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Post Production

This is where the project comes together or, in the case of The Avengers movies, where it gets made completely. It's where you can find your Hans Zimmer's and John Williams' – your Sally Menke's and Walter Murch's. Where some projects are saved and wars are fought over final cut. This is Post-Production.



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In case you haven’t realized by now, your project actually gets made three different times: first in writing the story (development), next on set (production) and finally in post-production (editorial). Cutting the best scenes together, adding the soundtrack, correcting the audio – just like the quality of the script and lead performances, these can all make or break a film. However, unlike those other aspects, audiences only tend to notice these things when they go wrong. More than anything else, good editorial work balances technical skill with an appreciation for basic storytelling principles.

TOPICS COVERED IN EDITORIAL:

  • EDITING | Organization, Got Rhythm?, Be Considerate of Others
  • VFX|GFX | Corrections, Titles
  • COLOR | Theory, Correction, Grading

Everyone forgets about sound after production. That is, hopefully everyone except for your awesome post-production supervisor, because sound is pretty important in this stage. If you disagree, just try watching something with lousy audio and no soundtrack; you’ll really have to watch, as you won’t want to hear anything during this painfully uncomfortable exercise. From fixing the audio problems in production to compiling the soundtrack to making sure it all blends together, here’s what to keep in mind – and in your budget – for sound in post-production.

TOPICS COVERED IN POST-PRODUCTION SOUND:

  • MUSIC | Licensing, Original Compositions
  • THE “MIX” | Dialogue | VO | ADR, FX | Foley, Music Mixing, Final Mix

Wait, there’s a business side to post-production as well? Of course there is! For starters, post-production ain’t free. Believe it or not though, money isn’t even the only concern. There are issues ranging from the legal guidelines about credits to how audiences will actually see your project. So change out of your cutting room sweat suit, and dust off that office casual blazer for another round of wheeling and dealing.

TOPICS COVERED IN BIZ:

  • BUDGET | Don’t “Borrow” From the Post Budget, Bring on a Post-Production Supervisor Early, Goals
  • LEGAL | A Bit About Titles and Credits, E&O Insurance | Clearance
  • DELIVERY | Formats, Trailers, Lock and Answer Print
  • PREVIEWS AND TEST MARKETS | Doing a Screening Right, Being Objective While Keeping a Backbone

Post-production is where you complete your story, or at least keep it from falling to pieces. So in this final battle against the forces of bad storytelling, the question is whether you’re going to do it alone or with a team. Maybe you have no choice but to do it all yourself – just remember when we said to set aside some money for post. Or maybe you made so many sacrifices on set that you need the best people to fix all the glaring errors, some of which might be actual glares in every shot. Whether you’re a one-man band or the post-production Rolling Stones, these are the important roles and responsibilities of a post-production crew.

THE POST-PRODUCTION TEAM:

  • EDITORIAL | Editor | Assistant Editor, VFX, Colorists
  • SOUND | Re-recording Mixers, Foley Artists & Sound Designers, Composers | Supervisors
  • POST-PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR | A Good Supervisor Understands Everything in Post, A Good Supervisor Understands Everything ELSE in Post, Post Starts in Pre

Resources

Article

Rerecording Mixers vs Sound Designers

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John Purcell on Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures

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Oscar-Winning Editor Walter Murch: The man, the Myth, the Legend

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The Editing Genius of Michael Kahn

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Book

Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing

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8 Lessons Thelma Schoonmaker Taught Us at TFF 2014

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Sound Doctrine Interview With Walter Murch

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Book

In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing

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Should We Be Shouldering the Weight of Post-Production?, The Essence of Editing, Edgar Burchsen

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