DCP: What the HECK is a Digital Cinema Package?

In its simplest form, Digital Cinema Package or more commonly known as a DCP could be seen as the digital version of a 35mm film print. Its main advantage is that you can present it to theaters to enable them to project it via a digital projector. A digital cinema Package is recognized and accepted all over the world

The digital cinema package comes in a briefcase. The case is either yellow or orange in color. The package includes an instruction manual, a drive, a power brick, a power cord, and a USB cable. There are few steps involved in ingesting the file into the DCP server.

The first step is to open the case and confirm if all the accessories are complete. Each of the items above must be there. If it is not, you should find a replacement for the missing item as every one of them will be used.

When everything is complete, the second step is to make sure you have enough space. The size of the file is usually under either the DCP size label or the Content size label. The size of a show is usually between 750GB and 1TB. After checking and finding out that you have enough space you can move on to the next step.

The next step is to plug in your DCP to your server. Plug the power brick into an outlet through the power cord and plug the other end of it into your DCP drive. Then connect the drive to the server through the USB cord.

Since there are different servers, check the particular server manual that is specifically for your server. Go through the instruction on how to ingest film.

The final step is to ingest the content of the drive into the DCP server. This could take between 20 minutes and 2 hours depending on the length of the show. There is a little precaution here. It is advisable to do other things and come back later but you should be coming back to check if there is any problem every 20 minutes.

You don’t want to come back after 2 hours to find out the ingestion stopped after 20 minutes. Do you? Having given a brief introduction to the digital cinema package and outlined the steps involved in ingesting it, the discussion should shift to the more technical aspect of the package.

The main reason for the popularity of this technology is that D-cinema theaters can play it all over the world. So you can move about with your movie and show it anywhere in the world. You just need to negotiate with the D-Cinema theaters in the city in which you want to show it.

The DCP is made of several types of media files like audio, video and even subtitles. It also comes with instructions on how to play them. A lot of studios deliver their films to local theaters through this form.

Some people believe that the DCP has come to replace the traditional 35mm film print. Yes, they are right. This is because DCP has several advantages over the traditional 35mm film print.

Unfortunately, 35mm film print is dead. The movie and theater industry killed it. It vanished gradually. Many theaters no longer have 35mm equipment so even if you produce your movie with it, you won’t be able to show it.

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In fact, all new theaters are digital-only. The disappearance of 35mm film print began between 2010 and 2011 when the DCP emerged. Well, you won’t blame filmmakers when you realize the huge difference in the cost of making 35mm and DCP.

In fact, it costs about 90 percent less to use DCP technology.

Look at the cost. Then, if you shoot on videotape, you would have to transfer it to 35mm film print and the transfer process is known as “Filmout”. This will cost at least $40,000. That is not all.

You still need to make a print of the film and send it to each of the theaters where you intend to show it. This costs about $1,500 for each of them. If you are sending the movie to 4000 screens, it will cost about $6 million.

With the emergence of the digital cinema package, all you have to do is to send movies to hard drives and the hard drives can be reused hundreds of times. So, the whole cost has virtually disappeared.

Thinking that the quality of the movie may be less? Don’t even go there. Believe it or not, the quality of both of them are the same. With such a huge difference in cost, why won’t the shift from 35mm to DCP be very fast? $6 million is a large sum in whatever terms you want to put it.

That is not all. There is another huge advantage that DCP has over 35mm. 35mm is subject to wear and tear. Its value reduces with each screening. You can’t compare the first screening to the 100th one. 35mm can be broken or scratched. DCP is not like that. it is in digital form so it does not wear out.

The quality of the first screening is just the same as the quality of the 10,000th screening. Considering the two big and irresistible advantages DCP has over 35mm, why won’t 35mm technology die a quick and natural death?

Now, at this stage, the next question on people’s minds will be

“What do DCPs cost to make?”

A feature-length DCP usually costs between $1000 and $3000. The variance in cost depends on the runtime of the film and special options such as editing, encryption, 3D, 4K just to mention a few.

This cost covers all the steps in the production like quality control, mastering and even the production of master DCP hard drive. You may also need additional copies. Additional copies will cost you about $160 to $350. It depends on whether you prefer a CRU or USB drives.

While the typical turnaround time for the production of a DCP is 7 business days, it can be done in about 2-5 days but you have to pay for express service. It is better to plan ahead and leave enough time to avoid express service. If you give the lab enough time, there will be a correction of many mistakes like glitches in any of the files.

However, some labs do not render express service. They will tell you how early they can finish at no extra cost.

You either take it or leave it. It is worthy of note that different labs offer different charges. So, for the purpose of comparison, you should know all that should be included in your quote.

Mastering

This is the process of converting audio and video files into the format that D-cinema systems will recognize.

Quality Control

Quality check is as crucial as mastering. There are so many kinds of mistakes that can occur at this stage. It could be sync problems, dropouts or even glitches just to mention a few. The film will be watched on big 30-foot screens so every little error becomes overly conspicuous on the screens.

According to Murphy’s Law, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. So, experienced technicians will make all the corrections. To avoid embarrassing surprises you should ensure that a thorough quality check is done on your project.

Transfer to either CRU or USB drive

This is the process of converting the mastered files to an EXT 2/3 formatted Linux hard drive. Depending on your preference, the drive could be a standard portable USB drive or a professional DX115 drive carrier, called a CRU.

Both of them will deliver the same quality film. The only difference lies in their costs. USB drives are much cheaper than CRUs. However, a few theaters may demand only a CRU.

Turnaround time

The quote should include guaranteed turnaround time. If the turnaround time will be too late for you, you can specify what you want and the quote will be adjusted. It is very important to bear in mind that the quicker the turnaround time, the higher your charges will be.

Since last minute changes occur all the time, you can’t be too sure that you won’t edit a couple of scenes later. While a lot of labs charge a full encoding fee to re-encode, a few charge a discounted rate.

It is even better to use this as one of the criteria to select your lab. That means you should go for a lab that offers a discounted rate to re-encode your movie.

There are several factors that should determine the frame rates of your DCP. If you want a DCP that is compatible with all kinds of D-cinema systems, you should shot and edit at 24p. Then you make 24 frames per second (fps) DCP. If your main aim is winning an Academy Award, it is compulsory to make a 24fps DCP.

24fps is also the best if you intend to sell the movie to foreign buyers. This is because most of them will demand a 24fps. 24fps seems to be the established standard all over the world.

Otherwise, you can go for DCPs that runs at 48, 30 or 25 frames per second. It is also good to note that DCPs play in whole figure frame rates. If your video runs at 29.9fps it will be converted to 30fps for theaters

You can make a DCP yourself but there are a few things to consider. You can get free DCP software like Google DCP software but many of them are poorly tested. Most of them are not reliable. Quality is not cheap. If you want the best, go for the expensive ones.

If you want the best, go for the expensive ones. The cost to make a professional DCP is normally between $1,000 on the low end to over $8,000 (never pay this) on the “really” high end but we found that many company’s can do it for between $500-$1000.

Some of the reliable software packages are Clipster, QubeMaster Pro, and Davinci Resolve though I would stay away from EasyDCP. EasyDCP is infamous for not working correctly in theatrical projections. If you want to make real money with it, you have to invest in the expensive DCP software. Most importantly, you need a real theater to test your job.

The best MAC or PC can only simulate a theater, they can never be like the real theater. This should not be a problem because some theaters will allow you to test your DCP for free if it is a documentary or if you run a non-profit organization.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accept DCPs for Academy Awards but the DCPs must meet certain specifications. To boost the success rate of your film, you should consider the tips outlined below.

Helpful tips

Do thorough research and ask as many questions as possible. Post-production can be easy and smooth and it can be tough. It all depends on your choices. Once you start on the wrong foot, it will be a difficult journey all through.

But if you get it right from the beginning, you will smile all through. This is why you need the contribution of experts.

To be on the safe side, shoot and edit in 23.976fps that can easily be converted to 24fps during mastering. This is because it is the standard. The Academy, as well as distributors, will only accept 24fps.

Never make the mistake if shooting in 30p. You will most likely regret it except if you thrive on complications.

Poor sound quality mars a film much more than poor picture quality. So, you should take the time with sound. It pays so much to invest in an experienced sound designer. When it comes to DCPs, there are no shortcuts.

If you want quality, you have to start and end with quality materials and then you also need the assistance of professionals.

If you really want to go into it, it is advisable to take a proper course on it. You will be well prepared for it. You should also give your lab enough time. If you want to express service, you will get it but it can’t be compared to the service they took enough time to deliver.

IFH 235: How to Become an Editor in Hollywood with Lawrence Jordan

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Today on the show we have film editor Lawrence JordanLawrence is a veteran feature film and television editor who has worked with many of the top creatives at the world’s largest entertainment companies, including Time Warner, Sony, Fox, MGM, HBO, Netflix, and Disney. He has supervised creative aspects of the post-production process on over 45 feature films and television shows with budgets ranging from 1 million to upwards of 80 million dollars. He recently completed his latest feature film, “Naked” starring Marlon Wayans and Regina Hall for Netflix.

With a passion for technology, Lawrence was fortunate to have the opportunity to be one of the earliest adopters of digital, non-linear, editing workflows. Along the way, he became an adjunct professor at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Studies, and created and taught courses on non-linear editing at UCLA. He has also been a consultant and speaker for companies such as Apple, Adobe, and Avid Technology. Jordan has also written articles for periodicals including American Cinematographer, Editors Guild Magazine, DV, and MacWorld.

Jordan also created 2-pop.com, an Internet community dedicated to providing information about Apple’s revolutionary new post-production software, Final Cut Pro. 2-pop quickly became the premier web destination for the rapidly growing digital video marketplace and was a catalyst for FCP user group communities worldwide. It was later acquired by Creative Planet. 

We jump into the “editing” weeds and discuss the craft, the business and the politics of being a Hollywood editor. Enjoy my conversation with Lawrence Jordan ACE.

Alex Ferrari 0:04
Now today on the show. We have Lawrence Jordan, who is a film editor with over three decades of experience and has worked on some amazing films like fallen with Denzel Washington. One of my favorite films from the 90s assassins Deuce bigalow, male gigolo, CSI Miami as well as a new Netflix film, naked starring Marlon Wayans, Lawrence and I sit down and really dig into the craft of editing. Well, how he started in his career, how he works with directors, some unique stories from the Edit room, and just talk shop. So without any further ado, here is my conversation with Lawrence Jordan. I'd like and welcome to the show, Lawrence Jordan. Thank you, man so much for being on the show.

Lawrence Jordan 2:39
My pleasure, Alex, great to be here.

Alex Ferrari 2:41
I've had only a couple editors on but I've never had an editor with your street cred on before. So I'm really excited to to kind of dig in to to your career and and do your techniques as well.

Lawrence Jordan 2:54
Oh, well. Thank you. I'm flattered. Yeah, you you got to get some more editors where, you know, that's where all the actions happen.

Alex Ferrari 3:00
Well, listen, my audience the tribe is definitely heard enough about post. I mean, one of my most successful podcasts ever is post production workflow, understand it or die. Good title, man. Yeah, absolutely. That was my story. That'd be right. If he just did just don't get post production workflow, and it will kill you. And nowadays, I mean, back in the day when you know, when you were when when I was starting out, it was avid and that was pretty much it. I mean, there's now we're gonna get a little geeky guys, and there was media 100 there was the video cube. Oh, yeah, you want to go even farther back the montage which is what I first learned on Wow, oh, yeah.

Lawrence Jordan 3:39
That that's you are, you know, well, you know, I was gonna I was gonna say, you're a much younger man than I because I started on 35 millimeter film. So I

Alex Ferrari 3:48
I when I went to I went I went I went to college, he taught me on the montage, which was just working on Windows 311.

Lawrence Jordan 3:54
That is amazing, man. Because, you know, actually, the first avid show that I ever did was, we started out on the montage, the editor that I was working with a guy named Steve Cohen, who's a terrific editor, and very into technology, you know, kind of turned me on to the montage picture processor, the digital version, you know, because they had like a beta cam version,

Alex Ferrari 4:16
Right! This is Yeah, this is the whole digital Yeah, with that with eight with eight gigs being like the size of a refrigerator and start with me, I mean, stories about about about storage, and then you get in you put the floppy in. Yeah. And then you take it over to the CMS 3600 and it would never work. Cluj to say, exactly, but when I actually when they actually took me to cut film, in college, they taught nonlinear editing first, then everything was online, nonlinear and then film while I went to film I was like, This is barbaric. Is this you? You cut with a razor blade and if you like it, you put tape on it. What are we the Flintstones? This is just crazy talk. And we all did I did the same, the same bit from was it Gunsmoke?

Lawrence Jordan 5:05
Oh, yeah, of course, the training material, everyone the Hollywood of a certain age cut, learned on Gunsmoke.

Alex Ferrari 5:13
You work and you count on that guys. And I was just I was literally baffled, like I'm holding, I'm like, and you hold the tapes, and you put them in this bin, like, it just blew my mind. It really did. But, but it's something that I think if anyone ever gets a chance out there, if you're listening gets a chance to actually edit a small little bit on film. It is a wonderful text, like the feeling the smell, it is wonderful. But on a practical standpoint, because of the speed that we cut today. It's just such a, it's just different.

