What is Post Production and why is the process important to the success of your video?
Post Production is everything that happens after your video has been shot. This often takes longer than the Pre Production and Shoot stages combined.
If Pre Production is deciding exactly what type of cake you wanted to create, and then carefully chose the exact right recipe to suit your requirements;
The shoot is collecting all the ingredients required in its exact amounts and putting them all on the bench or in bowls;
Post Production is the careful process of steps to make the cake exactly the way you would like it to be.
If you skip any of the steps (like not adding in the eggs) the cake won’t turn out quite right. It might still look and taste fine, but imagine how much better it would have been if you just took the time to add in the eggs.
Post Production starts when the shoot is complete. The Producer (or Anomaly team member) will copy the footage onto the Edit Suite computer ready for the Editor to get to work.
The Edit happens in stages:
First, the editor must review the brief/script approved by the client and then go through all the footage captured and categorise it, basally into what is useful and what is not. Where an interviewee might say something very concisely or if they rambled on with a lot of “umms”.
Next, the editor will create an Assembly Edit. This is a rough draft of the story to get a feel of what is said and the content we have. The Creative Director will have a look at this and make sure it is true to the brief. They will give some direction and the editor will move onto the next stage.
Edit 1, is the first edit we will send to the client for feedback. This is generally a little bit longer than the final desired length. We give the client the opportunity to let us know what they do, or don’t like.
Feedback we often receive is things like:
- Can we start the video off with the company’s logo animation?;
- The interviewee said *something like this* on the day, is it possible to include this?;
- Are you able to put more of this person and less of this person in the video?;
- Do you have any other options for music?
The client will collate all feedback into one email (or comment directly on the video on Vimeo) and we will make those changes. We will then send the client Edit 2. Much of the time, the client is happy with this and we can proceed to the next stage. If the client is happy with the video with no more changes to the vision (the edited footage and story), this is called Picture Lock.
Once we have Picture Lock we can progress to the Sound Mix and Colour Grade.
The Sound Mix is where our Sound Designer will make sure that each of the interviewees dialogue is a the appropriate (and same) sound level. There is nothing worse than watching a video where some people are louder or quieter than others. They will also mix the music or background sounds so that they all fade in and out at the appropriate times and do not compete with the interviews. The whole job of the Sound Designer for corporate videos is to make sure that the viewer doesn’t notice the sound. If it is done perfectly, you won’t even notice!
The Colour Grade is similar to the sound mix, except it is touch ups for the footage. Colour Grading is where we focus on the look, colour, and brightness of the footage. It is basically like the makeup artist who comes in and makes your skin look better, your eyes look brighter and your features stand out. The makeup artist does not add or remove any features that are there. Colour Grading is enhancing the image that is already there.
For a video example of the effects of colour grading please watch this: https://vimeo.com/278108302
If you would like to know more about Colour Grading go to the Colour Grading blog post.
When all these stages are complete the editor can then put each of these together, make sure that everything is in sync and works perfectly and export the video for final delivery!
Depending on where the video is going to live (website, social media, TV etc) there are different formats that need to be thought about. This is why the Producer asks so many questions initially so that they can create the road map for the team to follow when they get to their turn and everything goes smoothly.
The success of the Post Production Process is reliant on the Pre Production stage having all the answers or finding out all the information possible and putting together a detailed plan. If there is no plan, then Post can take a very long time and will never turn out as desired and will often cost a lot more. Pre Production is creating the blue print for the builders follow!