Transcript of 'Video 7 – Post-production case study with Genevieve Clay-Smith '


Hi, my name is Genevieve Clay-Smith and I am a writer, director, and producer. In this video, I'm going to be chatting to you about post-production.

Once you've shot everything you enter a phase called post-production. Post-production is best viewed as a workflow. It's important to follow a clear workflow, otherwise things can get really messy and really confusing.

The post-production workflow for a short film looks like this.

The footage is ingested by the editor and assembled on the timeline.

The editor goes through and selects best takes. These are called selects.

He or she then puts them on the timeline and this process is called the assembly.

To help your editor make these selects you should be keeping a log of best takes while you're shooting.

This is usually kept by the script supervisor on set who also looks out for continuity issues. After the assembly, the editor can then get into the first cut of the film which is called the rough cut.

Generally, this is where the editor starts massaging the assembly into the film, working out the timings, when to cut in cutaways, when to cut away from certain people, the rhythm, the timing, he or she puts in temporary music, includes sound effects to help the edits flow.

After the rough cut is done the director usually looks over it and gives feedback. From here, the editor and director might sit together and work on the edit, and this is generally my process.

I would also recommend that you start sending versions of the film to the composer and sound designer to get them started to work on those elements of the film.

We do generally three or four passes, so versions of the film until we get to the fine cut stage.

The fine cut is when you are close to the finish and it's when you should show other people to get their feedback. I generally show the producer of the film and 2 people who know nothing about the film at the fine cut stage.

And I think for you guys it would be your teacher and perhaps 2 other teachers or friends that have little idea of what the film is about. Get their feedback, specifically looking at the following.

Were there any points in the film that were confusing, or anything that didn't make sense? Feedback on this might help you cut scenes out, or cut lines out that don't work.

You might need to do some additional dialogue recording on lines that you can't hear well. Another thing you're going to want feedback on is any parts of the film that felt slow.

Feedback on this might help you decide to edit in a more fast pace.

Also, ask them what were their favourite parts, keep those bits in. Implement the feedback and polish off the film.

Then once you're happy with the cut you can lock off the film.

Once you lock off the edit, don't change the edit. This is a crucial decision that you're making and deciding to change things after you've locked off will have consequences that will make finishing the film very difficult.

So once the edit is locked off this is when you work on the sound design. The sound designer takes the films, score, dialogue, diegetic and non-diegetic sounds, cleans them up, designs the soundscapes, mixes them all together harmoniously, and boom, your film sounds amazing.

This is why you can't change the edit after lock off, because the workflow will be disrupted.

The sound designer needs to work to a finished edit. The final sound design files are then sent back to the editor for what is called the online edit.

This is the final step in the editing process where all the elements of the film come together.

The editor puts in the title cards, the credits, lays down the sound design, then they master the film.

Mastering the film means exporting it as a final film file. Then once you have your master file, you are done.

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Last updated: 21 November 2022