Lawrence Jordan 5:40
Yeah, it was a different it was a different rhythm and a different process. But like you say, you know, a lot of fun memories of that method. But, you know, after I had been cutting for a while, on the avid, I was trying to do something on this product called radius edit, which I was helping. I remember that one. Yeah. And I was trying to do a feature on it, and it just just wasn't ready for primetime. So I told the guys who I kind of sold the whole idea to, like, you know, this isn't working, you know, we got to go in is all well, okay, well, let's just do it on film. And so I went back to film after having cut on the avid for like, you know, five years, and I was like, This ain't gonna work. I'm not gonna put myself through this. And finally, we ended up doing it on the avid. So everything worked out. Yeah, going back to film after digital, it's, it's, it's a different experience

Alex Ferrari 6:37
Without question. So So again, I apologize to the tribe. We just gone off on a tangent because this is going to happen when you get to editors in a room. This is we're going to start start talking geek, so please, bear with us, but there'll be some good stuff, I promise. So. So how did you get into the business in the first place, Larry?

Lawrence Jordan 6:54
Well, you know, I was lucky. I was born into a filmmaking family or as sort of like a technical film person family. My grandfather was a projectionist. Back in the day. He actually started when he was a kid crank in the Nickelodeon's in Times Square. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And then he went on to be a sound and projection engineer at CBS News. Worked on 60 minutes with, with all the legends and Sure, yeah, so and then, you know, he, you know, he kind of got my dad into it. And my, my dad kind of looked around, and he said, you know, editing seems like a really interesting thing. And, and he became an editor and, you know, kind of got a job as a runner, you know, typical, and built this company back in New York, that was one of the first sort of like, high end post production companies for the commercial business. And, you know, he had all these huge accounts, like TWA and Clairol, and, you know, did a lot of famous commercials that I remember, as a kid, you're probably too young.

Alex Ferrari 7:52
I remember them. But But I do remember the pricing of those those post houses back in the day, like $1,000 an hour or something?

Lawrence Jordan 7:59
Oh, yeah, it was like the money was flowing back in it was sweet. He had he had a, like, 40 editors working for his time. And he was a real pioneer, you know, because, you know, my father had kind of like this technical side. Also, he's a very creative guy, but he was also an entrepreneur. And I mean, he created five companies out of out of that, you know, editing situation had 40 editors working for him. And so a lot of like, these big editors, that eventually that kind of transitioned into features, because with all due respect to commercials, they're very creative and stuff, but a lot of people certainly at that time, you know, they wanted to make movies, they wanted to make films, you know, also, so

Alex Ferrari 8:41
You're preaching to the choir. I started out in commercials as well, it's Yeah. I haven't watched a commercial in 20 years. You know, I you know, fast forward only fast forward.

Lawrence Jordan 8:51
Exactly. But DVR is my best friend. But, um, so a lot of these like guys who, you know, came out of my dad shop like Craig Mackay and Richie marks and Barry Malkin. I mean, those guys worked for, you know, written, you know, Richie worked for, you know, Jim Brooks and Francis koppla. So did you know, Barry and, and Craig did all of Jonathan Demi's films and things like that. So, you know, like these guys, you know, sort of, like, we're just part of my life and filmmaking was such a part of my life. So like, as soon as I had the opportunity, I just said, you know, that's what I want to do. I want to I want to make movies. And after a bopping around for a few years, you know, I was very young and I kind of like wanted a toy I was toying with cinematography for a while, but after a few years, you know, I just said, Hey, I'd really like to do this and I and I went to work went to work for my dad, you know, back as a as a runner, you know, as a driver schlepping dropping off cans of films at the studios and stuff like that. And, you know, and eventually just worked my way up, got into the union and got a job as an apprentice editor. And really, you know, it was a lot of starting at the bottom and I was an assistant in features on a 35 millimeter film for 10 years. Almost 10 years, about eight years, and I, you know, it was just, you know, it was tough coming up and it was slow. It's not like it is today can be much quicker, but it was great training ground, and you really got to work and see the process. And, you know, that was, you know, the best education I could have had, I believe, to become, to become a film editor,

Alex Ferrari 10:22
I feel I feel that a lot of the new generation coming up, they will never be able to get that they're never going to be able to get that 10 years of just grinding and watching and really honing the craft. Which I mean, I did I did that myself coming up. And it was, I loved it. I mean, yes, would have loved to have it faster. Yes. And then that world that worlds gone. It's Yes, not the same anymore. But it is, there's something to be said with the apprenticeship, there's something to be said to be, you know, to do it old school and take your time, because you really understand the process of whatever you're, you're doing.

Lawrence Jordan 11:01
I mean, you know, when, when you're when you're working on a cut, and you're looking at a scene that an editor has put together, you know, like in a first cut, and you know, it's, especially back on film, you could stop and talk about it and ask questions.

Alex Ferrari 11:16
Every cut was a discussion.

Lawrence Jordan 11:17
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, you could kind of get real insight, you know, about, like, where they were coming from with it. And then of course, with the assembly, and then starting to see changes. I mean, there was, you know, I think that with digital technology, as wonderful as it is, and I love it, you know, we're siloed to a certain extent, you know, the the assistant is in his or her room, and they're really kind of focused on managing all the data, and, you know, and so forth. And the editor is also kind of like cloistered in there, you know, doing their cut during production. And then of course, when the director comes in, they're huddled in there. And there's not that kind of like, you know, that that period of time where, you know, it used to take a while to make a splice and tape the splice. And, you know, the, the director would be on the phone for, you know, 10 minutes, because it took time to just do the Edit now, like, the director never has time to go on the phone, and actually have to take a break, and then they go outside and talk on their cell phone. But yeah, it's it's sort of a, it's a different rhythm. But having said that, Alex, I encourage, you know, I come from that world. And I and I really believe in handing down the craft to my insistence because I believe that's how it's, you know, best sort of passed on. And I, you know, I love giving an assistant, a scene to cut and seeing what they can do. I know that that's, you know, for the most part, if they show any inclination that they want to cut themselves and not be a lifetime assistant, which some people do, and that's fine also. But you know, most people want to be editors, and you know, you give them a scene, and then it's an education for me, because you get to see what they bring to the material. And so I encourage it, and I try to give my assistance as much as possible, you know, within reason. And then of course, you know, there's these other elements in digital that assistance get to use a lot of their creative, you know, abilities. Like for example, when I'm in when I'm doing my first cut, a lot of times, I'll just turn my, my, my cut over to my assistant, and I'll say, Hey, could you lay some sound into this, you know, give me some sort of foundation, just to fill it out? You know, because there's such a high expectation when you show the first cut, you know, that you're that you're showing the complete cut. It's not like the old days, where you used to show a first cut with no sound on film, you know, right. I mean, the the dialogue, but not a lot else. I mean, it just couldn't do it, you know, the cams could only play two tracks and even you know, the two headed move viola, which would play two tracks, but now it's like, you know, guys are cutting in 7.1 and 5.1. And these mixes are completely filled out. So the assistant really, you know, in, in my situation, you know, can flex their creative muscles and sort of get their feet wet just with sound. And that's a great foundation for cutting because, you know, sound is 50% of the deal. I think a lot of people you know, sort of ascribe to that, and I'm certainly one of them.

Alex Ferrari 14:17
Now, you you started off as a sound editor, right?

Lawrence Jordan 14:20
No, no, well, yes, actually, I wasn't a sound editor. But some of my earliest stuff was I was an apprentice in sound I was lucky enough to work for under DT Allen on a on a feature that she was doing. And

Alex Ferrari 14:34
Did you did you work on Back to the Future?

Lawrence Jordan 14:36
I did. I was Chuck Campbell's assistant editor on on back of the future and a bunch of other films.

Alex Ferrari 14:42
Now when you work it back to the future. Did you even feed it? What did you How was that? Um, it was just another gig. Did you sit? Did you sense anything that this was gonna be a special movie? I'm a huge batch of future fan. I'm just asking.

Lawrence Jordan 14:54
No, go ahead. I mean, it was an exciting place to work. It was a company called real sound and Charles Campbell. Who was, you know, like a legend? Was was the owner with with a couple of other guys, Lou Adelman and Rick Franklin, I think at the time anyway, Chuck had what Chuck essentially was Steven Spielberg's sound guy at the time, he had cut this won an Academy Award for 80. And, you know, he was sort of, like, top of the, you know, top of the, yeah, top of the food chain in, in, in sound editorial, and I was lucky enough to get get a gig for him. I just like taking a break and gone traveling in Europe for four months. And I had come back and I was just looking for a gig, you know, cuz I needed money. And I met with these guys. And they hired me to like, you know, the stuff that I had done in picture. And, yeah, it was a thrill to, you know, when Chuck came to me and said, we're going to do Back to the Future for Bob Zemeckis and amblin. And, you know, from the first time we saw the film, which was over at the amblin, screening room at Universal, it was a black and white copy of the movie. There were no visual effects in it. And, um, but we watched the movie, and we just all knew, wow, this was going to be something that people are just gonna, like, lose their shit over because it was just, it was a great movie. You know, it was just, it was a blast.

Alex Ferrari 16:18
Did you did you? Well, you did. I'm assuming you worked on the first part when they shot everything with Eric Stoltz.

Lawrence Jordan 16:25
By then, all right. No, by the time we came on, that had all been reshot.

Alex Ferrari 16:29
Okay, so you came on with Michael J.

Lawrence Jordan 16:31
Yeah, we didn't we didn't really even see any of this stuff with with Eric. Yeah, it was all Michael J. Fox. And you know, and he, he was just so good.

Alex Ferrari 16:40
Oh, my God. It's performance is legendary.

Lawrence Jordan 16:44
Yeah. Yeah. So we were really excited. And you know, it was a pretty, it was a pretty fast schedule. I remember, we actually, you know, once we had completed all the cutting, we were mixing on two stages and 12 hour shifts.

Alex Ferrari 16:57
Yeah, because they lost like six weeks of shooting that they had to go back on.

Lawrence Jordan 17:02
Exactly, exactly. So, so we were mixing on, you know, from like, you know, from nine to you know, whatever, to 12. And then from 12 to nine,

Alex Ferrari 17:11
It was 24 hour shifts.

Lawrence Jordan 17:13
Yeah, it was crazy. Yeah, I just remembered the screening for the previous screening and the wrap party and, and then the weekend it came out, man, it was, it was as good as it gets in the movie business. And I was just the assistant sound editor, you know, right. But then Chuck went ahead and he actually him and Bob Rutledge, the guy who worked with him won the Academy Award for that movie for sound

Alex Ferrari 17:35
As they should, that's an amazing, it was amazing job they did. Now, how did you jump from Sound Editing to I'm assuming assistant editing and then you jumped into feature editing?

Lawrence Jordan 17:45
Well, you know, I always wanted to be a picture editor. You know, I kind of you know, I have, like I told you my background is with people who were picture editors. And, um, you know, so So after I had done a bunch of sound assisting, I kinda like was looking around and I just started cold calling. That's what you know, you did. That's what I did in the old days. And, you know, I would look through through the, through the Hollywood Reporter used to list things on Tuesdays of like films that are starting now of course you can do

Alex Ferrari 18:15
You mean, you mean on the internet? Right? No. joking. paper on Tuesdays, it would come out films in films in the future. Yeah, I remember that. I remember that. Yeah. So you look for jobs.

Lawrence Jordan 18:26
Yeah. And I and I, and I was able to track down another legendary editor who I got very lucky with. Lindsay clingman. And she was starting a film called baby boom with Diane Keaton. Oh,

Alex Ferrari 18:41
Yeah, that's 85

Lawrence Jordan 18:43
Yeah. 80 Yeah. 86. Yes. And Charles Shire and Nancy Meyers. Were making that film. Chuck was directing it and Nancy and him wrote it and produced it. And Lynne, you know, she invited me over to her house and we had a conversation and we talked about filmmaking and my background and her background, and we hit it off. She, you know, she liked me and, and I got the job as a first assistant on that picture. And I just, you know, really, like was over the moon. I was so thrilled to be on what at that time was, you know, I thought it was a pretty, no good prestigious picture. I mean, it's certainly not

Alex Ferrari 19:21
Studio film. It was a studio from it was a big hit, too.

Lawrence Jordan 19:24
It was it was a really nice film. Sam Shepard was in it. And, and it was a lot of fun. And you know what, back in those days, I can't remember how long it was Alex, but we had over 100 days of shooting I think something I mean, it was for MGM UA at that time. Yeah.

You know, it was just a different environment for filmmakers and and budgets, and they weren't making that many films. And you know, and Charles and Nancy had done private Benjamin. So they

Alex Ferrari 19:56
Huge hit, that was another issue. So they had a certain amount of clout. We're looking at budgets back then. So people understand who's listening. I mean, the budget for baby boomers must have been like 10 million bucks. 12 million bucks. Yeah. If it was 15 I would be surprised. Right? It was it was not like, that's when studios were doing movies like that. Yeah, they would get 20 of those a year as opposed to just three $200 million movies a year now.

Lawrence Jordan 20:19
Exactly. Yeah, it was a different world. And they were, you know, there was a different market. And, and it was a blast, you know, the film was was just awesome to work on Charles and ancy. were, you know, there's such creative and there were a lot of fun. You know, in their own kind of crazy writer, director, producer ways. And, you know, I was young and I had a lot of energy. So I could work, you know, 1415 hours a day, and it wasn't a problem.

Alex Ferrari 20:47
Remember those days? Yeah.

Lawrence Jordan 20:48
Yeah. And again, that was a great experience. And then I went to do another film with with Lindsey little man Tate.

