Where the Magic Happens!
I have to apologize in advance that this article, like the previous one, references Disney. But I can’t help it because my family and I just spent 7 amazingly, tiresome, heat-stroking, magical days at Disney World. With that said…let’s move on.
If you’ve been to Disney before, (most likely you have) then you know their buzz work is “magic” or “magical.” I mean you go to a place called “Magic Kingdom.” You use a “Magic Band” to do just about everything. And last, you constantly hear, “Have a magical day!” Magic is everywhere Disney! In our line of work, the cliché is, post production is where the magic happens - and there is a bit of truth to that. However, there is also a time of day that most filmmakers, video creators, and photographers seek out which is called “golden hour” or “magic hour.” It’s the time right after sunrise or right before sunset where the light is golden and softer and naturally makes everything look amazing. But unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of shooting at these times. So in essence we have to make the magic happen in post. But then again, it’s not all about color is it?
Post production is the stage of production after all shooting is complete. I think most people think it’s just editing, but there’s so much more to it. I’ll hit on a few of those parts below:
1. Logging. This is basically footage watched and labeled. Sounds easy, but takes time.
2. Editing. Cutting footage is an art. To become a good editor it takes a painful (or joyful) amount of time to hone your craft so to speak. It’s about shaving seconds off a shot to make the next one work. And when you see a commercial (for example) that flows well and looks simple, I can guarantee you it was cut by an editor that’s been doing it for years.
3. Color Correcting. This step is also an art. It’s establishing or enhancing the mood of the film or video by using certain color tones. However, it has to be consistent throughout, and this ain’t easy.
4. Sound Design. Mixing sound is something I actually enjoy doing - probably because I’m a musician or at least I was. This could be synching audio from a subject with two camera angles or mixing in the music bed under the entire video. Of course choosing the right music or score is a whole other beast, and you have to have a good ear to choose that which also establishes a mood.
These are just a handful of things that go into post production. There are many other categories like 2D/3D animation, graphics, text design, voice over, and so on that could be a part of post production. And any of these variables could be add ons that alter a budget (just something to keep in mind). So, hopefully you can see that it takes time, talent, experience, and the right budget to make sure that your video or film finishes on a strong note and maybe…perhaps even magical.