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Post-production

Working With Post-Production

post production is an important stage to understand. The last changes in the field of digital filmmaking have made this stage less expensive, but with the many new options out there, it is also a lot more complicated.  Many independent productions fail to understand the importance of the post-production process, and by that, the whole production either fails or not keeping up in schedule or simply taking too long which make everything much more expensive. understanding the basic is a must for every producer and director.

post-production definition

When you are working in the industry, it’s amazing to see how many producers don’t really understand what does post production mean. I’m going to explain it now.

After you finished all the shooting it’s time to assemble everything together. In this post lesson, I will talk about the post-production workflow. If you read my pre-production lesson, you know that the post-production process should really start at the pre-production. Back then you’ve already decided how the movie is going to be shot and edited. You’ve also planned already how much time the post-production stage is going to take and how much money you are going to spend on it. You should have also known where you are going to edit everything and who are the crew that will do all that.
Some producers even send the film’s footage during the shooting to the editing room, so the editor will start going through them.

Even if have a post manager, you should have some knowledge on to the technical issues of the post production and at the post-production’s crew jobs and what each one of them does.

what is post production in a film?

Many directors and producers believe that the post-production stage will fix all of their shootings error. That is not true. I mean, you can fix a lot in the post, but it is usually the basic errors and some of them can be fixed, but will cost a lot. Sometimes there’s simply not enough time to fix everything, so don’t count on it too much.

stages of post production

Post production – step 1 – Prepare for video editing

Well, the truth is you were supposed to look for the editor in the pre-production stage, but since it a post-production issue, I’ll give you some tips about it now:

  • The video editor is the one that creates your final draft of the movie, so don’t look for the cheapest video editor out there. You need a video editor that know his editing software perfectly and has enough experience to know when to cut.
  • When you look for video editors, see what are their strengths and if it is what you need for your film.
  • You should meet with the editor before shooting, to see if there is anything you can do to make the editing process easy.
  • I recommend reading the lesson about stages in video editing to learn the process better.
  • Before meeting with your video editor, Organize your tapes and SD cards. Each tape or SD card should be tagged with a number, location, and date of shoot.
  • If you want to save money, you can rent video editing rooms in “dead hours” like night time or the-the weekend.

 

Post production – step 2 – Color correction

The color correction is a stage you get to only after the editing is final and been approved by everyone. Color correction is working with the colors elements of the frame like saturation, contrast, and the balance of colors. You should send your film to color correction, but if you don’t have enough money for that, maybe you can send only a few scenes that have really bad lighting. This is the kind of decision, you should make during the shooting while watching the rushes.

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Sometimes you can ask the video editor to do some basic color correction like playing with contrast and saturation, but only if the editor is professional and has the right equipment to deal with it. Sometimes colors may look good on the computer but bad on the big screen. That is why colorists have an expensive monitor that helps them know how to deal with the colors. If you want the video editor to deal with the colors, you have to make sure he knows it right at the start.

You should make sure the editor knows how the colorist would like to get the movie (does he need the project with media files or one big file…)

Post production – step 3 – Take care of film’s soundtrack

There are few ways to get music to your film. Many producers like to use music libraries, mostly to save money. There are many music libraries out there. I know many of my friends like The Premium Beat site. They have many royalty free music with high-quality track and SFX.

I kind of like music libraries, but not for every movie and not for every scene. You got to remember that these music pieces are sold for everyone for whatever use they wish to do with it, so it might suck to use a piece of music on a dramatic scene and, later on, to find it on a commercial for cell phones.

Another way is creating an original score with a few musicians. If you are doing that, you have to go all the way. Hire as many musicians as you need and record it in the best place you can. Before you go that road, you need to think how important is it for your film to use original score.
These days you can find a musician that play many instruments through a computer software that sounds pretty good. You can also try to get a discount by maybe letting him keep some of the rights to the music,

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The third way is playing records. It can be cheaper if you’ll use unknown songs. If you find a song that you really believe, it can do good to your movie, you need to start working on license agreements.

Post production – step 4 – Sound editor

You’ll be surprised from what  the sound designer can do for your film. After getting the final draft of the video editing, you should send the movie to the sound designer. The sound designer is in charge of the dialogue, the sound effects, and the music and with all these threes, he creates a new dimension to your film. The sound is important to help the continuity between shots, but it is also a great tool to create manipulations on the audience, so you really shouldn’t skip that stage.

Sometimes, on small projects, the video editor can work on the sound by himself, but on bigger films, it is recommended to work with a professional sound designer.

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When working with a sound designer, you should send him the film at the rough cut stage, so he’ll already have a first look at it. Send it with notes and ideas and music cue sheets.