Alex Ferrari 20:57
That was a Jodie Foster his first directorial. Exactly. And, and, and the reason I know all this stuff is because this is the this is the sweet spot of the time, I worked at a video store. So I worked. I worked in a video store from 80. From 87. to like, 90 to 93. Yeah, so anything in that time period, I'm gonna know a lot of

Lawrence Jordan 21:19
Like, prime of my career, man, this is fantastic. Yeah, you know, so we did we did that together. And, and let me ask you something, you know, working with Jody was just no,

Alex Ferrari 21:32
I can imagine. I mean, that was her first. That was it was a great little movie. I remember watching it and and she's a great director. I think she doesn't get enough credit for it. But she is a really good director.

Lawrence Jordan 21:42
Yeah, she she actually directed a bunch of episodes, or at least a few of House of Cards, which, you know, I thought was, was kind of cool. And, you know, obviously, she's gone on to do a bunch of really interesting work. So

Alex Ferrari 21:52
She's, she's amazing. She's an amazing artist in general. Now, how do you how do you start editing a feature film? What is your process? When you, you literally first day, you've got all the raw footage, it's all been organized for you? How do you start? What's your process of tackling the story tackling the project?

Lawrence Jordan 22:12
Well, after I get over my initial anxiety attack,

Alex Ferrari 22:16
It is a daunting mountain you have to climb.

Lawrence Jordan 22:19
You know that that's, you know, something that I was lucky to get from my dad, I was just like, oh my god, how do you cut an entire film? You know, and it's like that old thing? How do you eat an elephant? You know, it's one bite at a time. And that, that, that, you know, if I could pass anything on to young editors, that's really sort of like the fundamental truth. It's one cut at a time once at a time. And I'm, you know, and I'm sort of a nonlinear thinker. I'm an audio visual learner, I was never a great student in school. You know, if anything English and you know, literature, were my strengths.

Alex Ferrari 22:57
Yep. Guys, like, yeah, we're both in the same boat,

Lawrence Jordan 23:00
Let's say pod. Not real strong in math, unfortunately. You know, so, yeah, my mind works in a very nonlinear way. And that's why when I saw the avid, I kind of like, knew this was going to be my future. And, you know, a lot of times, what I'll do is I'll just start looking at the material. And I'll just start pulling stuff that looks good to me, that if it's comedy, I post stuff that makes me laugh. If it's, you know, drama, I'll I'll try to, you know, pull stuff that moves me. But I'll just start pulling, selects,

Alex Ferrari 23:33
But you don't, but you don't go in order.

Lawrence Jordan 23:35
Some Yeah. I mean, this is something that I learned from Lindsay, you know, because, you know, she would like just start in the middle of a scene, she would say, Oh, you know, that that line is great. That's a great performance, that's a great reading. And she would just start cutting there. And I was just like, Wow, that's so cool. You don't even have to start at the beginning, you know, you can just you can start at the end. So yeah, I'll just start pulling stuff. And then you know, it's, it's that puzzle, it's like taking that select reel and organizing it into some sort of, you know, fashion. And then, you know, during the process, I might go through and start cutting intercutting dialogue, you know, not just pulling, you know, it'll be so my first sort of select reel, you know, to describe it best would be just sort of like this big mishmash of stuff that I liked. And then I go and I read through it, and I wait it out, and I try to make things work because invariably, you'll be pulling things that won't necessarily work together and there will be a part of a reading that you'll want to replace because it wasn't so great, but everything else was great from that reading. So, um, you know, it's, it's this incredibly, you know, just talking about it with you really gives me a sort of a sense of, you know, joy and fulfillment because that's really the fulfilling part of it. I would imagine it's something like when a sculptor is sculpting something out of a piece of marble You're just finding this, you know, beautiful object in there, or, you know, making it as beautiful as you can, you know, sculptor has a little bit more latitude. I mean, we are given a palette to work off of from the director, but, you know, it's finding those gems and, and sort of shaping them. And then of course, you get into the sort of, like the fine tuning and the tightening, and what I call trying to sing, you know, trying to make it really fly and make it a real scene. And that process is, is, you know, that's kind of like my process on every scene in the movie. And then, you know, you just go and assemble all those scenes. And then for you know, you got a movie,

Alex Ferrari 25:40
You know, it's it's funny that it's true, what they say the movie is written three times, in script form, in production, and in post, absolutely, every, those are different versions. And, you know, editing as long as I have as well as you I'm sure is that you know, you do find the movie, the movie kind of pops itself out at you, when you're when you're editing because, sure you have the script. Sure you have you know, scenes. But that's, that's very broad, you got to go in there and start chiseling out those little moments those little looks, that right timing, that's not on the paper. That's what the editor brings.

Lawrence Jordan 26:18
Right? Well, and that's also what the director and the actors bring, you know, of course, but but their cinematographer. But but like you're saying, you you're reading the script, and a lot of times as an editor, you'll look at the line script to see what kind of coverage you've got. And, you know, you'll read through the script before you start cutting it, I do at least you know, I look at the scene, what support what was the intention here, and quite often, you'll look at the film, and you'll go, Whoa, holy shit, you know, this is totally different, you know what I mean? And that's just, that's just the process, you know, so much happens on set, you know, improv and spontaneity and director brings new ideas. And, you know, quite often it's, it's much different than what's on the page. And, you know, that's another one of the exciting parts about the whole thing.

Alex Ferrari 27:08
I was watching the Ron Howard masterclass the other day, and the way he should, he's, he's an absolute technician. I mean, there's just as far as craft is concerned, you watch him actually direct scenes for like, two hours. Nice. It's amazing. But what I was fascinated with in regards to editing is that he is giving the editor, everything he or she needs to cut the scene and have so many options. And in order to do and that's what I think a professional director does, yeah, it just gives you those options, because you just never know, what's going to work and what's not going to work and a lot of times,

Lawrence Jordan 27:46
Yeah, I mean, when you work with a director of that, you know, that level of craftsmanship, you, you know, it's a joy, because they know all the pieces and you know, you hear about people talk about, you know, like, they see the film in their head, you know, as they're shooting it, they're seeing it play in their head, they're seeing all the cutaways and things like that. And then when you get that, you know, as an editor, because when you read the script, quite often, you'll sort of see it in your head also. And when you get that material, you're just like, Ah, thank God, you know. And, yeah, you know, it's interesting that you say that, you know, he sort of very technically oriented, you know, all of our crafts have so much of a technical aspect to them, it is a craft of technology, I mean, think about, you know, the earliest movies, they were these machines, and you need to know how those machines work and how to utilize them and how to how to harness the power of them. And that goes from everything from from, you know, now, I mean, even pre realization and 3d and stuff like that, to editing and, you know, some people poopoo the technical aspects of editing, and, you know, that's a shame. And, you know, you're really, like, some people have said that the art is derived from the craft, and, you know, you need to know how to use your tools to to, you know, really have have power over them.

Alex Ferrari 29:10
No, no, no question at all. Now, can you do me Do me a favor? And can you explain to the, to the tribe, what's an assemble cut? versus a locked cut?

Lawrence Jordan 29:20
Oh, wow. Well, you know, that's, that's a long journey. You know, I've worked on films where the first cut was five and a half hours long. So that wouldn't be the assemble cut, that would be the first assembly or the director's cut. And, you know, not to seem touchy or anything like that, because I really don't, you know, I'm not hung up about this. But, you know, it's really not an assembly I mean, maybe back in the old days of film, it was an assembly when they used to use paper clips to put it together and then they would have to be heights hotspots, I mean, with the with the with digital tools with the avid, you know, or really any any nonlinear editor. You can really refine your cut in the assembly, however, you're still assembling everything they shot. And sometimes, you know, you'll have 150 page script not as much anymore, but you know, you'll have 120 page script that will just run much longer than, you know, anticipated. And, you know, especially with the kind of things that I've been doing most recently, improv comedy, you know, you'll have improv that will just sort of like, go off the rails and just, you know, extend the cut. So, you know, improvise scenes, alternate scenes, things like that. Now, you have to show the director, everything they shot, at least I believe that you will show the director everything they shot, when you present your your first cut. So the journey is taking that first cut from what could be anywhere from, you know, two and a half to five and a half hours or longer, and bringing it down to whatever the, you know, appropriate running length of the film will, you know, ultimately be and you know, a lot of times the rule in comedy is, you know, comedy shouldn't be longer than 90 minutes. It's not always the case, but a lot of you know, I've worked for directors, you know, I'm not releasing this film for, you know, any longer than 90 minutes and like, a will our first cut is three hours, what are we going to cut

Alex Ferrari 31:25
Out of jokes ago, and

Lawrence Jordan 31:27
Yeah, exactly. And, and a lot of crap will go, you know, that just thought was funny, maybe and, you know, was funny in dailies, but you know, just isn't working isn't working in terms of the story. So it's, it's that process of of taking the film from its original, you know, assembly and, and bringing it down to the final length, the tested length, usually you will have several previews. And sometimes they'll be in a theater with random people. And other times, it'll just be, you know, friends and family, you know, 10 people in a room. And it's that process of refining. And obviously, now with visual effects, it's, you know, creating and finally, the visual effects, music music with the composer, and, of course, all the, you know, the the source cues now, and, of course, sound effects and building out a, you know, an awesome sound soundtrack. So that's kind of like, you know, where you start. And that's why they give directors 10 weeks as per the Directors Guild contract to put together their cut. And then of course, the producers come in, and they pitch their notes and give us their ideas. And then of course, the studio

Alex Ferrari 32:35
Executives, of course,

Lawrence Jordan 32:36
Yeah. And they pitch their notes and give us their ideas. And, and so it's this, you know, it's this journey from, you know, camera to, to now it's called a DCP. That the digital release

Alex Ferrari 32:50
Digital cinema package.

Lawrence Jordan 32:51
Yeah, exactly what you see in the theaters. So, you know, it's, it's like being part of a traveling circus, what can I tell you?

Alex Ferrari 32:59
Now, this is something I always love asking editors, because it's something that we've all have to deal with in a room with clients. Are there any tricks to handling creative differences between directors, producers, executives in the suite? While you're there, because I've had I've had produced I've had actual clients, throw fists in my room with each other. And I'm, and you're just the editor, you're just sitting there, like, I just and you're, you're trying to appease both masters. So you're basically Switzerland, you're like, you know, like Alex shown that cut, and I show him the cut. Now, on the other side, you're like Switzerland? So what do you do any any tips for those young editors out there? When they have that client, I'm not talking about create a difference between you as the editor and the director that shouldn't happen. But between to a director, producer or executives in the room?

Lawrence Jordan 33:51
Well, I think my essential lesson or advice would be stay out of the line of fire.

Alex Ferrari 33:57
Right, because there's a lot of that

Lawrence Jordan 33:59
Dodge the bullets as best as possible, hide behind your avatar, if possible. No, I mean, you know, it's a, it's, it's part of the it's part of the job, and it's certainly a skill set that you're going to need to develop and get better at, as, as you get, you know, further on in your career. You know, obviously, you worked for the director, and you're trying to, you know, help them realize their vision. And, you know, that's your first loyalty. And and you're going to have disagreements with the director, but you know, it's best that you have those without the producer in the studio around, you know, those are discussions, creative discussions, explorations that you're going to have, and, you know, you'll come to, you know, your ultimate decisions, you know, in those situations, and, and, you know, it's different. I mean, you know, let's say, if it's the first time you're doing a film for a director, you're going to be you're going to have to learn their process and how much They're willing to tolerate in terms of feedback and input and things like that. But you know, I'm assuming that film, the school maker has some pretty, you know, pretty substantial input on on film, but you think they've been working together for 25 years, you know, and they're not kids. And, you know, I think that he values, her strong opinions, you know, as, as most directors will have, you know, editors of that stature. But again, at the end of the day, it's the director's decision. Now, when directors and producers go at it, and try to put you in the middle of it, you really do have to become Switzerland, or you could be cutting off your nose to spite your face, you could be ending a relationship with a director by saying something that compromises their point of view.

Alex Ferrari 35:53
And that gets around,

Lawrence Jordan 35:55
Of course, you know, it gets around and, you know, as an editor, you know, you don't have that many clients, you know, you'll work on a movie for eight months or a year, as opposed to mixers who can do 345 movies in a year, you know, what I'm saying, or people in production, who could do three or four movies a year, I mean, the production is at, you know, at the longest these days is three or four months long, and most of them are more like 30 days long. So, you know, you're working on, you know, movies for a long time with a personal person. So that relationship is really important. Now, of course, you've got to respect the studio and their decisions, you know, and their desires also. But that's really, you know, that's really something that I've learned to let the director work out with the studio. And if the studio puts you in the middle of it, you got to say, look, you know, I'm just the editor of this film, you really got to talk to the director, and you really got to, you know, figure out a way to get what you want, by by working with them. And, you know, there are so many producers on films now Oh, God, you know, I mean, back in the day, if there were two or three producers, it would be, you know, that would be a lot, but now it's, you know, 10 2012, exactly. So, you know, it's more like, you know, a little bit of a committee, and a lot of times, if, if they're all in there, or maybe eight of the 12 are in there, you know, there's more of sort of, like, massaging of the, of the director's ego and sort of like persuasion. So it makes it a little bit easier for, you know, the editor stay out of the line of fire. But of course, when they leave the room, it's always, you know, it's always, you know, me and the director, sort of, like sorting out the opinions. And times will be just like, Oh, those, you know, flipping idiots. And

Alex Ferrari 37:53
So basically, what the second the producers leave, the director goes, Larry put it back the way I had it. I put it back, I don't care what they say, put it back the way I had it. Well, it depends, obviously, the situation. Now, what's the craziest thing that happened to you in an edit suite that you can discuss publicly?

