Post-production is a mix of processes that puts a video project together in readiness for presentation. It is not an isolated event, and neither does it start or end with video and sound editing. Post-production involves lots of planning, much like pre-production and the journey from raw footage to a blockbuster requires diverse professional contributions.
What is Film Post-Production?
Film post-production is a video production stage that comes after shooting or recording. Post-production involves enhancing raw footage with color, graphics, sound, music, and special effects in line with the project goals.
Teams that participate in post-production typically comprise scriptwriters and editors, video editors, sound engineers and graphic designers, Foley artists, and many others. Because of this complex process, planning and communication are critical part of the mix, fortunately there are softwares like usequeue to help production teams get to their final cuts much faster.
Budgets and timelines are standard across different visual mediums. Even so, the length of time you’ll have to wait and the amount of money you’ll put into polishing your video project depends on its size and nature.
For instance, advertisement content is time-bound and has to be wrapped up fast if it’s targeting Black Friday or Thanksgiving. On the other hand, a high budget action movie would take many months or even a year to put everything together for commercial success.
The Processes of Post-Production
People may refer to a post-production house as a video editing lab, but much more goes on in there. The tasks handled in a post-production studio include:
· Inventorizing footage to ascertain that every scene was shot as planned in the scripts (production crew goes back to the field if there is missing footage)
· Organizing footage and creating backups
· Creating a video editing plan and strategy that detail timelines and budgets
· Editing picture
· Editing sound
· Sourcing and adding music
· Adding visual effects
· Color correction
· Adding titles, credits, and graphics
· Gathering distribution materials
· Making a trailer
Let’s explore what happens in each of these stages
After production, the first thing is reviewing your footage and ensuring you have everything you set out to record. Further, ensure that you have enough storage for the footage. Organize it into an easy to follow sequence per the production calendar before storage and backup.
Organizing footage and creating backups
There are many instances where the editing team ends up with missing footage. That’s why storing creative assets on the cloud or creating copies is a must do for any serious post-production manager.
Label the files before storage and back up. It helps for easier findability when video editing kicks off. Your backup and storage options in post product include hard drives RAID (redundant array of independent disks) and even servers, especially for bigger projects that involve remote workers and outsourced teams.
Post-production picture editing is the backbone of video processing. In small projects, including birthday and wedding videos, post-production may start and end with video editing. In commercial projects, editing picture is just the start.
With all the files laid out before them, the video editing dons start by creating a rough cut. This creates a sequence that shows the flow of the video from start to finish. Here, the video editors order, prioritize, and choose their clips based on the storyline.
Post-production video editing as a whole requires an understanding of the script and flow of the story. The editor must be a good team player and liaise with scriptwriters, editors, and photographers. The result of this collaboration gradually transforms raw footage into a rough video that tells a story.
What follows next is polishing. Once you approve a rough cut, the video editing team adds in transitions, polishing up the video in readiness for the later post-production stages.
· Video editors are responsible for the appearance, pace, and rhythm of the film, so make sure to get someone who knows their craft. Look at their past projects to determine whether they have what it takes to deliver on project goals.
· It would also help to pair up a video editor with an assistant editor. This can help to speed up things, considering the immense pipework involved in picture editing. The assistant editor can keep track of the clips used in every stage of the process.
Sound editors do just as much as video editors. Perfecting raw sound in a video clip involves cleaning out noise, cutting audio dialogues, and ensuring the story flows. Further, sound editors may be tasked with enhancing the movie with sound effects.
Hire someone masterful in their work. Hire a team player who can also take the pressure and do the job over and over as long as it takes to attain what your clients and financiers want.
Sound editors should not be lotus-eaters. They should be hardworking geniuses because when sound is poorly done, even the best films flop. Sound is perhaps what makes Hollywood stand out from Bollywood and Nollywood.
Add a Foley artist to the team. These are professionals that fix bad sound in videos if production went awry. They rerecord the poor sound and add it back to the clip using dubbing or automated dialogue replacement techniques. They can also enhance your finished sequence with special sound effects.
Sourcing and adding music
Music adds emotion to a video clip and is key to captivating audiences. In original projects, consider hiring a composer or commissioning an artist to do a dedicated sound truck for the video. YouTube is awash with free music you can use, but when your project becomes a commercial success and money starts to flow in, lawsuits will fly in as well. Watch out for copyright infringement.
Hiring a music supervisor can help to take care of the music in post-production. They’d oversee the creation and addition of original high-quality music to the video. They have to do this per your budget and timeline—the best music supervisors start this way before post-production.
Adding visual effects (VFX)
This is the purview of visual effects artists and graphic designers. The process entails understanding the story and creating computer-generated imagery that enhances the visuals.
This is where the magic happens – VFX artists make pigs to fly, cities to burn, and stars to fall. These experts work frame by frame. Video editors have to ensure that all rough cuts and sequences are saved and backed up so botched VFX processes don’t send them back to ground zero.
But keep in mind, not all projects require visual effects.
Color is everything. A green shirt on a sunny day in the lens of a camera can be interpreted as bluish—color correction ensures that everything appears as it were in situ.
In many instances, color correction and visual effects go hand in hand. A gloomy winter day is made into a bright summer in the video—if the project goals require that.
After adding visual effects, the colorist can digitally transform the shots by playing with opacity, contrast, glare, and other video color qualities.
Graphics, titles, and credits
Video editors are responsible for adding a title, credits, translations, or graphics needed in the final video project. Opening credits are critical to introducing the film and set the tone and mood. The graphics game here needs to be on point to keep audiences glued from the start. Rolling credits come in the end. Editors should name everyone that participated in the production in a hierarchical order.
Collect feedback and make changes
Once the post-production team has put everything together, it’s time for stakeholders, audience, researchers, and financiers to judge and make comments. The video post-production supervisor should spearhead the process using a review and approval program like usequeue to gather feedback in a professional and succinct matter.
Post-production involves tasks, processes, and professionals that one may not readily associate with video production projects. It takes multifaceted finessing and multi-disciplinary collaborations to bring the film project home.
Post-production can be stressful, and whole projects have collapsed at this stage. The right teams, good plans, and post production studio solutions can accelerate things and keep you on track with your goals. video post-production is like a makeup session for a classy woman. If she is good at it, she takes your breath away when she steps out for the night.