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What is Post Production?

Have you ever watched all of the credits after your favorite movie? The names keep scrolling and scrolling. If you have ever wondered what those people do? Well, you are in luck.

Today we are going to be looking at a brief overview of Post-Production for video and film.

Almost all of your big Hollywood films and tv shows are broken down into 3 major sections, Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production. Pre-Production is generally when you are hiring your talent, writing the script, finding locations to shoot, and figuring out where your budget is going to come from. Once all of these are laid out, you can then move onto Principal Production. This is when you are on location filming the scenes for your next big blockbuster. Most of the filming will be done with no special effects, no background music and recently more and more, on a green screen stage. Once all of your scenes are shot you are ready to move on, to my favorite phase of production, Post-Production.

In Post-Production you get to take all of your shots and edit them into a story, take that green screen and turn it into the fantasy world you have always envisioned in your head.

In Post-Production alone you will find many different departments. There are editors that take the usable raw footage from principal production and make a story, based upon the script you wrote in Pre-Production. You will also see names of visual effects artist up on the big screen. Visual effects artist will do things ranging from removing green screen, to adding in the huge transforming spaceship that’s taking over earth. Composers write and conduct music to fit the mood of the dramatic love story or the fast paced action thriller you have written. Sometimes you need sound effects, to create those footsteps walking up the creaking stairs, that’s where a Foley artist comes in. Last but not least, a color artist will come in to even out the color between shots.(This is actually much cooler than it sounds). The color artist will match white levels and black levels between shots and create the overall “Look” of scenes. Remember how everything in the Matrix was just a little green?

The entire Post-Production process is very in depth and very time consuming but, for my money it is where the story really comes to life. The Post-Production team is given pieces from the Production phase and is required to put all of the pieces together to create a finished piece. Due to the hectic nature of production sometimes shots are unusable or scenes need to be changed because test audiences were not pleased. These types of changes and choices can all fall to the Post-Production department.

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