Lawrence Jordan 38:13
Oh, geez, I don't know. I mean, there have been so many crazy things. You know, I've always tried to, you know, keep the peace. And like I say, you know, the, the older and wiser I've gotten, the more I've realized that it's important to stay out of the line of fire, and keep my mouth shut, you know, because he, you know, sometimes, honestly, you know, they don't want your opinion, you know, and they'll be very forward about it, you know, and, and, you know, that's the whole sort of, like, you know, above the line below the line, sort of, you know, I'm not a five time Academy Award nominees. So, you know, the power that I have, or the clout that I have, isn't going to be the same as you know, as some other people. But, you know, there have been all kinds of crazy situations, you know, that there have been more like, you know, nightmare situations where you are screaming in the film two or three times a week for 12 producers, and, you know, the directors, very, very insecure and indecisive, and you're ending up trying to, you know, you know, meet the desires of 12 different masters and you end up, you know, coming up with, with kind of, like a really disgusting stew that nobody wants to eat. And, you know, the really good experiences have been where a director is, is, has a vision, really kind of like sees what they want to do, and it also has the sort of political and diplomatic savvy to, you know, persuade, you know, the powers that be to, you know, to that vision, you know, it's different director's job is sort of like a, you know, I always think of Francis Coppola as, like this master of not only the craft, but also of politics. And, you know, and obviously, he was a great artist also, but you know, you're you're really having to, you know, sell people on your idea. And I can't imagine, you know, I haven't been in on any of the, you know, in any of the cutting rooms, I've never done like one of these giant tentpole Marvel movies or things, or Star Wars or something like that. And I just can't imagine what it's like, when there's that kind of money on the line. You know, I've done a couple of things. I did a film, you know, for Warner Brothers, it was a, you know, it was like an $80 million budget. So that was, you know, somewhat, but still, it was, it was a different time. And and now, 20 years later, I can't imagine what it's like the pressure on the director and the editor, or editors, and, you know, to a certain extent, you know, there aren't that many tours left and the whole sort of autour theory is sort of like really

Alex Ferrari 41:05
The Nolan's The ventures there's, there's a handful of them, but not many. There's not many of those guys left and and you know, and especially in the studio system, maybe more in the indie world, yes, but a studio system that you know, the Coppola's there's there's Scorsese there's Spielberg, but those are that's the old guard.

Lawrence Jordan 41:23
Yeah. And it's just not happening as much anymore. You know,

Alex Ferrari 41:27
It's hard with $200 million on the line. It's Yeah, it's just so hard.

Lawrence Jordan 41:31
And a lot of times, you know, on these on some of these visual effects movies, they're hiring, you know, people with a visual effects background, whether it's a visual effects artist or

Alex Ferrari 41:39
Soup or somebody that understands it.

Lawrence Jordan 41:41
Exactly. And, you know, they don't have a lot of clout. And, you know, I think that was evidenced by the, you know, the replacement of Ron Howard on the Star Wars film. Yeah. And, and, you know, so, you know, the studio's in those situations, you know, they're really running the show, they're calling the shots, you know, and they have final say, I mean, very few directors have Final Cut anymore, except for like you say the Nolan ones and

Alex Ferrari 42:05
Yeah, but but Nolan proved himself already. Fincher Fincher proved himself, right. I mean, obviously, Spielberg and Scorsese and run and that guy was Jimmy. Jimmy Cameron. Yeah, him.

Lawrence Jordan 42:17
Yeah. But again, you can count all those people on to your hand,

Alex Ferrari 42:21
Two hands, you've got I mean, there's not that many guys that can can can wield that kind of power anymore.

Lawrence Jordan 42:28
Right. So the rest of our of them are, you know, they're just in there slugging it out.

Alex Ferrari 42:33
They're just, they're just trying to just shine until, you know, until you make a billion dollars, and then all of a sudden, like Ryan Coolidge. I'm sure he's gonna have a lot more sway on the next movie.

Lawrence Jordan 42:43
Yeah. And then I don't think anybody else deserves it more than him. I mean, that that film Fruitvale Station was was I thought one of the best films.

Alex Ferrari 42:51
I was great. And crew and creed was awesome. I thought creed was very good.

Lawrence Jordan 42:54
Yeah, that guy's got some real talents. And now I mean, boy, you know, the world is his oyster.

Alex Ferrari 42:59
He blew it blew it out of the water, man. God bless. You know, that couldn't happen to you know better filmmaker. Now. You edited Assassin's was at that $80 million movie you were talking about?

Lawrence Jordan 43:08
Yeah, I think his Assassin's was something like that. I was talking about jack frost. I mean, that Oh,

Alex Ferrari 43:12
God. Yeah. JACK frost. That would be Michael Keaton.

Lawrence Jordan 43:15
Yeah. Kelly Preston. And that had a, you know, that had a $10 million budget just for ILM.

Alex Ferrari 43:21
So yeah. That was a huge the effects budget. I remember that. That was when when Michael was authored.

Lawrence Jordan 43:27
Yes, yes. off of Batman. Right. We actually shot it down at the the Spruce Goose dome where they did some of the early Batman's, and, you know, that that was a you know, that was a real good experience, though. You know, I, I had worked a lot at Warner Brothers coming up. And, you know, Troy Miller, and I had a real good relationship. And

Alex Ferrari 43:50
How was it? How was it to work with Dick Donner?

Lawrence Jordan 43:52
Because he's, I mean, a legend. Yeah. Dick Donner was a, that was a pleasure. And it was really, you know, I gotta tell you, it was sort of like, living in the lap of luxury. Because, you know,

Alex Ferrari 44:05
Of course,

Lawrence Jordan 44:06
There was a guy with cloud and talent and, and just a fun and nice person to work with. And of course, I worked on that with with Richie marks one of my mentors. And, but the crazy thing about that was that was one of Warner Brothers accelerated schedules. I think it was three months, I had three days off. So it was intense, to say the least.

Alex Ferrari 44:33
And just so just so everybody listening knows for who people who are listening who don't know who Richard Donner, I just call him Nick Donner. Because I know I'm obviously no, rich, Richard Donner because Richard Donner is basically the godfather of the superhero movie. He shot the first two Superman's, as well as the lethal weapons as well as Goonies and the list goes on and on. He's an absolute legend. I've heard nothing but he's the sweetest nicest person in Hollywood.

Lawrence Jordan 45:05
Yeah, he was a great guy to work for. I remember what coming and we were there on a Saturday once and they would have like a, like a mountain fruit. And you know, just so we have some breakfast and there was a little bit of fruit missing from this mountain. And he would come by and say, where's the fruit? Do they need more food, these people need food to work. And I was always like that. And you know, again, because he was such a powerful guy and, you know, filmmaker, with a lot of clout, you know, there was never sort of, there was no busting balls over over time, or things like that

Alex Ferrari 45:40
World, then you're in a complete. I know, people I know. I know, people who work in that world, that just like just just the money's not an issue. Just do the job. Just do that.

Lawrence Jordan 45:49
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So it was fun. I came on after they got back from location. And, you know, and Richie really was, you know, the driving force editorially. I mean, there's, you know, the here's the guy who, you know, who was sort of like the supervising editor on Apocalypse Now and godfather two, and like I said, all the Jim Brooks film, so

Alex Ferrari 46:05
He's done, okay. He did. Okay. Yeah.

Lawrence Jordan 46:06
Yeah, you know, nominated for, like five Academy Awards. So, you know, it was just a real privilege and, and fun, because, you know, I was kind of like, the hot shot at the avid and, and I'd be like, doing things like, putting a gun shot in, you know, I would like cut out a flash from Photoshop is like a creative genius, or they're like, Oh, my God, I can't believe you can do that. You know, back in 95.

Alex Ferrari 46:32
I imagined like, you're cutting out a muzzle flash in the avid into like, doing it for a frame. And yeah, like, what is this witchcraft? You're?

Lawrence Jordan 46:42
Yeah, yes. We must have this guy on all of our films, you know, and Joel Silver was there. And this has been real before the majors matrix.

Alex Ferrari 46:49
Joel was still Joel. I mean, he did the lethal weapons. He's I mean, he was a legendary producer before even the matrix.

Lawrence Jordan 46:54
Yeah, exactly. So it was a lot of fun. But it was a crazy schedule. It was just, it was just nuts. And, you know, it was fun, though. You know, it was fun. You know, it's a rush. And then, you know, being a freelancer, you do those kinds of things. And like, I was much younger than I don't know if I could do it today. Sure. But you do those things. And then, you know, you take a month off, you know, you you have to decompress after so

Alex Ferrari 47:21
Oh, absolutely. Without question. Now. Now, you, you are now starting to give back of yourself and trying to teach other generations. The craft, as we said, talked about a little earlier, and you created a course called the master the workflow. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Lawrence Jordan 47:37
Yeah, you know, I was doing this film. I've done two films with with a guy named Mike Titus, who's just a terrific director and a great guy. And we get along great and you know, he's been working with Marlon Wayans and Marlins partner, Rick Alvarez for a long time. And we were finishing up naked or we were sort of like halfway into it. And you know, I like I said, I always try to like, you know, sort of powwow with with my people and Richard Sanchez was my assistant on that film and Richard's a you know, a crack asst he's, he's just top notch. And reminds me of myself, when I was a kid, he really into the job, you know, into the technical aspect, as well as the creative creative aspect has like an encyclopedia encyclopedia knowledge of film, so he's a lot of fun to work with. And one day, you know, I'm in his room, just trying to, you know, get a breather, just get a break from, you know, the stuff that's rolling over your eyeballs. And we're talking and he's showing me, you know, sort of his process, and I'm just thinking about how different the process was, from the time I was an assistant certainly on. And he's showing me this, this digital codebook that he, you know, created in FileMaker Pro, and basically, like, the whole movie is in this file, you know, like, all of the information, all of the metadata, you know, the EDL, the continuity, the timings, you know, all the ADR and music notes, everything's in there. And I'm just like, thinking, Wow, that is such a powerful tool. And, you know, it just got me thinking that, where do assistants get trained properly in though the workflow where do they get trained in the process? You know, in the professional filmmaking world, and, you know, I certainly have, you know, a certain amount of respect for, you know, film schools and things like that, but, you know, it's not the real world experience, it's not being in the trenches and running up against the things that you run up against. And, and so we started like throwing ideas around about creating this course that would that would teach the the process from the time you meet with your editor, and how that sort of interview goes in. What you might expect from something like that, through starting the picture, all the way through final delivery. And every step of the way, and I'm talking about we really drill down, it's it's six modules, it's 32 lessons and more than 13 hours of material, of what the experience of assisting on a feature film, you know, it really could be at any budget level, obviously, there's going to be more complexity, the more you know, the higher the budget, the more of it, things like that, but we cover visual effects. And, and we just documented the process. And Richard essentially, you know, sort of narrates the whole thing, because it's, you know, it's his bailiwick, and, you know, he's an expert at it. And I, you know, obviously edited it, and we, you know, we, you know, bad, you know, feedback with each other. And, and yeah, and we put it out there, and what happened was, it can, the response was so great, it just really confirmed that there are so many people out there that want to learn this process. I mean, it's not like one of your typical certification courses that you might write avid, or Adobe, or even Apple, it's, it's sort of real world experience from people who have done, you know, cumulatively, Richard and I have been, I've done over 45 feature features and television shows, and, you know, he's done over 15. So, you know, people who have been there who have been in the trenches, and, and like I said, we're getting, we're getting great feedback. And, you know, it's, it's, it's really nice, because it's so it's, it's great to see these young people, and some not so young, who want this material who find it has a lot of value for them. And, and they're just so excited about making movies. And that's a thrill because, you know, that's kind of like, you know, that that's what lights my fire?

Alex Ferrari 51:54
Well, great, I'll put a link to it in the in the show notes. So everybody listening, if you want to get real training on how to be an assistant editor, or at least understand what an assistant editor does, definitely check out the course I bumped around in there a little bit, and I would have killed for that when I was coming up. So yeah, congrats on that. Now, what advice would you give an editor wanting to break into the business today?

Lawrence Jordan 52:20
Well, you know, I think we, we've talked a lot about, you know, you know, some of the things that you know, that I did to get into the business, you know, it's different now. But I think that on a kind of like a fundamental level, it's not really all that different, some of the tools that you use are different. But you know, you've got to kind of get, you know, if you want to work in long form, you've got to get into that world somehow. Now, you know, just getting your foot in the door, there's a lot of ways you could, you know, you could just get a job in some sort of, you know, production environment, whether it's a PA, you know, a runner, you know, if you're, if you're doing that, even on a production, you'll be able to a lot of times, sort of, you know, peek your head into the, into the cutting room and meet the assistants, and the editor sometimes, and, you know, you start making that, you know, your world. And, uh, you know, a lot of people get into editing these days through reality, and because that's actually a way from, you know, the best of my knowledge is, that's a way to get into the union. And, and, and major films and television shows are controlled by the unions, that's just a fact of life. So, um, you know, you you, sort of, again, you sort of make your, your, your goal, you know, part of your world. And, you know, another way to kind of, like, do this is, is by utilizing the power of the internet. You know, I know that young people are very familiar with all of these things. But, you know, I've been fascinated to see how many people have been able to make connections and introductions and so forth, through Facebook groups. And, you know, there are Facebook groups, for every part of everything, it can process everything, and in every city, you know, so if you want to localize things, you know, if you're in New York or in LA, or, you know, in Mumbai, you can, you know, you can look for a post production group there. And, you know, if you're a decent human being and you don't alienate everybody shows up, we'll do that in these groups. You know, you can really start to make connections. And that wasn't possible when I when I was young. I mean, again, we talked about it, you went through the variety and you looked for the films in production.

