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What Makes a Good Post-Production Supervisor?

Your post-production supervisor helps supervise the post-production process. Alright, that’s not the most useful breakdown of what a post-production supervisor does, but that’s because the post-production supervisor does a lot of important jobs. Among other things, the post-production supervisor maintains communication between the editorial and sound departments, keeps the project within the budget and also tries to stay on schedule. Does that sound simple? Then you probably want to hire a post-production supervisor.

Photo: Victorgrigas

A Good Supervisor Understands Everything in Post

So yeah, there are a lot of different things going on in post-production. If you’ve ever opened an Avid or DaVinci Resolve project, it might seem like you would need at least three different phd’s to understand it all. But as the overseer of the post-production process, the supervisor doesn’t have to be an expert in all the technical aspects of post. For example, it’s fine not to know what exactly parallel compression does to a dialogue track. However, you do want someone who does understand the basic systems of editing, coloring, VFX/GFX and mixing workflows. In fact, to have this much knowledge, your post-production supervisor probably needs actual experience in most or all of those different jobs – don’t be afraid to ask about any relevant work in these areas.

A Good Supervisor Understands Everything ELSE in Post

It’s not enough for post-production supervisors to deliver a project that looks and sounds good. They also have to do it on time and within the budget range in that order. Once there’s a schedule of what needs to be done, the post-production supervisor can sit down with the budgeting accountant to work out all the necessary details and figure out which corners to cut. And make sure all the licensing rights are covered. Or provide enough coffee and energy drinks for everyone to pull all nighters to meet those deadlines. You get the picture.

Post Starts in Pre

So you know all those choices you make heading into production, like which cameras to use and how best to record sound? Those are all a really big deal to the post-production supervisor. For instance, access to a RED Dragon camera is as awesome as it sounds for the production stage, but a huge nightmare for the editor unless the post-production supervisor knows this ahead of time. Do you not have a sound device with time-code capabilities? Again, give your post-production supervisor a warning to prepare enough time in the editing room and warn all the people whose lives you’ve ruined. To have all this necessary prior knowledge, the post-production supervisor really needs to act as a pre-production consultant, but it’s already a long enough job title. So please just take our word for it, unless you don’t mind waiting a decade to see your project completed.

Further Reading:

The Rest of the Post-Production Team:

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