Filmmaking Essentials: What Is The Film Post-Production Stage 2018


By request, today I’m going to talk about
the filmmaking production process from the very beginning. This video is going to touch upon filmmaking’s
fourth stage, the post-production stage. This is where all of the media that was captured
is assembled and edited together. For many productions, this is the most time
consuming and costly part of the production process. You should also know that post-production
has many processes that fall under this title. This includes the intake, processing, and
sweetening of production sound. Additional audio components such as automated
dialogue replacement, designed audio effects, foley, and music are then added. Special digital visual effects, including
3-dimentional elements and scenes, compositing, match-moving and wire removal, film titles,
and elements from the graphics digital toolkit for television, and the end crawl are done
during this stage. All that and more coming up. Welcome to ‘Hollywood, Unapologetic!’ My name is Orlando Delbert. I wanted to speak a little bit about Filmmaking
Essentials: WHAT IS THE FILM POST-PRODUCTION STAGE. I should mention before we get into it, I
first wrote about everything we’re about to touch upon and how it applies as part of
the New Hollywood Generation several years ago when I was writing, Pollyanna’s Tear
Soaked Battlefields of Hollywood: A Survival Guide Against the Cynicism and the Hypocritical. I was asked recently via Twitter, “what
is the production process?” This is a common question I’ve been asked
over the years. The last time someone said to me, “I wish
someone would just make a video showing the process from beginning to end.” Well, here you go! I have to mention up front, there is a lot
to creating our vision. Most of the steps for a motion picture and
for television are the same in the most part, but distribution is different. Plus with the growing availability of digital
and self-distribution outlets online, and with the growing popularity of crowdfunding,
there’s multiple ways to get your vision financed and your voice heard. There’s far too much information to put
into any one video. There are other videos in this ‘Hollywood,
Unapologetic!’ series that can give you more in-depth information, all in the hopes
to help you make your check list of things you need to have in order, before you pick
up your camera and shoot a single frame. Be sure to check out the videos in the playlist,
“New to Film Production? Start Here!” Remember, preparation is the key to you and
your project’s success. Ready? –
The fourth stage in the filmmaking process is the post-production stage. This is where all of the media that was captured
is assembled and edited together. Probably the best way to look at this stage
of the filmmaking process is to think of your film as being a huge puzzle with thousands
of integral parts that make up the completed story. At this stage, it’s easier to see the many
pieces, because there is a convergence of everything shot, and everything has a representative
scene and take number. For many productions, this is the most time
consuming and costly part of the production process. The reason being, professionals getting paid
a high rate are doing most of what is needed during this stage. Most facilities have a high overhead, and
these same individuals are using the very best and fastest computers and networks being
used in the industry. There are a lot of resources needed to keep
a facility open. Operational costs are high because they need
to cover existing infrastructure and networks, ensure connectivity never fails, computers
stay cool, and their talent is being paid their rates. Facilities will most likely be renting most
if not all of the computer equipment. This is very expensive especially when the
maintenance and proprietary software fees are included. And unlike the earlier stages of production,
many of the ones that actually handle the moving parts of the assembly process and effects
may have extensive schooling and some experience already in the production process. It is very rare that someone wanting to get
into visual effects or picture cutting would have the opportunity to work on a Flame or
Inferno upon getting their first job at an effects or editorial house. They would most likely be runners, who are
much like production assistants during the production stage, and they would handle the
heavy lifting of operations at any given facility. It is not at all uncommon for a runner to
be making deliveries of tapes and other types of grunt work for a year and a half if not
longer, before having any opportunity to sit at a $1 million dollar workstation in the
middle of the night for the very first time. The very first thing to do during the post-production
stage is to remember to breathe. If you’re not overwhelmed by now, you most
likely will be. A feature film can have hundreds of shots,
all with multiple takes that have to be gone over one-by-one. Even shooting segments for a television show
can have hundreds of clips to go through. I’ve seen so many times footage delivered
with poor logging, if the shots are logged at all. When that happens, some productions will hire