Alex Ferrari 54:43
Sure, sure. Sure. Now, no, got Yeah. Go ahead. No, no, no, no. So um, so what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Lawrence Jordan 54:57
Oh, Jesus, I'm still learning them, but In the film business, you know, the lesson was, you know, early on, there have been many lessons, my friend. But early on, if you're trying to get into the businesses, you know, obviously, you're there's going to be some time where you're going to, you know, try to, you know, do have some experimentation. But if you if you realize, you know, kind of early on maybe out of college or something that you want to be an editor, you know, focus on that and sort of be directed in terms of really going for that, I mean, don't take a job unless it's absolutely necessary, you know, in some other part of the business, where you're not going to be exposed to the post production process, you're not going to be exposed to editors and assistance and things like that. Because, you know, I sort of spent a lot of time pursuing the cinematography thing, you know, until I realized that, you know, just, I didn't want to live that life, I didn't want to be on the road, you know, if you want to be a centimeter of photographer pursue that, you know, if you want to be an editor pursue that, if you want to be a writer, you know, write a kind of a common expression. It's like writers write actors act, you know, yes, we all have to make a living, but, you know, I, you can't be half assed about this career path.

Alex Ferrari 56:21
No, you cannot,

Lawrence Jordan 56:22
It can't be half committed, it's just too competitive. And there are too many people out there. So, you know, that would that would be a lesson early on, I think, I think I mentioned one of the lessons as an editor, you know, say less, listen more, unless you're, you're, you're asked and then and then be careful what comes out of your mouth. I you know, I think as a young person I was, you know, I valued my opinions much, much more than, and

Alex Ferrari 56:55
That's youth, man, that's just youth in general.

Lawrence Jordan 56:58
Yeah. You know, and, and, you know, I think I think that, you know, could get people in trouble. I think that, you know, listen, stateville on fire, be respectful. You know, work hard, I don't think it's a any kind of, you know, mystery. It's a, again, it's a competitive business. And you want to make as many, you know, friends as possible. Always be nice to the apprentice, because you never know, when they're going to be running these, the studio was a was an expression that used to be a tool. And it's very true, you know, you never know when, when that was gonna be great, write a great script and get a directing deal. So you know,

Alex Ferrari 57:36
I just don't as as the best advice ever is, like, Just don't be a dick. Yeah.

Lawrence Jordan 57:42
That's something that Richard and I, you know, it's kind of Richards phrase, because a lot, you know, again, on this in this online stuff, you know, you've got people who are just, they're ticks and it's like, why are you alienating yourself from from your community here, you know, just be a nice person. You know, check your ego to a great extent. I mean, you could be a, you know, the next, you know, Tarkovsky but just, you know, show it don't talk about it.

Alex Ferrari 58:08
Exactly, exactly. Now, what are three of your favorite films of all time?

Lawrence Jordan 58:14
Well, you know, I came up. And the reason you know, the reasons I wanted to be in the film business were were films like Bonnie and Clyde. And Diddy Allen's films were great. You know, Didi actually worked across the hall from my father back in New York. So I always knew about her. You know, I loved reds. You know, I love period dramas. You know, another editor that comes out of that, sort of like school is, was a guy who just recently passed away a great editor named Jerry Greenberg cut the French Connection. The French Connection was, yes.

Alex Ferrari 58:50
What an amazingly edited film that was,

Lawrence Jordan 58:52
Yeah, yeah. So you know, Dog Day Afternoon, another film of DVDs, you know, was was kind of mind blowing. I mean, but you know, I go back I mean, I think about the films that kind of like shaped my view of the world like 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda and all those great actors more recently, I mean, you know, it's just there's so many great films. Oh, I cannot mention Apocalypse Now. I mean, that was like my, I saw that at a at the Cinerama dome and a midnight show, when it was called the Cinerama dome, excuse me. And, you know, that was like, wow, you know, you can change the world with movies, and you can change people's, you know, ideas about war and, and politics and life. And I thought, that's what I want to do, you know, I want to I want to, you know, be able to help shape, you know, people's, you know, viewpoints and help them see. Now, of course, I went into Hollywood and made a bunch of silly comedies, but

Alex Ferrari 59:52
There's still there's still there's still much value in making people laugh without question.

Lawrence Jordan 59:56
So I mean, they just don't make those kinds of films as much anymore and if they Do they are already in the world? And? Yeah, you know, it's, it's those fields are few and far between. But now there's been a lot of movies that I've that I've loved

Alex Ferrari 1:00:11
Now where can people find you? Oh, well online, not like your house address.

Lawrence Jordan 1:00:17
Yeah, the course is is at mastertheworkflow.com. And please come and visit us if you have an interest in getting into the assistant editing world, which, you know, we believe leads to Film Editing, and is sort of historically the best path to become a feature film editor. And you can check us out there we've got some, you know, free download some, you know, information about, you know, like your five key contacts on set, and some other information about the course. Yeah, check us out. And, you know, I want this to be timely, but we're going to be speaking at avid connect this year. And will also be at the LACPG. supermeet. at Las Vegas and nav this year.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:06
Are you going to be at nav great, I'm going there too

Lawrence Jordan 1:01:08
Yeah. We're partnering with, with people like avid and ACP we're, we're at the Edit fests. We were there in last year. We'd love it. If we're, you know, to put we're going to try to get to London this year. And yeah, we're just gonna be talking about editing and, and assisting and post production and introduce yourself and I'd be happy to to answer any questions. I can.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:32
Larry, man, thank you so much for just dropping knowledge bombs on the tribe today. I truly, truly appreciate you taking the time out.

Lawrence Jordan 1:01:39
Oh, well, it was fun. Alex, thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:42
I want to thank Larry for being on the show and dropping some knowledge bombs on the editing front for the tribe. And if you guys are interested in his course, just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/235 for the show notes and there you will have a link to his course. And that's it for me today, guys. I got a lot of work to do working on some cool stuff for you some new content. So as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 113: Post Production Process: Understand It or Die

Right-click here to download the MP3

Filmmaking is a long process and is divided into three stages. The first stage is pre-production stage, the second one is production, and the last one is the post-production stage. In this podcast episode, I go into each of the following steps of the post-production process and add a few bonus ones as well.

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Pre-Production Stage:

Pre-production in real is not much difficult. This process starts when the producer of the film select the cast and the crew of your film, and you develop your final script. It is a filmmaker who is trying to convince the people that the shooting will start soon. After that announcement, the producer will wait for the cast to agree to do the work and for the financial partners to fill the banks of the producer.

The Production Stage:

After getting your finances, the production process will get started. This production phase will have all kinds of action. You will get started with a tight schedule of nine to eighteen days, working for 14-18 hours in a day. All the activities are carried out at once. The light, camera, action, actors, scripts, costumes, props, schedules and most importantly the temper tantrums due to the long and hectic schedules. Apart from all this, production is somewhat a fun process if you get what you want quickly but if the case is opposite, these days can turn into nightmares for you.

Whether these days are joyful or tiring, the end of the production phase always comes with a party. Everyone in the cast and the whole team will party hard at the end and will go to their homes. Their work is done. In the end, you, the producer is left with all the work. You may wake up after approximately two days because of the continuous hectic routine you followed in the last days.

After that, you will have a whole tape of the film which can be twenty hours long, and then the next stage will be the post-production stage.

The Post-Production Phase:

What is post-production? Post-production is not a difficult process. There will be no hectic schedule of working for 14 -18 hours like the production process which includes a lot of work. The first thing to do after the production process is complete is to call your cinematographer so that he can introduce you to different editors. All you have to do next is to hire some good people and keep an eye on their workday for an hour or so. The production process will be easy for you if you follow it step by step. Here are the 13 steps of post-production process which are to be followed by every producer.

The 13 steps of post-production process are as follows:

Post Production Process: The Selection of Editing Software:

The first step to follow in post-production is to select an editing program. Selecting your editing application can make your workflow run smoothly or cost you months and tons of cash. You can make that decision based on the needs of your creative editor and the original format you shot your film on. You’ll need to find a balance between the two.

Please consult with a Post Production Supervisor at this stage of production. They can save you a ton of time and cash.

Post Production Process: Selection of a Creative Picture Editor:

The selection of an expert editor for your film is the biggest decision. The proper formation of your film depends on the creativity of your film editor. The editor is the one who will develop the Edit Decision List (EDL). He will go through all of the scripts and the scenes of your movie and decide which shots will be used to create a flow of the story correctly. Here comes the big work of the editor’s creativity.

The best way is to hire an appropriate editor for your film before the start of the production phase. The benefit of having your editor in the production process is that he will guide you about the scenes which are required to make a perfect sequence. The editing of the film is about 8-10 weeks long procedure, and it will involve different stages. The first edited draft is called Rough cut, and the final draft is called an Answer point. A good edit has two ends; the first one is when you are satisfied with all the visual images and the second one is when you are happy with the sound effects of the film.


If you want to learn the creative art of being an editor you need to watch the videos below.

 

Post Production Process: Selection of a Sound Editor:

After the preparation of the edited movie, there is a need to improve the sound quality. For that purpose, you have to hire a sound editor who can make the movie look more attractive with different sound effects.

The sound editor will perform some major tasks like he will cut the dialogue tracks and recreate those sound effects and then make the cue sheet for another step in the post-production process i.e. the mix.

Post Production Process: Automatic Dialogue Replacement:

This step is carried out in a big room with the projectors. The central focus of this ADR is to replace the dialogues in the film which are not adequately recorded. All the actors again deliver These dialogues, and the voice is then synced to the edited version of the movie.

Post Production Process: Work with Foley Artists:

Making the sounds of the dialogue clear is not the end of the audio editing process. You have to go again in the ADR room, and with the help of the hired Foley artists, you will include the additional sounds in the edited version of the movie. These sounds will add the sounds of footsteps and others. The sound people are called Foley artists.

Post Production Process: Music:

The next step for the post-production process is to include the desired music in the film. The best thing is to hire a musician with his studio so that he can create new music for your film. Producers never use the previously used music in a movie as it is against the laws. If you have already bought the rights to use that old music than you can add to your movie.

Producers never prefer the usage of pre-cleared CD music because of its low quality. It is better to use a contemporary type of music in your film because the usage of traditional and public domain music will be hazardous.

Post Production Process: The Mix:

The mix or the re-recording section of the movie will include the setting of the sounds in the whole movie in a row where they fit. After all of the above steps, you will have a series of music that will include the songs, the background sounds, etc. All you have to do is manage these sounds effectively in the whole film.

Post Production Process: Music and Effects (M&E):

This is a part of the film production that you have to sell the rights of your movie to the foreign nation. There is a requirement of the international buyers that they need the soundtrack which is free from the English dialogues so that they can dub the dialogues in the desired manner. So, it is better to get the only music and effect version of your film.

Post Production Process: Creating Your Opening and End Credits

After the formatting and the finalization of the sound effects and track, you have to finalize your titles for the movie. The producer has to get the 6 – 8 opening cards of the title and finally the Rear title crawl. These title files are then added to the final tracks.

Post Production Process: Digital Cinema Package:

For the final print of your film to be delivered to the cinemas, you need your digital cinema package or DCP. It will contain the final edited film in a hard drive. This hard drive will be used for the distribution of the movies into the theaters. Click here for more on DCP (Digital Cinema Package).

Post Production Process: A Dialogue Script:

A film without subtitles in a foreign country is of no use. You have to create a dialogue script for the foreign people so that they can create the subtitles accordingly. This dialogue script will contain the codes for each and every pause and the dialogues so that the subtitles can be created by the scene and the actual dialogue.

Post Production Process: Campaign Image for the Film:

Getting an appropriate campaign image for your film is imperative. The picture of the film should depict the storyline of the movie and should include the name and the credits for the films. This image will create a first impression on the distributors and the programmers of the movie.

Post Production Process: Trailer:

The last step in the post-production process is getting a perfect trailer for your film. The trailer should be 90-120 seconds long. It should have the ability to deliver the moods and atmosphere of the movie. The success of the movie will depend on the strength of the trailer. This is all you need to know about the post-production process of filmmaking. If it is followed appropriately, the film will get a good reception.

If you want to learn how to edit a trailer for Hollywood Trailer editors click here!

If you need help with understanding post-production workflow or need to consult a professional post supervisor click here.

