We decided to write these series of blog posts as a means of informing clients future and existing about the steps involved in making their video. So far we've covered the planning and pre-production phase and the production process. Once all the footage is captured then post-production begins.
Post Production is the term used to describe the final stage of making a film or video in which raw footage and audio are edited together to form the finished article. It also refers to the process of adding Title Graphics, Visual Effects, Sound Effects and Colour Grading.
Capture and Logging
Capture and Logging is the process of ingesting the footage into a computer and logging (or naming) each clip to correspond with Roll, Scene and Take. Software editing programs like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier allow you to add other notes and specific data to each clip should you need to.
On the majority of productions, sound is captured separately rather than on the inbuilt camera microphones, thus ensuring a higher sound quality. It is usually the job of the assistant film editor to sync the sound with the picture.
While the amount of edits you can create is virtually limitless editing is usually split into a few distinct phases.
- Phase 1: The Rough Cut. After all the tedious work of logging the footage and syncing the sound, it's time to start piecing together the story. During this phase the cuts and edits might be a bit unrefined but that is fine. No one aside from the editor and director looks at the rough cut. It's about deciding what footage is good and what works as a means of telling the story.
- Phase 2: The Second (third, forth, fifth edit) During this phase of the edit, the editor will add close-ups and cutaway shots. By the time this phase of the edit is complete, the story of the piece should be clear and flow together well.
- Phase 3: Final Cut. This phase usually refers to fine tuning and tweaking shots and the rhythm of the film. This is usually when the client is invited to view the video and provide feedback. Although the sound and colour will still need to be tweaked, the final cut should give you a good idea of how your video will look once completed.
Colour grading is a science and requires a great amount of patience and eye for detail. It refers to the process of altering or enhancing the colours of the video. Nowadays grading is used as a stylistic and creative choice to achieve 'looks' or improve the aesthetics of an image.
If the video uses a voice over then it is relatively easy to add it to the video edit. However if your video involved interviews and /or dialogue then the process is more intricate and requires more work. You may also need to add sound effects and ambience tracks to give the video a sense of place and reality. Music is also added at this point and the three elements are mixed to make up the film's soundtrack.
When designing title graphics it's really important to keep in mind the tone and purpose of the video. If your video is lighthearted and humorous then by all means request fun and bouncy text. When creating video for business and corporate clients, we tend to adopt a more conservative style that is eye catching but doesn't put off viewers or distract them. Whatever style of title graphics you opt for you must keep your audience in mind and request that any titles, graphics or animation added to your video is sympathetic to the over-all purpose of your video. We previously published a blog post about Typography and how the art form can be applied to videos.
Once the post-production process is complete, the video is ready to be exported. Your production company will know to take into consideration the delivery medium for your video. A video intended for web distribution will need to be compressed differently to a video on a DVD or Blu-Ray disk.
Post-production is a laborious process but with careful preparation and a disciplined workflow on the part of the production company it will run smoothly and your video will be ready on schedule. Now that you have the video it's time to make it work and help you generate more interest and customers. The final part of this series will address video marketing, delivery platforms and how best to use your video.