Ritesh Trivedi
Manager Audio,
Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd.

Post-Production Industry

Post-production is part of the process of filmmaking, video production, and photography. It includes all stages of production occurring after shooting or recording individual program segments. Traditional (analog) post-production has mostly been replaced by video editing software that operates on a non-linear editing system (NLE). The main aspects of content are processes, television, photography, and music.

Processes. Post-production is many different processes grouped under one name. These typically include: video editing the picture of a television program using an edit decision list (EDL); writing, (re)recording, and editing the soundtrack; adding visual special effects – mainly computer-generated imagery (CGI) and digital copy from which release prints will be made (although this may be made obsolete by digital-cinema technologies); sound design, sound effects, ADR, foley, and music, culminating in a process known as sound re-recording or mixing with professional audio equipment; and transfer of color motion picture film to video or DPX with a telecine and color grading (correction) in a color suite. The post-production phase of creating a film usually takes longer than the actual shooting of the film and can take several months to complete because it includes the complete editing, color correction, and the addition of music and sound. The process of editing a movie is also seen as the second directing because through post-production it is possible to change the intention of the movie. Through the use of color grading tools and the addition of music and sound, the atmosphere of the movie can be heavily influenced.

Television. The phases of post-production include editing, video editing, sound editing, animation and visual effects insertions, viewing, and the start of the airing process. It is imperative that post-production executes and oversees the preparation until the final product is completely ready.

Photography. Professional post-producers usually apply a certain range of image editing operations to the raw image format provided by a photographer or an image-bank. There is a range of proprietary and free and open-source software, running on a range of operating systems available to do this work. The first stage usually requires loading the raw images into the post-production software. If there is more than one image, and they belong to a set, post-producers try to equalize the images before loading them. After that, if necessary, the next step would be to cut the objects in the images with the pen tool for a perfect and clean cut. The next stage would be cleaning the image using tools. The next stages depends on what the client ordered. If it is a photo-montage, the post-producers would usually start assembling the different images into the final document, and start to integrate the images with the background. Advertising usually requires assembling several images together in a photo-composition.

Music. Techniques used in music post-production include compiling timing and pitch correction, and adding effects. This process is typically referred to as mixing and can also involve equalization and adjusting the levels of each individual track to provide an optimal sound experience. Contrary to the name, post-production may occur at any point during recording and production process and is non-linear and non-veridical. The top three emerging trends driving the global post-production market are businesses being outsourced, growth of AR and VR market, and less interference from artists.

Businesses being outsourced. One of the major trends is the outsourcing of the business segment by vendors. The majority of the budget is apportioned to the cost of labor. This can often be the difference amongst vendor’s market capitalization. Vendors like the Moving Picture Company out-source their business regularly.

Growth of AR and VR market. The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will penetrate the animation and VFX space, and post-production studios will receive a higher number of projects in line with the latest technologies. Since 2014, movie producers and marketers have been launching a 360-degree VR video, showcasing the various sets and effects used in the movies.

Less interference from artists. A decade ago, artists in the industry were generally aware of the underlying technology required to make a film. The contribution of artists was significantly more than their designated role. However, modern-day artists are often less knowledgeable about the sophisticated technologies used in post-production. The technology requires specialized skills. Hence, the artists give the post-production team the freedom to work creatively.

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