Alex Ferrari 2:20
So guys, today's episode is something that's very near and dear to my heart postproduction where I've been making my bones for the last 20 odd years working on God 1000s of different projects over the course of my career and probably over 50 or 60 features easily over 100 150 indie film projects either shorts and or features documentaries and so on. So I've got a lot of experience working in the in the post production field and I wanted to come up with a podcast that kind of talked about the steps of post production because there's a lot of confusion A lot of people don't understand the basic understanding of what post production not workflow but just the steps that are taken in post production and a couple of tips I'm going to throw at you during this this list these 13 steps is going to help you with workflow which is so so massive and there's another episode I did on post production workflow called post production workflow understand it or die which is Episode 14 you can download that one at indie film hustle.com Ford slash zero 14 and that's a really good episode a very very popular episode as well. So let's get into it guys so step one selecting the editing software they're going to be using to edit your movie a lot of people just you know grab whatever they have access to and not think about things going down the line so a lot of people like well have access to an avid or have access to a premiere or I have access to Final Cut seven or Final Cut x or god forbid sony vegas I'm sorry if anyone's anything out there in sony vegas land Stop joking joking but no really stop it's it's hurting yourself and people around you. But anyway. So by making that choice is very, very integral because depending on the format you shooting on so if you've shot on Alexa, you shot on a DSLR you shot on a red and so on. There's different workflows that you're gonna have to understand. So picking that software is going to be very crucial to you and I know a lot of times creative editors, especially older creative editors, or more established creative editors will work with avid and which is great avid is the industry leading piece of software. But sometimes avid does not work really well with anything other than edits going down the line working with red or working with specifically red. I'm in the middle of a project right now we're having issues, reconnecting certain things and you know, just things get wonky. I'm not sure as much of that might be the problem with read or maybe with avid, but I know that premiere is much more table in that world, no final cut is. And I know DaVinci Resolve handles it wonderfully. And I'm a big, big, big fan of editing in DaVinci. As everybody who listens to this podcast, no, I edited didn't I edit. This is Meg, completely 100% individually. But anyway, picking that is very, very important. So understand that you will have to pick something that's going to, that's going to work with your workflow going down the line, whatever that workflow might be. But make sure you're very cautious about what you're editing on, and it's going to be able to achieve what you need. Second is selecting an editor, someone who understands story understand what they're going to be doing. And then that will also determine what sort of what software you're gonna be using. Because the editor generally speaks, generally speaking, uses the software that they're most comfortable with. But choosing that editor is such an important person, it's such an important job in the post production process. Because you can find editors that are creative editors only who just going to be doing the creative, which is generally speaking what most people do. Occasionally, you will find a creative editor who happens to understand the technical aspects of things which are really, really beneficial if you can find someone like that. But as again, generally speaking, you're going to mostly find just creative editors, who are going to be able to do creatively what you need to have happen with your movie. So picking that person is very, very, very important. Now the next part of the post production process would be selecting a sound editor, someone who's going to be able to once as much even a sound editor as a sound house, someone, either a house of post production company, an audio post production company, or a person who's going to be able to do all the aspects of what is needed in audio post production. Now I've worked with guys who do everything in their house, and they're a one man band, and they can literally do everything I've found I found that guys that do everything like that in their house, they're really not capable of giving you everything that you're you need unless they have a Foley stage and a full ADR suite and all this kind of stuff. Is it possible, yes. But generally speaking, I would go with a post production house of some sort. And there's many out there who will work on a low budget world that I know of the guys work over at monkey land audio here in Burbank. They definitely work with low budgets and work with independent filmmakers and are indie friendly. Again, I'm not, I'm not doing this as a marketing campaign for them. But they're just there's many other ones in LA, that do that as well. But, but definitely, finding a sound editor someone or sound post production house is going to be able to get you all the sound elements that you're going to need and deliverables, you're gonna need to make your movie move forward. The next step is ADR. So I'm gonna explain to you what ADR is automatic dialogue replacement, which basically means that if you record something on the day on location, and there happens to be a plane flying by that that's not going to be usable in the final mix of your movie. So you're going to need someone to go in, you're going to need the actors to come into into an ADR session, which they'll put up the picture up on a screen. And then at that point, the actor will mouth the same lines that he or she had on the day, and replace that audio cleanly. Now, I'm not a huge fan of ADR, I actually hate ADR because I feel that it never matches exactly the way the energy was of the day, or the vibrance of the performance of the day. So I really like on mag, we I think had two lines of ADR and it was mostly grunts, and like, kind of stuff. It was not like full blown dialogue. So I kind of ran with it. And of course, a movie like mag made sense to do something like that, because it was very kind of raw and naturalistic, but it is something that you will have to do I have had to do ADR and other other movies have on other projects of mine. So definitely keep that in mind that you will need to do that. Another thing you're going to need to is finding a place that does Foley Foley is basically somebody going out and making all the sound for every little movement that happens in the movie. So obviously, when you're recording someone running down the street, and there are two plsa, two people walking down the street and they're talking Well, your focus on the day is to record the dialogue that the people the actors talking, you're not focused on recording the footsteps, or the wind blowing, or the tree that they kind of ran the bush they ran into or anything like that that's what Foley's for, and you have to find a studio that has a full Foley stage. In that Foley stage they have. They're so awesome. These places it's like basically a junkyard of a million different sounds, things that can make sound. They have floors, where if you lift up 111 part of the floor you got sand, gravel, water, wet, dry, it's for sand. It's awesome. It's really, really awesome. But you need A studio that can handle that that's why I'm saying a lot of times these one man bands can't do that now could you replace those sounds instead of Foley with canned sound effects like Can people walking when I say can means that there's someone else's recorded generic footstep somewhere and then the the sound mixer sound designer can actually just replace your footsteps with those canned footsteps yes of course you can but it's never 100% sometimes it works wonderfully and again I'll use Meg as an example. We use a lot of sound effects in mags that were canned because they're perfectly fine You don't need to do a brand new Foley session for those but there were other things that were very specific like you know, when Meg is getting up out of bed and her she her sheets are kind of rubbing up against each other that kind of give give a little bit of a sound it's very difficult to find that in a sound design scenario in a in a canned in scenario you're gonna have to find you know, kind of foley artist to kind of match that exactly for it to sound right. So it's definitely something you have to keep an eye on but that is something else you will need and if for deliverables, you will need a full m&e track. This is a little bonus sidetrack but for deliverables, but an m&e track means music and effects. So when you try to sell this movie or your movie overseas, you will have only music and effects track and then they can replace their dialogue with foreign actors replacing the dialogue of your actors. But without that m&e track, they can't do that. So then you will not be able to sell your movie to other territories. So having a full fully laid out m&e track and if you go even fully more that you can actually spread that set, separate the music, and the effects. And then every single sound effect has to be created in a Foley session and or sound design session. And that's much, much more expensive and much more for higher end movies. But that's something else that you'd have to keep an eye on for your project. So speaking of music, that is our next step is music. Finding a composer to be able to bring music to life in your movie. Now it could be with a pre pre recorded music, existing music, or you hire an actual composer to compose original music for your movie, something that you will definitely need in about 99.9% of all movies will have some sort of music in it. So definitely hiring some hiring music composer is extremely important. Now my experience is working with music and doing all the movies I've done is generally speaking, you're always waiting for music at the end of the you know, the edits done, the colors done, the the mix is ready to sound houses waiting for music to do the final mix. So just stay on top of your composer to make sure those deadlines are hit when working with a composer and again, I'm being very general here guys, not all composers take time. But a lot of times you're also rushing the composer to create music based on timelines too, and they're doing the best job they can. But hiring that composer will bring life to your movie or putting in a pre recorded music or, or needle drop music as they say, which is stock music that you can easily get the rights to, you could do that as well. The next step is the mix. Now the mix is extremely important when mixing the audio, all the audio elements together. So a lot of times I've had this happen, the the sound, the sound guys have created sound effects for certain, let's say, you know, moments that need to be like accented. So, you know, I'll use the example of you know, a horror movie when someone you know, goes in and slices somebody like, you know, the axe murderer is coming in to slice something, the sound effect might be really big to just like really scare the hell out of the audience. Well, the composer might have had the same thought and created a big hit of music at that same moment. Well those two sounds are going to fight each other. So then that's where we have to kind of work around like okay, what do we want in the mix. And that's why it's so important. The mix is so so important because certain things you want to bring down lower certain things you want to bring up higher, depending on what kind of emotional reaction you're trying to get from the audience. Hitchcock was the master of this, he literally played his audience like a fiddle because he was able to just bring things in and out and he was able to do that with images as well. But as far as the mix is concerned, he would just pop things up just right at the right moment and bring it back down and that is why the mix is such an important part of it. So being in the room in a properly constructed room where you can hear a five one mix five one is a surround sound mix now they have seven one they have Atmos there's multiple different kinds of mixes that you can create and I was the next the next step is something I've already kind of spoken about which is music and effects, creating that m&e track very, very important going forward because you will not be able to sell your movie international Unless you have a full m&e track laid out, another step that you're going to be dealing with is titles, the the basic titles of the beginning basic critics at the end, rolling credits and so on. I have been involved with so many movies that have yet to once not one time and 70 odd movies that I've finished that the end credits or any of the credits were done in the first pass, they're always adding something, something's always misspelled, someone's changing their credit, like, Oh, I need to have this guy up above this other guy or this girl above this other girl, because of ego or because of contractual issues, and so on and so forth. But you will need to create these titles. So whoever is going to be doing your online, being your online editor, you will have to find, see if he'll be able to create those he or she will be able to create those opening credits, which either could do basic opening credit. Or you can do like, you know, seven style David Fincher seven style credits, which are much more elaborate, and a production in themselves. And then basic rolling credits. So you that's a conversation you have to have with your online editor. Now, as opposed to a creative editor, and I'll talk about this really briefly. Creative editors, they're literally just to be created, the online editor is the person who's going to put every thing together, that's going to put in the final edit, that's going to put in the color graded images, that's going to put the final mix, put in your titles, and get everything ready for your deliverables online editor is extremely, extremely important. And sometimes very overlooked by producers that like oh, my editor could just put it all together. And I cannot tell you how many times I've had movies come into my, into my office, that that just happened, Oh, I thought my editor was gonna be able to do it. And the editor had no idea creative editor had no idea technically what needed to be done, or they're moving on to another project. And they're being creative, and they're not worried about deliverables and titles and any of that crap. So very, very specific, you got to find a good online editor. And on another side note, guys, please, for God's sakes, talk to a post production supervisor. I mean, seriously, it's so upsetting. You could either talk to a post production supervisor, if you have the money, hire a post production supervisor, if not consult with one. So they can talk to you about workflow and making sure things are done right. If not, you might get stuck and lost in the pit that is post production. Unless you understand the roadmap that you need to take to get out of the forest. Sometimes I've seen people wander in that forest for months, if not years, trying to get their movies finished. But just a little conversation, a little consulting with a post production supervisor could save you 1000s upon 1000s and months upon months of time, so please keep that in mind. Another part of the the process is obviously color grading. So without a colorist color grading your movie, it's going to look like crap. And if you want to create high production value in your movie, you've got to get a color graded even if you want a simple basic color. Like I don't really need the color graded, I'm just going to do it myself in my avid or my should do it myself in Premiere Final Cut does something basic, I don't need anything really crazy. I don't want this to look like a Michael Bay movie. Well, even the basic stuff is hard to do. And you have to make sure everything evens out, seeing the scene and thematically everything works the same way. You know colors is very well needed. And if you don't use a colorist nowadays, you're not going to sell your movie, it's very difficult to do so without having some basic color. And I'm not talking about crazy stuff, I'm just talking about just getting everything built look even and nice and clean. Or you can create very, very cool looks as well. So next on the list is the DCP the digital cinema package as part of your deliverables. So now you've created your movie, your movie is edited, it's colored, has a final mix to it has your titles to it. Everything's ready to go now you create a DCP. Now a lot of people say you got to create a DCP right away. I disagree. This EP is basically a digital cinema package is only for theatrical exhibition. So if you're going to go to a big festival, then you might need a DCP depending if it's like a Sundance or trackback or any that big festival, they only exclusively will project in the DCP format. So you have to create one eventually, but don't spend the money until you need it. All right, please do not spend the money until you need it. Another part of the deliverables things a lot of people don't really pay a lot of attention to is a dialogue script. So a dialogue script is basically a script that just lays out all the dialogue of your movie. So that way you can send that dialogue script in. So people in foreign countries can create a subtitles or things like that, that they might need to sell your movie. So you need to create a dialogue script as well. Now you also another step guys a lot of people forget about is the campaign image of for your film. Now campaign image is basically a still and you're going to need multiple stills a lot of distributors are going to ask for 6070 stills. And this is something that a lot of people forget I even forgot about it in mag, I don't have a tremendous amount of behind the scenes stills. And when I say stills, I'm not talking about those cool behind the scenes stills of you and, and the camera and the crew shooting the scene. Those are great. And those are needed as well. I'm talking about the promo stills the campaign image, meaning that when a camera man is literally or some photographer standing right next to the camera man, taking an image of shot of the scene as is being recorded. And those are the scenes that they go out and help promote your movie, something you have to have, if you expect to sell to a distributor, or get those out there and it's helpful regardless. Now you'll see I know a lot of people like well I'm shooting in five or 6k, I could just pull it off the read. Or I could just pull it off the raw image of my you easily could do that as well, especially if you start shooting at the higher resolutions. That's a lot easier to do nowadays. But for the rest of us are not shooting at that super, super high resolution, it's helpful to have something more traditional by just shooting it with a high end iPhone, or shooting it with a professional or having a professional photographer shooting stills for you on set. And the second to last thing is so important. I can't even express to you how important this is. The trailer. The trailer is so so so important to your post production process to the process of selling your movie. Have I mentioned how important the trailer is. The reason why I laugh is because a lot of people forget about the trailer, they like oh, I'm just going to kind of just throw something together, you have to understand that the trailer is going to be seen by more people. At least 50 100 times more people will watch that trailer than will watch your movie. And it is going to be that is the biggest calling card for your movie is not the poster man anything is the trailer and today's social media world that everything is video video video, that trailer, you know I released Meg and within the first couple days we we got word downloaded almost 20,000 times or a little bit over 20,000 times throughout all of our platforms, which is pretty amazing for such a small little movie with you know, no major backing or major studio bind it. So it's just a small little film. And it's like oh, that's really really cool that was able to do that. But that trailers being seen and gain the interest. So keep it very take it very seriously about shooting or about editing a trailer, hire professional editor, trailer, trailer trailer editor, who understands how to sell movies, if you have the money, hire a trailer producer, and have them actually write a script for the trailer. Super, super, super important guys. And then the very last thing that's not on the list, but I thought I throw it in there is the website. Now I know this is not part of your post production process. But it is the process of selling your movie. So at the end of it, if you don't have a website, a real website for your movie, you're screwed. You need a website you need for everything to everybody to come to a website to help sell your product, to sell your movie to tell people where screenings are to show your trailer to show behind the scenes footage to connect to your Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and all the other platforms as well you need a hub. So creating a very cool website is very, very imperative, especially in today's world. Now you can go to many different places to create a website, you can create your own website by using different plugins on WordPress, multiple things like that, I have a whole course or I have a whole course but I have a whole article written about how to create a kick ass website. And I will leave that in the in the link in the show notes. Which of course the show notes will be at indie film, hustle, calm, forward slash 113. And I hope that's it guys, that's basically all the steps I went past 13 steps, I added a few other ones in there as well. But I wanted to kind of give everybody a brief under a brief overview of the post production process a lot of people and it's really quick guys, it's I can go into details about every aspect of what I talked about today. But it was just a very, you know, broad overview of the basic post production process. And you might have known a lot of it, you might have just found one or two that like I didn't know that I need to do that. I'm going to do a whole other thing about deliverables coming up in the months, weeks and months ahead. and a bunch of other stuff that I'm going to be tossing into the syndicate, doing some mini courses on post production workflow, post production, deliverables, and so on in the syndicate, which of course you can check out at indie film syndicate.com Now guys, I know it's the holiday season, and we are now officially in the holiday season. And I know you guys if you're listening to the show, hopefully your fans The show and you really love what we do at indie film, hustle. And I wanted to get in just kind of if you guys want to help us out, and you can't afford to buy any of our courses, or join the syndicate, or anything like that, there's a really easy way for you guys to support indie film, hustle, super, super easy way. And all you got to do is go to indie film, hustle, calm Ford slash Amazon. So if you guys are going to buy anything in the holiday season, on Amazon, or anything else like that, just head over to indie film, hustle.com Ford slash Amazon, and we get a small commission off anything you buy, and you guys get charged nothing for it, by the way, nothing, it's just a way for you to help support the show. So I really, really would help I really would be just completely grateful that if you guys are buying anything anytime in the year, but of course now because of the holidays, and Black Friday and all that kind of good stuff. Just head over to indie film, hustle, calm Ford slash Amazon book market. And anytime you're going to buy anything, buy it through that link, and it helps support us. So anything is liberalism, bar soap, or as big as a camera package. It really would help us out dramatically. So any film hustle.com for slash Amazon, I really, really greatly appreciate it. And of course, head over to filmmaking podcast.com and leave us a good review on iTunes. You have no idea how much that helps us to get the word out on what we're trying to do here at the indie film hustle podcast, guys, thank you again so much so so much. I got some really cool guests coming up in the coming weeks. So stay definitely stay tuned. And as always keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 058: Tips on How Directors Should Work with a Colorist