several editorial assistants to go over, and sometimes digitize all of the footage into
a non-linear editing system usually at a low resolution, before sifting through the shots. This falls under the off-line editorial part
of post-production. This often is a very time extensive and costly
process, which in the most part could have been avoided if someone was keeping tabs on
the shots as they went along. Keep your head together and track as much
as you can as you go along. Do your best to get comfortable with the behemoth. Before going any further, you should know
that post-production has many processes that fall under this title. This includes the intake, processing, and
sweetening of production sound. Additional audio components such as automated
dialogue replacement, designed audio effects, foley, and music are then added. Special digital visual effects, including
3-dimentional elements and scenes, compositing, match-moving and wire removal, film titles,
and elements from the graphics digital toolkit for television, and the end crawl are done
during this stage. When shooting on film, the process of developing
the film, and then digitizing for digital intermediate also falls under post-production. Digital intermediate allows sophisticated
color correction tools unparalleled control over film color. Color, contrast, and brightness in different
parts of the frame can be changed overtime, timed separately and in real-time. Scanning film and printing it back to celluloid
in the laboratory is also part of post-production. Offline and the EDL. As I just mentioned, often an assistant editor
will digitize the raw footage into a non-linear editing system for editing. The off-line editor or editors will began
assembling, often doing a string-out edit. A string-out edit is following the shots captured
in the log during production and placing them in a timeline back-to-back. This allows the picture cutter to see what
shots work best with one another for each scene, as well as see which shots from different
camera angles can be included to make the scene work better. Think of it as giving the editor a visual
toolkit of everything for that particular scene that he or her can move around to make
the scene flow. As the edits are coming together, an edit
decision list is generated. The edit decision list is an extension of
the logs that were made during production. The great thing about this process is that
the edit decision list contains all of the reel information and associated timecode representing
each clip. This process saves a lot of time and effort
towards the final edit. An autoconform can be run on an online editing
system, which digitizes only the shots needed for assembly in high resolution. Once everything has been digitized and is
approved, then it is ready for digital intermediate. I should add, digital intermediate takes longer
and at the moment still more expensive than traditional film timing in the laboratory,
but prices are coming down. One major advantage to consider is since your
film is in a digital format, greater options are readily available. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned
before about digital intermediate regarding the ease of adjusting color, contrast, and
brightness changes in real-time, you now have the ability to also remove unwanted elements
somewhat easily from shots. Plus the combined prices for film and video
timing, your fade and dissolves that fall under optical effects, and titles usually
cost about the same as a full digital finish. Do your best to be smart and on schedule. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked
on projects that just don’t seem to end. Often times this will run into budget overages
and possible deadlines missed. More times than not, this occurs when the
director doesn’t really know what he may want, or his ego is in the way. An inexperienced director will tweak things
to death because he wants it to be “perfect”. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting
your edits to be just right. But too many times, you just have to just
stop and move on. One of the positive things about working in
broadcast television is that you are forced to work within a definitive amount of time. You work diligently to get your first pass
completed, and then go back and do as much tweaking as you possibly can before delivery. I’ve worked on thousands of episodes of
live television and live-to-tape programming to learn you have to make your deadlines,
period. Film often doesn’t have the same time restraints,
but one needs to make a decision when done enough is done. Oh, here comes the pixel-fucking. If you are creating content for a client,
you will be under the scrutiny of the client and his or her people. When dealing with big productions and with
studios, there usually is an entourage of a dozen or more people that show up to review
your work. It’s not a big deal and of course within
the client’s right to be there. But I’ll tell you, dealing with the committee
is a tiresome process in itself. More times than not, they will have you nudging
things around your screen a pixel away from where it was, change a color on a bar or graphic
