Other than becoming star-studded actors, here is a reassuring thought for those readers who still harbor dreams of getting into the film business. They say that the machinations of the film post production process are not hard to stomach. But like those aspirant screen and stage actors lining the corridors for a first-time audition, and perhaps even more so, the work detail, and its hours, can be long and arduous.
This is by no means a form of scaremongering. It is just a dose of realism. Those readers who shun heavy workloads and yearn for a short working week will do themselves a timesaving favor by leaving this page right now.
As for the rest who certainly do aspire to be in this business, hopefully for the long haul, here is a brief and easy to follow glimpse of a week in the life of a post production producer or staff member.
Apart from just editing a script, an editing format still needs to be selected. And once that form has been agreed to, a suitable editor still needs to be headhunted. Still on the hunt for project staffers, a sound editor needs to be found as well.
A picture editor needs to be recruited as well. Once a full team is assembled, the ADR or automatic dialogue replacement work can proceed. Once that task is completed, the foley work still needs to be done. And once that is done and dusted, it’s back to the headhunting, this time for the musician or composer who will be responsible for the movie’s soundtrack. The post production project manager’s responsibility will remain with the re-recording or mixing work.
And then his team must still work on getting the music and effects setup right. After all, editing work is completed, it’s time to work on the movie’s titles. Finally, a DCP or digital cinema package needs to be tied up. The post production team is just about ready to embark on the critical marketing and advertising bandwagon. This will include putting a dialogue script and short trailer, lasting no more than a couple of minutes, together. And still the work is not done! A long day at the office, or in this case, the studio, it has been.
Assuming the movie rights have successfully been sold to the highest bidder, a new collaboration needs to be entered into. Working alongside or for those who are going to be paying for your supper from now on has its own challenging quirks. Consulting and making recommendations to a feisty and temperamental investor who does not always know his ROI from his rear end or elbow is another job altogether.
Both the project manager and his crew still need to have fire in their bellies going forward. And now it is left up to the reader to decide whether he or she has the stomach for this exciting piece of business.
But once the first project is completed and paid in full, the work is already rewarding.