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Working with a professional colorist can be intimating if you haven’t done it before. I’ve been a colorist for over 12 years and have spent my fair share of time in a color grading suite.

I decided to put together a few tips on how filmmakers and directors should work with a colorist. I also included a few videos to help you along with your post adventures.

Alex Ferrari 0:00
So guys, today I wanted to talk about how to work with a colorist I've been a colorist now for I think about 12 years so I've colored a ton of features, music videos, TV commercials, promos, all that kind of stuff. So I have a little bit of experience working with other filmmakers in the in the color room so I wanted to kind of give you guys some tips on how to get the most out of those color sessions because those color sessions can be really expensive and if you don't know as a director and a producer or as a filmmaker in what to do when you're in a color session you can kind of waste a lot of money so I have a handful of tips that I wanted to talk to you guys about first So first and foremost you've got to have a vision you have to have an understanding of what you want to do in the color suite and what color will do in the storytelling process whether that be a music video commercial but for this podcast we're gonna focus on independent film and long form feature films and short films as well narrative so what I mean is like under like do your research so if you're going to if you're going to go in to a color session with a short film on action short film and you have no reference point you have no ideas about what you want to do and you go you know, but we're going to call the guy bud bud he's the colors but the colors you know can you come up with some cool stuff and then this whole creation and searching for the look comes into play and there is a part of that in the color session without question but if you can fast forward through that process to walk in and go you know what I really loved the matrix and that was kind of the Bible I wanted to go with this like these kind of those kind of dark hues, the greens the green hues through everything and then sometimes you'll be able to do and sometimes you won't and I'll talk about that in a second but but at least have some point a point of reference like you know what man I love Michael Bay movies I want the really crunched down blacks meaning like really contrast II and really bright colors and blow out the highlights and that's kind of what the Bible won on this or you know you want to go down a more dramatic point and you know, I really love Birdman, I really want to go down that route or, or I loved whiplash and love the way that looked or you know any you know, Carol, I love the way Carol looked or any of these other movies, I'm just throwing movies out that recently just seen. But you have to have a reference point and preferably multiple reference points, so you don't just get one so you have multiple movies that are in the same world and the colors can get an idea of NAGPRA that, ideally, what would have happened is you would have sent stills to the colors prior to your session. So you've either got you've captured stills off the movie, so they can kind of have it or you can have those stills with you when you come into the session. but preferably you did it beforehand. So he has he or she has an idea of what you want prior to getting in the room. Or you just send them the the movie titles like I want the matrix I want shusha I want this to be a mixture of Shawshank Blade Runner, the matrix and Dumb and Dumber. See it that's not gonna work real well. But there's so many different things going on there. But if you give him a bunch of like, I want it to look like the rock Armageddon, and bad boys, you know, and those are the three movies that are all in the same world, all the same kind of palette, and they hit the colors would then understand where to start the point from now. Next tip is when you ask for these things, and you have that vision, you have to understand that there are limitations of what the colors can do. So when you say I want a movie to look like the matrix, well the matrix had a tremendous amount of design involved. All the costumes were designed around this color palette, all the production design was designed around the color palette, and then the deep he was shooting for this color palette as well as the color is towards the end. Now if you didn't do all those other things in the front in production, you can't expect the colors to automatically turn your movie into the matrix now A lot of plugins out there and a lot of little packages and stuff like that, that gave you the matrix look. And that's all fine and dandy, but there's a reason why those things never looked as good as the matrix because they had this plan. So as a filmmaker, you should have color planned out while you're shooting, you should be thinking about color, the costumes, the design of the of the environments, whether that be an apartment, whether that be cars, whether it be whatever, think about color, think about the emotion of color, and what that's going to be doing to your characters. Throughout the piece, you know, someone wearing red is going to have a very different. So if you have a beautiful young lady walking down the street wearing a bright red tight outfit, as opposed to a purple one, or a yellow one, or a green one, same dress, different colors, that gives you an emotion, a different emotional trigger. So you have to understand the different concepts of color. And we won't go into color theory in this episode. But that's something I encourage all you guys to go out and study is color theory and what each color represents emotionally for your, for your characters and for your environment. So guys, you know, the colors is not a miracle worker. In that sense, as far as creating looks are concerned, they're going to do their darndest. But sometimes those lots are not achievable because you are not able to give him the I always use the term terminology meet. If you give me the meat, I'll cook it right. But if you don't give me the right meat, it's very difficult to cook a good meal. So that's similar, the similar, similar idea. So another tip guys is to understand what the colors is there to do, the colorist is there to change and balance and create looks in your film in your negative or in your raw file. So the colors is there to balance everything out. Because it's it's nearly impossible to do everything in camera to balance it out, especially digitally nowadays. Even in the olden days with film, they still could not make everything perfect, they did do some sort of coloring in the lab prior to di or digital intermediate coloring what we know today as digital color grading so so he's there to really balance things out. Sometimes the darks, you know in one shot are going to be off the other ones because didn't have enough light or just couldn't make it match that day. He's there to match each shot in the sequence. And then overall look of the entire movie so and make the actors look amazing. And what you can do in a color sweep today is remarkable. I'm going to talk a little bit about the technology a little bit later in the episode. But that's another thing just understand what he's there to do. He's not there to create magic, and you know, do things like that he's there to not only balance things out, sometimes he's there to save your butt. Because a lot of times the DP or just just production issues do not allow not allow enough light in the day enough budget to get lights in or the sun went down and was going down while you're shooting it and then the color temperatures changing while in the middle of the shot. It's his or her job to balance all that out and sometimes pull light and do digital cinematography while they're in the color suite with things called power windows which I'll get to but they can actually go in and bring out light and dark and other areas off or you know, pull out a an extension cord or Stinger that was there that you didn't really want it to be there things like that. So there's so many different things that a colorist can do but understand that that's his role. Okay, next, take breaks, sometimes you're in a room and you just sit there for three hours, four hours, just pounding on this one shot and guess what your eyes will blur out your eyes will start not being able to see the differences between different colors and so on so I always suggest every hour or so to get up for five minutes walk outside get your just don't look at the shot. Refresh your eye refresh your refresh yourself and refresh your eye. Come back and clean watch it again and move forward don't beat up the colorist you know nitpicking here and there when you know I always tell I always tell my clients Mike look, before we start going in really nitpicking each shot. If you have a lot of money and you want to just keep spending money all day fantastic. We'll sit here for the next two months. But if you have a budget and you have a certain amount of time you have to deal with get one pass of the entire movie done and then go back and handle the big things that need to be fixed. And then go back if you have time and pick up the little knick knack things here and there like well I really wish that that light glowed a little bit more her skin dropped, you know it was a little softer here or there. And I would be focusing on that then. So don't try to do everything to perfection as you go forward. Again, this is on budget. If you have a budget or package are limited amount of time you have and most office independent filmmakers will have that you have to really kind of look at the global or the broad broad view of what you're trying to achieve. So don't get stuck on the little minutia. Make sure you get the whole movie done at least once where everything is balanced. And then you can go back and tweak and have fun and really make things look as perfect as you can for the time and budget that you have. Another huge thing you have to keep an eye on is understanding basic technology understand the basic tech involved with color grading, you don't need to be a colorist yourself, you just have to understand the basic terms and understand the basic tools of what color grading is. So you have to understand what contrast is you have to understand what luminance is. But the big thing you have to understand how to power windows, our power windows are so powerful, and they can save your butt and make your movie look amazing. So understand the basic text so you can you can talk to your colorist at least at his level to a certain extent you're not expected to know everything that's if you did, you would be doing it yourself. But you hire colorist because you Hey, they're bringing their talent, their experience and so on to the project but just understand the basic technology are running on it generally all the color suites are going to either be a baselight suite, or more likely a da Vinci suite Da Vinci is the industry standard and where most of colors most colors which are Da Vinci at this point. Understanding the basic terminology basic technology of color grading will not only save you time but a lot of cash because you'll be able to move that much quicker alright guys and finally guys understand that the colorist a new as a filmmaker, this is a creative partnership, you guys are creating the look together. So if you go in it that way you're gonna get a lot more from your colorist. If you go in and going, I just want this this this and screw your ideas, you're a monkey push those buttons. That's the same if you did that with an editor and you did that with any technical or any artistic position in this. In this process, you wouldn't make it very far as a director. honestly just understand that this is a creative partnership that you are working together to come up with a look to come up with this beautiful image to make your movie better and hopefully have more production value and at the end make your movie look so amazing that you can sell it and the audiences love it. And if you don't color grade your movie your fool you have to call a grade your movie today there's no if ands or buts about it Don't try to do it yourself. Unless you're a professional color grader it's really really an art form. I've been doing it for many years I did my first movie by myself this is before the technology was so affordable and before there was colors around the corner nowadays I would definitely use a professional colors because you're going to save a ton of time and cash Alright guys, so I hope this episode helped you guys understand a little bit more about how to work with a with a colorist and make sure movies look remarkable and amazing. So thanks guys again for listening. If you want to get the Show Notes for this episode, head over to indie film hustle comm forward slash zero 58 and as always, head to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us a review for the show. It really helps the show out a lot. Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive, and I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 054: How NOT to Get Ripped Off in Post Production

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Over the years I’ve seen many of my fellow indie filmmakers get completely ripped off when they entered the post-production process. So many promises are given and the rates they charge are criminal. I wanted to put together a podcast to pull the curtain back on the “true” pricing of post-production services.

Now, this is based on my experience working in Los Angeles so the prices might differ depending on where you are in the country or the world.

I hope this episode provides a great amount of value and that it saves you your hard-earned cash while making your next indie film. Enjoy!