only slightly, or move a clip a frame or two in your timeline, only to justify their own
jobs. It gets old fast, especially if any or all
of them are coked-up. More times than not, you’ll end up putting
everything back to where it was before they first arrived and they will “love it!” It’s comical and you will see this again
and again on large projects. Expect all of this to come with a big heaping
spoonful of coldly served hubris and self-gratifying compliments to themselves for the work you’ve
done they’re taking credit for, “fun times”. On small projects, this happens as well, but
you’re usually dealing with a less-experienced client who only knows what they want once
they see it. Get ready for lots of revisions. Save all . . . Save often . . . And always remember to be calm . . . For this
next point; some of you may not like what you’re about to hear. Depending on what kind of distribution deal
you may have, you may have to give up the director’s edit or director’s cut. This is especially true whenever you are dealing
with a film studio. Only the very top directors in the world get
final cut on some of their theatrical releases, and are rarely released to the public theatrically. This is why you often see “director’s
cut”, “extended cut”, and “special edition” versions of films when released
to DVD or Blu-Ray that may have 20 additional minutes or more of the film on the disk. This trend began in the 1980s during the rise
of the home video industry, as part of originally feeding a small cult fan marketplace. The studio who has invested in your production
can insist on changes that they feel will increase their return on their investments. This is all about maximizing their profit,
specifically with box office sales. The final cuts are often shorter in length
to allow for more screenings per day at the theater. Sometimes the studio executives may feel they
want a better audience-restricted rating, or even a happier ending than found in the
director’s cut. There are a lot of things that happen during
the post-production stage of creating your project. Just like at the very beginning, you need
to make your plans, make your lists, and do each thing one at a time to ensure everything
gets done in the right order and on time. Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel you don’t
know all of the steps. There are others out there that do. Right from the beginning, you began building
your team. Everyone in the post-production process is
no different. You just need a handful of good people that
can delegate and track all of the moving parts so that you can concentrate on what needs
to be done next. –
Please consider what I offered you today, and consider what your role is as a new generation
of content creators. And feel free to take advantage of other members
in the New Hollywood Generation community. We are all here to grow together and help
one another. As members of the New Hollywood Generation,
take the time to assess what your short-term and long-term goals are. Create a timeline of where you are today,
and where you would like to see yourself in a year, two years, five years, ten, professionally,
financially, and personally. Do your research and learn what you can about
technology, distribution outlets, contracts, and of course set etiquette and protocols. All of these things are important and help
to make you of value to others in our industry, and to yourself. The lessons learned as a content creator can
help build leadership qualities and an entrepreneurial approach to life. The process will help you build structure
and the discipline needed to truly be a success. Use this information as a tool, so that you
can protect your integrity, and yourself better. And don’t forget to have fun with it. Making a film takes a lot of effort to see
it all of the way through, but definitely can be worth it. Your experiences stay with you for the rest
of your life. Make your plan. Take a breath. Go for it! You can do it once you believe you can. Are you ready for the challenge? –
If you’re looking for filmmaking for beginners, filmmaking 101, and for some filmmaking tips
on how to want to be a filmmaker, make sure to click on the subscribe button. Click that bell so you don’t miss anything. Looking for how to filmmaking essentials? Be sure to check out the videos in the playlist,
New To Film Production? Start Here! Think of this channel as a film crash course,
or filmmaking crash course, and an introduction to filmmaking entrepreneurship, to build the
skills needed well beyond just how to succeed Hollywood, and beyond whatever discussion
other how to film school, how to indie filmmaking, in general, how to film industry channels
don’t talk about. The “why’s” you truly need to know to
help to help you grow as a thought leader in life, the entertainment industry, and how
it applies as part of The New Hollywood Generation is in this video series, and in the “Pollyanna’s
Tear Soaked Battlefields of Hollywood, A Survival Guide Against the Cynicism and the Hypocritical,”
series of books. Links below. Remember, preparation is the key to you and
your project’s success. Ready?

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