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IFH 014: Post Production Workflow – Understand it or DIE!

post production workflow, post production process, color grading, editorial, film editing, DaVinci resolve, post production supervisor, colorist, on-line editor

Post Production Workflow – Understand it or DIE!

I know I’m being a bit dramatic when I say…

“Understand Post Production Workflow or DIE!”

…but I’ve seen and been involved with sooooooo many independent films that just die in post-production because of one simple thing, they didn’t understand post-production workflow.

Post Production Workflow is not a black art that only a few understand, granted it is getting more and more complicated these days but you as an indie filmmaker can still understand the basics.

Post Production Nightmare

Example: If you have a RED Dragon your director of photography can bring to the party when you’re shooting your film great! Now what you need to ask yourself is what that “FREE” RED Dragon is going to cost you in post-production.

If you had a plan of editing your film on your laptop forget about it. The post-production workflow for the RED Dragon 6K is a beast and you would not be able to edit at home. You would then need to hire an editor who can handle that workflow and understands where his work is going to next, color grading.

This is fine if you budgeted for an editor but if you have no more money and you have all this amazing footage sitting on hard drives then you are screwed. I’ve worked on films with major movie stars in it that fell into this trap.

I’m not even going to bring up visual effects, that’s another conversation entirely. Take a listen to this episode. I hope it shines a light on this dark little corner of independent film that is understanding your post-production workflow.

Right-click here to download the MP3  (Transcription of the episode below)
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Transcription – Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode #14.
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  1. Gines Velazquez on October 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

    for red don´t you can use proxie footage with timecode? like in the old days?

    • Alex Ferrari on October 14, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      I wouldn’t. I never heard of it running smoothly.

  2. Vladimir Vasiljevic on October 16, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Hey, why should not you just transcode your footage to editing friendly DNxHD or ProRes? That way netbook would be ok for editing in decent quality HD materials.

    • Alex Ferrari on October 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Yes you definitely can but transcoding RED or RAW footage could take weeks depending on the horsepower you have in your computer.

      • Vladimir Vasiljevic on October 17, 2015 at 2:50 am

        If you have the power to use raw files you have the power to transcode also. And once transcoded system will me much faster. I usually transcode all shots immediately once they arrive from set. That way once the shooting is over your transcoding is over also. You just have to plan it in advance.

        • Alex Ferrari on October 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm

          That works too =)

        • DavidOShea on February 9, 2017 at 5:36 am

          Do you do noise reduction at this point also?

          • Vladimir Vasiljevic on February 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm

            Rarely, only for rally badly lit shots.

  3. Jim Henson on October 27, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Great stuff, Alex. It might be cool to come up with a flowchart or infographic of sample work production flows.

  4. Ted on November 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Most theaters are 2k not 4k. Movies are often mastered at 4k, then output to a 2k dcp.

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