I recommend reading my posts on sound design, especially the introduction to sound design and the stages of sound design

So as I said, you really should start working on the post-production at the pre-production stage. There are a few reasons for that, but the main ones are you are going to be very tired when you’ll get to the post-production stage. You simply won’t have the strength to deal with contracts and negotiations, but also because you don’t want any surprises at that stage.

That’s it for now. Please let me know if you have any questions.

How To Produce a Film – 12 Tips to The Beginner Film Producer

How to produce a film? 12 First Tips

So you decided you want to learn how to produce a film, but you do not know exactly where and how to start. So here are some tips to guide you and will help you to get your first steps into the filmmaking business:

  • Start with the genre. They are popular, with a clear concept and have much room for creativity.
  • Be original. Tell something that has not been told or in a way not yet been told. Read the Find your own voice to learn this cool creative exercise that will help you find your own true voice.
  • Pay attention to the things that work commercially and in terms of festivals. Notice where you are in this equation.
  • Speaking of festivals, before starting to send films to the film festivals, you should have a strategy. Most festivals cost money to register and in some of them, pre-registration is cheaper. Plan ahead and think how the film festival  is going to contribute to the film, and how much you want to spend on them  
  • Remember – The better your script will be the more talents will be            attracted to it, and if your project will bring a really good script, maybe they even agree to give you a discount.
  • Create a movie web page, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. It will also help you get funding through the Internet.
  • If you are working on a budget, check first how you can cut locations. Reducing locations can lower the budget dramatically.
    (Click here to learn more about ways for lowering your budget)

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  • the sound people usually get ignored in film production, but I have seen
    productions that fell because of sound problems. Make sure to have someone who really understands the field (click here to read about sound design in films
  • Prepare the budget while maintaining fidelity to reality. Do not kid yourself.Go through all the script, do a script breakdown and realize what it is you need. If the budget is too expensive, check out what you can give up and be sure to add an unexpected 10 percent to the budget. That means after you finish calculating the budget you add 10 percent of the budget to spend on unexpected expenses (which will happen to you no matter how much you’ll plan ahead). Do not forget to also include marketing expenses, editing, sound and every post issue.
  • Do a research in all areas that you deal with them and try to do some more work on your own Pre – Production stage.

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  •  Try to find staff that has the equipment needed. It can cost you cheaper
    (especially if they have their own insurance on the equipment) and they know
    how to use their equipment and they also keep it in good shape.
  • Learn how to work well with your director, financiers, and other important figures. Establish with all of them an honest relationship right at the start. The producer has to know how to work with people and listen to their needs. Everyone got different needs and it your job to answer them.

How To Make Low Budget Film

 

Producing a low budget film

Financing your film is probably the hardest job of the producer. Later on I’m going to write about raising money for films, but now I’m going to discuss the first step in raising money and it’s saving money.  I have also put a link at the end of the article to a great course full with tactics and strategies for raising money from independent financiers.

Now let’s start by lowering your budget:

Werner Herzog once said that the best advice he can give to young filmmakers is not to wait for someone to finance your film – “If you can’t afford to make a million-dollar film, raise $10,000 and produce it yourself.”
Planning a low budget film is no picnic. You do have the advantage of artistic freedom, but as a film producer, there are going to be a lot of problems to deal with.

so here is the deal:

On one hand, the producer’s job is to produce the director’s vision, but he also needs to keep the budget low. You have to remember-The chances that a low budget film will become a hit are not too big (even though we all know about low budget movies like Clerks, Reservoir Dogs and much more that made it big),

but here is the kicker:

The odds that the film will be screened at festivals are not bad at all.
I’m going to give you a few proven low budget film tips that will help you lower your budget tremendously

how to make a low-budget film? by planning ahead

The first step into saving money is planning ahead. Do a script breakdown once you get the final draft of the script. That is the only way you can really understand what the film’s needs are.

Look at what you got

A good way to start is to see what you have. Do that before you decide what film to make. If you got a big house, use that! If it’s a cool car, make a movie that will use it for the best. If it’s talented friends, use them. Take a good look at the unique things you have and own and use them to help you decide what’s your next movie is going to be like and about.

Save money with locations

A good location is the base of every good film. You shouldn’t compromise with it. But still: Sometimes it’s better to lower the expenses that come with the location so you can save money that will help you put up a better lighting or more days of shooting.

Here are a few tips to help you lower location’s expenses:

Try to use as minimum locations as possible

Yes, it may require you to rewrite the script, but if for example you’ll stay in one location and you’ll work with a small team and a relatively simple equipment, You can speed up your shootings with up to eight pages of script on one day of shooting.

