Post production how it works
Postproduction refers to the process of editing audio and visual material to create a film. A post-production editor is responsible for assembling footage shot by shot, adding music (original or licensed) and incorporating other visual and sound effects. This is how you create the multisensory experience that we call a movie.
Preproduction and production are the first steps.
Preproduction refers the initial phase of casting, research and location scouting. It takes place before the production starts. Production is the actual shooting of the film or video. After principal shooting is completed, postproduction takes place. Some elements of filming such as voiceovers or pick-up shots may still be part of the postproduction phase.
The Full Postproduction Process
Postproduction is a collaborative, well-organized process that can take several months or even a whole year depending on the project’s scope and budget.
- Edit The editor suite is used during postproduction. The footage is first transferred to Avid or Final Cut Pro. Following the vision of the director, the editor cuts the movie. Although most editors now work digitally and do not physically cut or splice film anymore, postproduction still uses the term “cut”.
- sound edit: sound is as important as the image in creating an enjoyable experience for the viewer. Sound editors are responsible to assemble the audio tracks for a film, remove unwanted noise and create sound effects. Foley artists (sound artists), create or enhance sounds on-camera, such as footsteps echoing off tiles floors.
- Music Many theatrical films use an original score to highlight the scene’s mood or action. Hans Zimmer, a world-famous composer, says, “Take the audience along a journey.” His credits include Rain Man and 12 Years a Slave. A music supervisor can secure the publishing and recording rights for a director who wants to license songs.
- Visual Effects: Engineers and artists make up the special effects department. They create the computer-generated visuals that are used in a film.
- Sound Mix After all audio tracks have been completed, sound mixers adjust the audio levels. This step is crucial as too much sound can overwhelm a scene or distract from the story if it is too loud.
- Colouring After the photo is locked (meaning that there are no more edits or modifications), a colorist will go through each shot to digitally correct and refine the hues and lighting to create continuity and a mood.
- Graphics Title, credits and graphics (such a date stamp), are created and added.
- Trailer: A new editing team takes over to cut the trailer, which is a two-and-a-half-minute preview meant to entice audiences to watch the movie when it hits the big, or small, screen.
The Best Editing Systems in Postproduction
Postproduction was once a manual task. Physical film strips had to be cut and spliced together. Most movies and TV shows today are edited on non-linear, digital cutting systems. These programs revolutionized postproduction and made editing much faster and more efficient. They were popularized in the 1990s. The media is uploaded to the computer and saved as digital files. After that, it’s organized into bins (the postproduction term for folders). The editor can retrieve a clip by clicking the file. This is similar to working with other files. Each element in a film is assigned a track (delimited by a row). This allows editors to adjust their placement and levels.
An editor can use many Editing software suites. It often comes down to the editor’s preference. These are the most common editing programs used in postproduction:
- Avid Media Composer
- Final Cut Pro
- Adobe Premiere