Alex Ferrari 0:00
So guys, today's episode is really dear to my heart because it has to do with post production where I've been making my bones for the last 20 odd years editing, feature films and all the other stuff that I do. And one thing I've noticed over the years is how much filmmakers get absolutely ripped off in post production, because they don't have basic knowledge of what things cost, and what to look for when hiring post production personnel. So first and foremost, I want to talk about the big post houses now. Before I start guys, and I know I'm going to get a lot of heat over these numbers, I'm going to get a lot of questions or comments about like, Oh, I can get this thing cheaper here, I can get this thing there. But that's great. And I wish you the best this is these are the numbers and the prices from my experience here in Los Angeles. Currently in 2016. This is what the prices are going for right now. And they're a good barometer doesn't mean that they're the end all and the end all be all that that this is Bible, this is gospel, this is what everything has to cost. No, it is my experience. And what I've seen in my time in the post production trenches. So with that said, let's start talking about big post houses. Now, I've worked for some big post houses in my day, mostly as a freelancer, thank God. But big post houses have a lot of overhead. And I'm going to tell you a little story about what how post houses came to be. Back in the day, when post houses were the only places you can go get post production done for feature films, or commercials or music videos or anything. They charged up the wazoo because they could and they had to because all the equipment, you know, before a color grading suite in. I remember these color grading suites, these were million dollar color grading suites, I mean literally million million and a half dollars worth of equipment in those rooms. So you had to charge $750 an hour just to start recouping their money eventually. But as technology got cheaper, these post production suite started showing up in people's houses like color suites and editing. Now everybody could edit on a laptop, to edit a feature film, you don't have to go to an avid somewhere in a facility that used to cost $200,000 just to edit your movie, you can do that now in the comfort of your own home, things started changing. Now a lot of the mindsets in post production houses didn't change. So they would still try to charge you to like plug in a hard drive. You know, like I remember I took a client to a post house. And I had to plug in a hard drive and I'm like, Oh, that's gonna be 50 bucks. I'm like, What? to plug it in and download something. Are you kidding me. But this is the mindset of post houses a lot of times, especially at the higher end post houses. So I'm I'm talking about independent film, independent filmmakers. I've also worked a lot in commercials, and that's a whole other world. But independent filmmakers. You know, post houses don't make a whole lot of sense. Big post houses don't make a whole lot of sense. And I'll talk about boutiques in a second. But I'm talking about these big monster post houses that everybody knows about in your specific town. So these guys are in a lot of ways rip offs. Now with that said there are deals to be made up the supposed houses, sometimes the post houses are hungry, and they're willing to drop their prices down. Believe it or not, I've had to compete against multimillion dollar post houses on bids for four movies that I'm shocked that they are competing with me one guy in a post sweet comparatively to their big facilities because you know, times were tough and they needed to go they're trying to go after that, that same client so there are deals to be made but to be very wary of them because they will charge you all a cart for so many different things that you won't even see coming. So if you are going to work with them, you have to have an upfront package deal and make sure everything's clear and there's no surprises if you're going to go down that road. But boutiques boutique post houses which are Smaller companies that have a handful of suites, these guys are good to work with, they generally will give you good deals, but packages, you're generally working with the owner of the company, or someone really close to the owner. So it's not like this big monster corporation that you're dealing with, again, package out deals for everything upfront. And don't try to get go by the hour or go by and you're gonna go nuts, and they're gonna rape you. So you know, I always like to package things out. I don't like generally going by ours, purely because it just doesn't make a lot of sense for independent filmmakers, when I bid out stuff, but that's just me. So. So where do you go if you don't go to these big post houses, or if you don't want to go to a boutique? Well, you go to independent contractors, a lot of independent contractors. Now again, I'm calling I'm talking about my perspective, here in Los Angeles, here, there's a million independent contractors, a million small little companies, a million guys in the back of their house, with full blown facilities that would rival anything in a big post house. That's here in Los Angeles, I'm sure there's like that in New York, and some other big cities as well. But here in Los Angeles, they're literally everywhere. But if you can't find someone in your town, then you might have to go to a boutique or to a big post house or ship it off here to LA or New York, or Atlanta, as well, we have a lot of facilities there as well. There's a bunch of places around the country that have a lot of depth with in post production, but New York la are still the two big guys, as far as a lot of big post production, even when companies and movies are made elsewhere in the country. post production generally always comes back to Los Angeles, as far as post production, that visual effects but just straight up post production. So with that said, Guys, independent contractor, so how much does it cost to get an editor to edit your movie, a real editor with real credits. My experience here in Los Angeles, it's around 12 $100, to anywhere from 1200 to 2500 a week, and they'll package out probably a six to eight week run of doing an assemble, cut, a polished cut, a Final Cut, and so on. So it's about a six to eight week process. Sometimes more, sometimes less, it all depends on the deal that you can cut with that editor. Generally, that editor will have his own editing system, whether that be an avid, or a premiere system. Now, even on all Final Cut system is still very feasible nowadays for editorial, especially for independent films, it's still used a lot Final Cut seven. But that's the price that generally, you're going to look for, for an editor. And when you do hire an editor, please look at their credits, make sure they've actually edited feature films, make sure they've actually delivered feature films, and not just hire someone who says hey, I've got an editing system, I can edit your movie. Now you can also edit your movie yourself, there's nothing wrong with that. I wouldn't, I would, unless you're an editor, a professional editor or has a lot of editing experience, I would let a professional editor edit your stuff, it's going to be a better scenario at the end of it. Next color grading, which is where I live a lot of in my color grading suite, color grading ranges anywhere on an hourly range from $200 an hour to $450 an hour. And it can range up all the way up to seven $800 an hour, even up to 1000 depending on the size of the post house and the suite. Now a lot of times filmmakers will get wooed by a big post house because they have a big screening room and they feel like they're you know big stuff sitting down in the in the theater. And they're color grading like all this is the way most James Cameron or Michael Bay must color grade. So this must be cool. You know, that's all wonderful man. And it's great. And if you can get a good deal on those kind of sweets, God bless Go for it. Generally those sweets are you're paying a lot for a good color is no question. But you're paying for extra stuff that you don't need. You don't need to sit in front of a theater in a theater, you can sit very comfortably in a suite with a nice 55 inch or 60 inch calibrated monitor and do wonderful work. And if you want to see a screening of it later on a big screen, you can, but that's going to be that's where I've colored. I mean the arch a bunch of theatrical films that I've done, as well as straight to DVD and VOD movies as well. So there's no real reason to be in those big suites unless you really want to, and you can afford it. But I would I would stay away from it especially in an indie film budget, no need for it other than ego and just being all look how cool I am. So just be aware of that guys. Now sound. Sound is a very mysterious thing to me. We're going to hopefully have a great sound mixer coming on the show in the next next month or two. I want to be recording the interview soon. But general pricing for a feature film independent feature film project and again And this is going to be very, it's going to vary wildly depending on the movie, it is if it's a huge action movie, if the sound has been done horribly on production, there's a lot of variables. So please use this range of money as a real rough reference. But anywhere between $15,000 to $50,000. To do a full mix, ADR Foley real Foley with like a real Foley stage, not just sound effects, sound editing, Final Mix five, one, the whole ball of wax with deliverables, anywhere between 15 to $50,000, is probably a decent range in the independent film world, it could obviously go higher than that. And that's one thing that you actually really do need to go to house, a post house for post production, post production sound is something that's extremely difficult to do in the back of someone house not you can Don't get me wrong, and I know a bunch of guys who do. But in order to get real ADR booth unless that guy's built out a real ADR booth, if they have a real Foley stage, which truly a I've yet to see a Foley stage in someone's back house at that point now that they're turning it into a big post facility. So you know, you need you need a post facility to do that kind of stuff, especially for high end sound, at least for Foley and other things like that. So I suggest going with a post production, audio house, not a big post house that happens to have audio in it, an actual company that specifically does audio, and they will work with you on price. Generally, like I said, I've seen budgets much lower than 15,000 for a full feature. But they were again, they're very variables. If it's an easier movie, if it's a drama that doesn't have a lot of action, the sound was recorded properly, there's a lot of variables that you have to take in consideration. But generally anywhere between 15,050 1000 is a good range. If you have your if you've shot Well, you've got good audio, things are, are are been organized Well, in post production, you have a post production supervisor who's organizing it 15,000 to 20,000 is a pretty fair price, you might get it a little cheaper. But generally you do get what you pay for when you're working with audio as well. So make sure the house has experienced doing this. And I'm going to just say this as a blank statement, guys. And I've heard this too many times. I've heard from other filmmakers from around the country that Lauren let I'm not gonna say the cities, but let's say other cities besides Los Angeles or New York, and they went to their local big post house to do their features. And these guys rape them, raped them, because they're charging them commercial rates. So I would I will come back like yeah, you know, these guys charged 270 $5,000. And I'm like, Oh my god, are you kidding me $75,000 to do all their audio and to do all their, on their color and their editing. And they have no idea what they're doing, because I've never done a feature film before. So if you are going to go with this big post houses, and they're not accredited or have a lot of credits, or have a lot of experience in feature film, independent feature film specifically, stay away, be very, very careful. Because these guys might have good intentions, maybe they just want a credit. They're like, Oh, I want a feature credit under my belt. But you might end up paying more for it later. So be very, very cautious when working with a post production company that does not have credits in independent filmmaking, or independent films, because you will pay for it later. I've seen it happen many, many, many times. Okay, guys. So now let's go on to talk about a little bit about deliverables. Now, their deliverables list could go on deliverables, by the way are things distributors, ask for masters of your movie, when you're all said and done. I'm going to kind of go over this really quickly. This list I can be on I could talk for about an hour to just about this stuff. But I'm just going to go the big boys the big things that you should look out for Okay, so a DCP, a digital cinema package, which is basically your digital film print that ranges anywhere from $800 to $5,000. I remember when they were first came out, you couldn't even find one for less than 5000. Now I've seen them for 700 $800 no problem. Now mind you, when you're paying seven or $800 you might not be able to see it in a screening room. Because the price is so low. When you start going up higher in price at the three $4,000 $5,000 range, you'll be able to view that specific DCP in a screening room to see if it works. If not, you're going to basically just get a bunch of files and then take it to the theater wherever it's going to play and test it there. I think that's fine. You don't need to see it in their in their in that TCP if there is a problem with the DCP they have to replay it has to replace it. They have to do it again. Make sure you negotiate that when doing it. Next, the currently still people are Still mastering to HD s Rs, which are your tape backups. This is still only at 1080 p To my knowledge, I think they might have just released a 2k version. But I'd have to actually go and check on that but so far I haven't seen any deliverables asking for 2k tape masters just yet, but makes dsrs a big post house was going to charge a big dub house is going to charge you 1800 50 bucks if you needed up to $2,000 for an H DSR hdslr will carry your movie your full all your visual as well as 10 tracks of audio. So you can have your five one, your as your, your stereo, your mini tracks, and so on all included in this one master tape. It's very valuable. Smaller houses were more reasonable price to get is around 11 $100. I've seen them cheaper. Just be careful who's doing them. Just because they have a deck doesn't mean they know what they're doing. So just make sure they knew what they're doing. But 11 $100 is about 11 $150 is a fair price for HTS ours. It doesn't matter if they're copies or masters going to tape. And if anyone tries to charge you output to the tape from the the final cut or premiere wherever they're having, and they're charging you extra for the first output. runaway these guys are thieves. No one charges for that. If they do they're thieves don't just find a place that won't charge you for the initial output for God's sakes. That's ridiculous. That's old post house mentality, not current day realities. And finally guys, Digi betas. I know they're archaic, but they are still asked for by a lot of distributors because of overseas a lot of overseas countries are still on Digi betas on standard def they haven't even upgraded to HD yet. So they asked for Digi beta masters. Did you get a Masters on NTSC is about anywhere between 450 like 250 bucks to 450 bucks for a feature film for a 90 minute or 120 minute movie, I would you know a good price anywhere. I mean honestly 450 bucks, 250 bucks, it's around that area. Honestly, it's you we're talking about 100 bucks here might mean a lot to you. But I would say 450 is not a horrible price 352 50 if you can get them, that's the prices you need to look for. And then expect to spend at least another 50 to $100 for pal versions of that, whatever those might be. Some people don't charge more for pal, some people do, you just have to kind of check that out. So I hope this episode was helpful to you guys. It's a way I really don't want my filmmakers and my tribe members to get ripped off in post production. And this is just a real quick glance, real quick overview over that there's so many different things inside of post production that could you know, cause I'd even begin to talk about visual effects, which is a whole other conversation. But there's a lot of different things in post production where you have to get you will you can and will get ripped off. So just be very careful. Do your research, talk to a post production supervisor, like I always say, even consult with them. You know, again, I'm a post production supervisor, I consult all the time, even if you can't afford me as a full blown post production supervisor throughout the entire process. Even a consultation for a couple hours would save you 1000s of dollars going down the road because at least we can guide you in the process of what you really need, what you really don't need, how much to spend, how much not to spend, and so on. So if you guys want to hire me out as a post production consultant, please just head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash consulting and I am currently working on a post production workflow course that's going to cover a lot of the stuff I talked about in much more detail. And really hopefully have a resource for you guys to help you make your movies and not get ripped off in the process in post production. I wish you guys nothing but the best of luck. Don't forget to head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us an honest review. It really, really helps out the show a lot. So thank you so much for listening guys. As always, if you want show notes for this, it's going to be at indiefilmhustle.com/054 keep that also going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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