Post – Production
Once you have finished filming everything, you begin the process of taking all that footage and turning it into something people will watch. You can’t just show all the footage and the post-production phase can mean taking dozens of hours of footage and compiling it down to just one hour, or even less sometimes. It is a long process but it is the last thing you have to do before you start distributing your video to the outside world. This is where you really turn your vision into a reality.
In many ways, post-production can be the longest period of time for the entire production. You may take 30 hours of footage, but it can take triple that to edit it all down. You don’t want to release anything that isn’t perfect, and perfection takes time.
What Is Involved In Post-Production?
This is essentially the part of the process in filmmaking where you do a number of things including, but certainly not limited to:
- Adding visual effects to the video to help spice it up and make it interesting to watch.
- Working with the sound to ensure that everything lines up perfectly.
- Taking B-roll and combining it with A-roll to create something interesting for viewers to watch.
- Editing and even recording the soundtrack.
- Some reshooting if it is needed.
The post-production phase can also include things like colour correction, music addition and much more. You are trying to create an atmosphere in the film, and that is something that you do within this phase.
One thing to always remember with post-production is that it is going to take a long time. Don’t rush it. Your video will be ready when it is ready and nothing needs to be pushed along faster than it needs to be.
There are several steps to post-production to consider.
- Pick how you are going to edit. Did you shoot on film and do you have to splice? Are you cutting it all up digitally? Does anything need to be scanned in an edited?
- Hiring a picture editor can help take what you created with the production, and turn it into something that is stunning in post-production. They are essentially the cinematographer of the last phase.
- A sound editor is also great, as they will make sure the sounds that are in the video line up with the action, and also add to what people are seeing.
- Securing the music for the video is usually done here. Always ensure you have the rights to any music you are putting into the video.
- Putting your titles in is done in the post-production phase and it involves captions, end credits, producer logos at the start, all of this.
The things you will have to do with your video in the post production phase will depend greatly on how large it is. A simple YouTube video can be filmed and done in a day. A large advertising campaign may take weeks, while a short film could take months to finish.
In post-production, because it is often the longest section of filmmaking, organization is key. You need to make sure everything is organized because as soon as you start missing things, your production is going to falter.
With post-production, do the following:
- Have a good file structure set up so that it is easy to find what you need based on where it is organized. You will organize your shots into A-roll and B-roll, and within each folder there will be more folders like “nature shots”, “talking heads”, etc. In each of those folders there will be more folders.
- Use a good naming convection. Don’t use 01110.mp4 that your camera may default to. Have each video named for its date and what is in it.
- Always back things up. Don’t leave anything to chance. Ensure your videos are backed up in case the worst happens.
- Add in metadata on your videos. This will make searching for something much easier for you, especially with hundreds or thousands of files to go through.
Digital Editing, Graphics and Animations
When you are editing digitally, it can be daunting to learn what you need to learn. The two best programs for editing are Premiere Pro from Adobe and Final Cut Pro. They are well worth the cost that you spend on them, and they can make things very simple for you.
A great tip is to watch some YouTube videos to learn how to use the programs. You should do this before you ever film, but as long as you learn, you will be fine. If you want to start adding in special effects, you can use Adobe After Effects, that is being used in many large productions in the United States.
These programs will make it easier for you to learn more about what you to do with your video. You will learn how to cut, how to line up sound and video, how to work with B-roll and how to put in the graphics that you want. They are also very user-friendly, which is good if you are new to the digital editing world.
Digital Editing and Graphics Tips
If you are worrying about doing the digital editing and graphics, you can hire a contractor to do it for you. The problem with this is that it will cost you extra and it can cost you a lot, but you are going to get good work done by the contractor. In addition, they will do it faster than you can if you are just learning how to use it.
If you are looking to create titles and animations, you can do so in the editing programs themselves, or you can use After Effects to get more bang for your buck. Many of the programs have default animations and titles that you can just place over the footage, making it very easy for you when you are putting everything together.
Before you ever start filming, play around with these programs and learn how to use them with test footage. It will make things go a lot faster when you are in the post-production phase.
Stock Footage and Sound
When you film something, you may not be able to get all the footage you need. If someone talks about how they always wanted to go into space, you aren’t going to be able to create footage of space for the B-roll. This is where stock footage comes in.
Stock footage is just footage that you put over B-roll, that you may not film, that shows what a person is talking about. It is a great way to break up a talking head interview.
First, don’t ever use footage that does not belong to you without paying for it. Not only is this illegal, but it is also a very rude thing to do.
Stock Footage Source
There are many places to get both free and fee-based stock footage. If you can, pay for stock footage because you will get much better footage for it. There are many places to go including:
- Stock.adobe.com: This has over 1 million 4K and HD videos and if you are already a subscriber you can get access to it. Works great with Premiere Pro and After Effects.
- FilmSupply.com: This website has footage from award-winning filmmakers and has thousands of videos for you to look through.
- Pond5.com: You can find over six million stock footage clips here. You can also find animations here to use for titles and transitions.
- iStockPhoto.com: Not only are there millions of photos here, you can also find vector graphics, stock audio and HD video clips.
If you are looking for excellent title animations, one of the best places to go is www.videoblocks.com, which is where you will find a great deal of animations that you can use for your video.
There are many places to get both free and fee-based sound effects and soundtracks. A simple search online will find you many options and most creators mostly want credit, rather than payment. You can go to www.pond5.com to find a great deal of stock audio and soundtracks that will work extremely well for you.