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Editors in an editing suite

Post-Production: What happens when shooting finishes?

Post-Production, known simply as ‘Post’, initially involves the Director and Editor working together to cut (assemble) the picture to get the best end result with the footage shot. This can take from six to 20 weeks. On average it is at least ten weeks before the Director is satisfied that the film is ready to show to producers and perhaps financiers. There may also be a test screening to see how a specially-invited audience responds to the film. Once the Producers and Director agree on a locked cut, i.e. the film cut locked, then the sound preparation begins.

Sound preparation starts with checking for clean dialogue, i.e. dialogue unaffected by other lines or outside noises, and may lead to some ADR (Additional Dialogue Replacement). A specialist effects editor starts work on creating sound effects for the film. Another editor starts to create and record foley: simple effects such as doors closing, footsteps, etc. Yet another editor works on selecting music for the soundtrack of the film.

Once all of these elements are ready the production goes into a mix of the sound elements. This results in a combined sound recording for the film which is then added to the picture. Whilst the sound elements are being worked on, the film itself is being cleaned, graded for lighting and have visual effects (VFX) added, along with tiles and end credits. The completed, combined film is then screened for checking.

Once it has been technically approved, the team creates all of the deliverables required for the film to be delivered to the distributors, and through them to the exhibitors of the film. The deliverables are the final elements sent out for theatrical distribution, TV distribution and DVD distribution. In addition, the deliverables include the elements which overseas distributors and exhibitors will use to create foreign versions in different languages with either a replacement soundtrack or sub-titles.

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Film Production: Behind the Scenes of Feature Filmmaking

Creative Skillset

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