Top 10 Tips for Saving Time in Post


Max McGonigal TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

Whether you're working on a shoestring or with feature film budgets, every production is under pressure to save money. And while cutting back on crew and downgrading your gearlist are effective ways of reducing costs, they invariably also reduce production value. But you can make big savings simply by being organised. Time really is money in the edit suite and I'm always surprised at how much of it is wasted. My top tip for saving time (and money) in post is to make sure that you plan well beforehand, so that all you do in the edit suite€¦is edit. Here's how to make that happen.

1. Get advice - it's free! Getting input from the right people, early on helps ensure that you can deliver what you pitch. Everyone, regardless of experience, needs a bit of advice now and again, particularly when considering the speed of technology changes and the effect this has on our industry. The technical operators, post-production supervisors and creative talent that you plan to work with are undoubtedly experienced professionals and they have a vested interest in making sure that your production runs smoothly - let them help you!

2. Ignore delivery specs at your peril Your broadcaster's spec can have a big impact on your budget and schedule - don't just expect your post house or internal facility to take care of it. Make sure that you understand what you need to deliver before production starts - discovering that you're expected to provide multiple masters, each with different technical specs and rights clearances, on the last day of post can be devastating.

3. Think "contingency" On average, post-production accounts for around 20 percent of initial production budgets. But this is often whittled down to as little as 10 percent after overspends during the production phase. Include contingency time and money in your planning to make sure you don't run out before the edit - and to cover the inevitable issues that you'll decide to "fix in post."

4. Don't forget the two F's Inconsistent frame rates and formats can derail your post-production. Discuss and agree on the format and frame rate you want to work with, and make sure that the camera team and data wrangler are informed before you start shooting.

5. Plan your media management You'll waste less edit time searching for shots if you've planned how you want your media organised early on. Do you want all the footage shot by a specific crew to be stored in a single bin or would you prefer to organise your media by shoot location? Make sure the crew knows what metadata you need and what naming conventions to follow and that the data wrangler and facility know how you want your files organised.

6. Delay the wrap party Review your footage as soon as possible - ideally before you wrap. Not only will you be better prepared for post if you're familiar with your footage, but the earlier any issues are identified, the easier it is to solve them. It's cheaper to run into overtime on a shoot than it is to book a reshoot.

7. Reduce the time spent searching The more information you can bring into edit, the better. Logging your footage before the edit means that you'll be able to search for key words and find specific shots in seconds - a crucial step for high-shoot-ratio productions. Smaller productions can get away with basic clip tagging or even paper based logs.

8. Start editing before you get to the suite Take advantage of cloud-based services like Forscene to start selecting shots and creating rough cuts before you get into the edit, or to collaborate with your post-production team while working remotely.

9. Review the way you do reviews Reviewing edits in the edit suite is expensive and almost impossible to co-ordinate. Making review copies of your edit available online lets clients, execs and broadcasters give input without leaving their desks and saves valuable edit time. But even remote reviews need to be scheduled so that your editor isn't left twiddling their thumbs while you wait for feedback.

10. Don't make audio an afterthought Sound makes a huge difference to your final programme and needs the same consideration and preparation as the visual elements. If you're cutting to music, spend time before the edit choosing the tracks (or similar references) so that the editor can cut to the pace and style of the piece. Make sure you record and log atmospherics and other audio elements so that they can be found and used in the edit, and brought to life in final mix. It could be the difference that turns your shoulder peak ob doc into an RTS nomination.

Max has 19 years of experience in television production, post and facility management. As part of the Discovery EMEA programming team he has worked on some of the most memorable factual content to come out of the UK and US, including shows like "Raising the Mammoth", "Deadliest Catch" and "American Chopper." Over the last four years he managed two of the U.K.'s largest post-production facilities; Clear Cut Pictures and Crow TV.


Tags: iss114 | forscene | post production | editing | forbidden technology | Max McGonigal
Contributing Author Max McGonigal

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • Forscene at NAB 2016

    Forscene at NAB 2016

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011

  • Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

    Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

  • Editors Keys at NAB 2014

    Editors Keys at NAB 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Dalet at NAB 2013

    Dalet at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • Avid at BVE North 2011

    Avid at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE

    Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE


Articles
An Obituary to Timecode
Bruce Devlin - new A stoic and persistent character that stubbornly refused to change with the times, Timecode has finally passed on, but no-one has noticed. A long-lasting industry veteran, Timecode was brought into this world at an uncertain date in the late 1960s due to the needs of analogue tape workflows and the demand for synchronisation between audio and video devices. A joint activity between SMPTE and the EBU led to the work on Time and Control codes starting its journey to standardisation in the early 1970s.
Tags: iss134 | timecode | smpte | ebu | edit | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - November 2018
Dick Hobbs - new There is an interesting seminar called Size Matters at the KitPlus Show – organised by the publishers of this fine magazine – at MediaCityUK in Salford on 6 November. It’s a talk by cinematographer Alistair Chapman on the way that camera technology is changing, and in particular the size of the electronic device which creates the image is growing.
Tags: iss134 | cmos | 35mm | AJA | Arri | Blackmagic | Canon | Datavideo | GoPro | Grass Valley | Hitachi | Ikegami | JVC | Kinefinity | Nikon | Panasonic | Red | Sony | jpeg2000 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
AI in Media and Entertainment
David Candler Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term appearing everywhere these days. What is happening in media and entertainment (M&E) that makes the industry ripe for AI? In other words, why does the M&E industry need AI?
Tags: iss134 | AI | wazee | David Candler
Contributing Author David Candler Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF