written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011
There are many problems that arise in post-production and post-production planning. Here are a few common ones that you should anticipate.
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Post-production, which is the different types of editing and marketing a digital video project may go through after production is finished, can be the most intensive part of the entire process. Problems arise in all aspects that need to be anticipated and addressed. Here are some common problems that tend to arise during larger film and video projects.
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Media management is probably the biggest problem for home producers of large projects. There are so many different pieces of footage and audio that it can get lost and the editing software can have trouble finding it. Make sure to properly label all pieces and keep them in specially designated folders and storage devices. Avoid moving them around as much as possible.
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Computer Power and Size
Another significant problem is finding resources with enough computer memory and power to edit your project. If you are editing a feature length narrative project your project size could run anywhere from 500 GB to 2 TB in size. The computer you need to run it on has to be powerful enough to handle 3D imaging and real-time video editing. Since you may not be able to afford a computer of this power it is best to purchase a sizable hard drive and then rent or check-out editing space at a university or film institution. Even if you are able to purchase a system that could handle this, you could only do one sequence at a time, so editing by multiple editors would have to be done in shifts.
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Editing Image Clarity
Since so much of the computer’s memory has to be used when editing, the video editing software, especially AVID and Final Cut Pro, reduce the quality of the image during real-time editing. After you are finished you do a full render and the image then appears as it should. The problem is that the image is not as great when editing, so making choices based on image quality and clarity can be difficult for the editor. Try reviewing the video carefully when capturing it, and making notes about quality that you can use as reference when editing the footage.
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One of the most interesting aspects of post-production involves the lack of spontaneous creativity because of excessive planning. Many times people set up very specific notes and outlines for the final project and then you are not able to bring ingenuity or speed to the project. Try to cut down some of the more specific plans and let the editor, even if it is you, use their own eye for film construction.
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Keep alternates available for all outside artistic media and footage you want to use. Music, for example, is always used in narrative film and is often acquired through a paid or un-paid licensing agreement with the artist. It is not uncommon for them to pull out at the last minute, or raise their rates to an unreasonable level. Make sure you have other materials you can fall back on in case something like this happens.
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Sound Effects and Looping
If you are going to be using sound effects or sound looping it is important to test it first. This can be both a time consuming and expensive process so it is important to know what methods or materials you need to employ when doing this so that when it comes time you can do it quickly. There is nothing worse than recording a series of sound effects and realizing that they don’t fit or finishing your audio loops and finding out that there is background noise.
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Having the right credits in your film is important for everyone who worked on the project, mainly because they may be using this to get a job or gain entrance into an academic program. On small projects people’s positions often change, so it is important to keep the credits up to date.
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Exporting and DVD Authoring
If you are doing a home production then you will most likely be doing all things, such as exporting and DVD authoring, from a small computer system. This can have an astronomical number of issues and errors that can stop your project or make the process much longer than anticipated. This is another thing that you should do several trial runs of before you absolutely need to finish it.
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Like anything in digital video production, post-production needs to be planned for and common problems need to be considered so they can be quickly solved. Digital video and film require a lot of different people’s input, as well as a variety of technological devices, so it is likely that one of these things will happen to you.