Try to shoot as much as possible in houses

That way, each room can be its own location so you do not have to spend the time to move the whole team around. If you are using different locations in different places, make sure that it will be easy to move from one location to the other.

Big Tip:
Do not be embarrassed to ask friends and family to shoot at their houses, but be honest with them about what you are going to do at their home. Tell them how long the shooting is going to last.

Shoot in small rooms

If you are shooting in small rooms, it is possible to use smaller flashlights. and you are going to have to use a smaller film crew

Use every location as much as possible

Try to find locations that have the potential to be a few different locations. Sometimes every corner of a room can be a different location.

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Save money with Narrowing film roles:

Avoid roles of one or two sentences

Think about it- the cashier at the entrance to the theater that says, “What show do you want to see?” That part can cost you much more than if the role would be played without any words. Also, this is a good time to run the script again and see if there are characters that aren’t contributing anything to the script.

“One could make money and get a career going with a low-budget horror film about killers attacking holidays. It is always flattering to have somebody copy you.”
John Carpenter

Investing wisely production team

A good team is very important and you should not compromise with them. Try to get a team that will work in return for getting experience and try to take a professional team for days that are complicated. The roles you should try to find experienced crew are a producer, cinematographer, lighting director, sound editor and assistant director.
Basically the bigger the budget, the more experienced team you should have. Remember! An experienced crew can save your money. Remember that the more your team is experienced, the easier it will be to move around locations and deal with special effects and so on and that should be taken into consideration also. You should also reduce the amount of staff as much as possible and give each member several other roles. It also lowering the production budget and speed up the shootings.

Big Tip:
If you are getting the staff in return for food and experience, they should not spend money on anything such as travel. All they get for their work is this meal and a copy of the film when it is ready. Also, if people are working for you for free, don’t shoot over 10 hours a day.

A good way of payment is by giving the members some percentage of the profits of the film. In this case, there is no need to pay for staff expenses and the working conditions are like regular freelancers. It is important To be clear right from the start about the working conditions and terms of payment.

Choosing actors budget’s wise

Do not use an incompetent people as your actors. I’m talking about friends, family and so on. The actors are a very important part in the success of the movie and it is worth investing there. There are many good actors in the industry, even celebrities that will agree to act for free or at a very low salary.
Just remember! There are plenty of actors who had put all their money in drama schools and then went out to find that there is not much work. Make the most of it. You can find actors in community theaters, drama schools, etc. Advertise in those places, and write in the ads all the necessary information such as gender, age, and type of special features role, etc.

Saving money with cinema equipment

If you are a film student, you can get the school equipment from your film school, but you still may need to rent some of the extra equipment. So the only tip I can give you here to save money is, to look for your team,with the equipment you need.

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Save money on the post-production stage

When you get to the post production stage, invest in it just like the investment at any other stage. This is in the final stage of the film. The latest version of the script in the movie. Take all the time you need to for the video editing. It’s the same deal with sound design and effects.

How to lower your budget on post-production stage?

Rent editing room in dead hours

First, find professional editing rooms that can give you rooms in lower prices during the hours that are dead for them like night and weekends.

Come prepare to the video editing room

Know what you want. Do not waste the time and nerves of the video editor to try things you are not sure of. The more you know what you want, the more you will save editing shifts (and by that- save money)

“Other writers, producers, and directors of low- budget films would often put down the film they were making, saying it was just something to make money with. I never felt that. If I took the assignment, I’d give it my best shot”                                                                                                                    
Roger Corman

What you can do as a producer to save money

Become a Multimedia

In low budget films the crew is very small. That means that the producer has to do a lot of other jobs like finding locations, be involved in the casting of extras and much more. Sometimes the film producer even finds himself acting as an assistant director (although it is not recommended)

Be very very organized

If you are working on a low budget production, it is important to be very organized, disciplined and to understand all the processes in the production, also it is advised to know how to control your team better, to be skilled in negotiations, to be resourceful and know to use all available resources and most important to be able to think outside the box.

The next steps of financing your film

Now that you know how to save money, you can move on to the next step of financing your film and that is the script breakdown. If you want to deepen your knowledge in funding your film, I really recommend checking this amazing course from Tom Malloy. Tom Malloy, an experienced producer, that teaches a solid funding strategy with many proven tactics for raising money from independent financiers. The system consists of several training modules through all the stages from script to the pitch, business plan and more. The price right now is 67$ but if you are really serious about filmmaking, it can save you a lot of money later on and more important – a lot of time. There is also a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied in any way.
You can check it out by clicking Here!