On: October 18th, 2021 -- -- -- -- width=1200 height=675 cla...


Join SGO Affiliate Program and become Mistika Ambassador

Published On: October 8th, 2021 -- -- -- -- width=1920 height=1080 class=wp-image-0 lazyload data-orig-src=