Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, the undeterred father who was instrumental in raising his two daughters to become gifted athletes while changing the face of tennis. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film stars Will Smith as Richard, who has a plan to take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, CA, to the global stage.
Oscar-winning director of photography Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood) shot the project using an Arri Alexa. The film features an original score by Kris Bowers. Pamela Martin edited the film, using an Avid Media Composer running V.2018.12.15 software. She recently recounted one of the film’s biggest challenges.
“The most challenging scene, by far, was the final tennis match,” Martin recalls. “It was filmed during COVID in an empty stadium, which made it a big visual effects job. We returned many months later to shoot some actual crowd reactions, as well as additional close-ups of Venus.
“There are no commentator voices during the tennis, and I found that cutting this scene was more akin to cutting action scenes,” she continues. “I had to rely on the visual story of the match, and what Venus and the Williams family was experiencing, and use sound and music to help support those nuances. The tension of what would happen to Venus and the family had to be palpable, even though we know how the story ends - beyond this film. These elements had to be pitch perfect for the final scenes to land emotionally.”