If you’ve been on any film or corporate or commercial video production, or video project of any kind relatively recently, you’ve probably heard the expression: We’ll fix it in post.
We’ve been in NJ and NY video production for years, and it seems that more and more people are using the phrase, and they seem to be using it more frequently than ever. It sounds harmless enough, but rest assured, it is not.
While today’s advanced camera and post-production technologies have made it so almost anything can be, at least somewhat, fixed in post, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Fixing hiccups in post-production should be a last resort. That’s when you should be correcting, not creating, and taking that initial approach to the production process can be a recipe for disaster. Why?
You Need a Vision
As a longtime NY and NJ video production company, trust us when we say that if you’re waiting to determine the actual composition of your shots until you get into the editing room, that’s a problem, and one that could prove to be catastrophic. Why?
Because that means that you approached the project without a clear vision, and no matter the style of the film or video production you’re working on, you need a vision for it. You need to have an idea of how you will tell the story or get your message across from a purely visual standpoint.
After all, many of the greatest directors in cinematic history use detailed storyboards and shot lists to ensure their visions are fully realized in production. If the step was irrelevant, so many of the greats wouldn’t take it.
They don’t just use these pre-production tools and tactics either; they rely on them. They take the time to envision every shot of the script and to get it down on paper. That work then serves as essentially the blueprint for the entire production process.
Once you come up with a vision for how the project should look, it should influence every other decision and phase of the production process.
If you fail to think through the story or message visually, you could find yourself scrambling for meaning later on in post. You can fix a lot in post, but not the central meaning of the project.
On top of that, there are technical concerns as well. For example, while you can change a medium shot to a close up in post, cropping in post reduces resolution, and you shouldn’t sacrifice picture quality just to cut a corner.
Fixing Color Temperature in Post Can Be Disastrous
Another practice we’re seeing become dangerously common in NY and NJ video production and filmmaking is the use of the automatic white balance feature on the camera.
Now, if the scene or day’s shoot doesn’t require you to change locations and the lighting conditions will be relatively consistent throughout, then you may be fine.
However, if you’ll be moving locations or the lighting conditions will change throughout your shoot, auto white balance may not be the best idea.
It gets exponentially harder to make things visually consistent in post if you stick with auto balance in a more involved shoot like this. You’re far better off making the correct adjustments during the production phase.
Think about it, whether it’s the sunlight changing or you need to move from an interior set to an exterior one mid-shot, auto balance will only adjust so much later.
Remember, the idea is to use the incredible new technologies to tweak and correct, not to create or completely alter.
Fixing Slating Issues in Post Can Take a Ton of Time
Slating is crucial. Yes, it’s possible to fix in post if it was just something like a day shoot, but with anything even slightly more involved, failing to slate can lead to…well…failure.
It’s not that it’s impossible to fix. It’s that the amount of time it can potentially take to fix slating problems on an extended shoot can be overwhelming, and it can send any film or video production project right off the tracks.
If you send all your footage into the editing room having neglected to slate or slate properly, it’ll simply be disorganized chaos. They’ll have to go through each and every shot to determine what matches with what.
We’ve been performing NJ and NY video production services for long enough to know that you don’t want to save something as critical as synching sound and picture for post-production. It’s simply too important.
And proper slating doesn’t just mean yelling out the correct shot and slapping the slate down with the right amount of force.
You should indicate the camera being used, the frame rate, if it’s a pickup shot, if there are any filters on the lens, the focal length, etc.
Remember, There are 24 Frames Per Second, and That’s a lot of Work
Even photographers shouldn’t save everything for later, and they only have to worry about one frame. In film or video production, you’re talking about a standard of 24 fps (frames per second).
That means that saving a whole lot to do in post can take a whole lot of time. Taking that into consideration, you could end up wasting more time and money through your efforts to save on both.
So, don’t wait to compose your shots in post. If that’s the case, you haven’t come up with a clear vision for your project. A vision needs to be determined early so it can influence all other future decisions. It can’t be inserted later in post.
From there, if your shoot will be moving locations or you can expect the lighting conditions to change, don’t save fixing color temperature for post-production. It’ll be nearly impossible to keep things consistent.
Also, improper slating or failing to slate in production, while it can be mostly fixed in post, can make the editor’s life miserable and could lead to tons of extra time in the editing room.
About Us: KVibe Productions is a full-service film & video production company. Whether it’s a web promo video, a commercial, a corporate video production, a feature film, or any other video project, KVibe will guide you every step of the way, from development through distribution. We create to inspire.