What does “post-production” mean and what does it consist of?

Post-production is one of many steps in the process of creating a video. This is precisely the last phase before distribution, and follows the pre-production, in which the basis for the production of the video is laid, and the actual production of the product.

Post-production involves all those aspects that have to do with the correction of the video in all its aspects, its editing and the realization of the final product, until its delivery. In practice, it is that process that transforms a video into a production with a professional aspect and narrative coherence, which will then be distributed and made known to the world.

The various stages of post-production

The professionals involved in post-production structure the work in various stages. First you have to save the video sequences on a device, ordering and labeling. Those not suitable (the cut scenes, the cut discarded or with shooting errors) are eliminated and we proceed to the first rough draft of the editing, called rough cut, keeping in mind the indications of the director and the sequence of the scenes indicated in the script.

In the meantime, we also start to work on the sound: often the one recorded during the shooting is to be discarded because of poor quality, so the actors will have to record their parts again in a soundproof booth. The soundtrack and sound effects will also have to come to life at this stage. The editing will then be further refined, first checking for any errors of the shot and then its quality, correcting the color and integrating graphics, animations and visual effects.

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Who are the professionals involved in post-production?

Many professional personalities are involved in the post-production phase, starting with the director, whose vision must be reflected in the final shot and which must be present in the whole process.

There are also editors, who take care of video and audio editing with special software (such as Adobe Premiere Pro). The sound also employs the sound artists, who create the sound effects, the sound engineers, who control the mixing of the sounds collected during the shooting, and the composers, who arrange the soundtrack (with songs composed specifically or already existing).

But post-production also uses figures that are often unknown to non-experts, such as the ADR supervisors (which stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement), in charge of managing the dialogues of the actors in the soundproof booth, and the editors of the dubbed dialogues, who will have to integrate them into the film.

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Towards the final product

Once the video and audio are assembled, the final stages of product making also see the work of visual effects and special effects artists. They are professionals who will work digitally on the shot, reworking some of its elements with specific programs such as After Effects or Da Vinci.

The changes can be simple photo retouches, or you can make scenes and characters that are not present in the shooting but are created virtually. The post-production team is also responsible for replacing the green screen with new, storytelling backgrounds.

The last post-production step includes color correction. We talk about color correction when the goal is to optimize shots with fluctuating quality and uniform their aesthetics. The purpose of color correction is to correct errors.

The color grading instead harmonizes the color between the various scenes, using it for narrative purposes to convey a certain emotion or set the atmosphere of the scene. The goal of color grading is therefore to arouse an influence on the audience for which the video is intended, treating color as one of the many elements of the narrative.

Post-production also includes a series of operations that are often taken for granted by the viewer, but that are important to create a product that can be defined complete. The graphic designers then get to work to produce the opening and closing credits and the graphics within the video (for example, those that indicate the date and place of a scene in a movie).

Teaser e Trailer

Last but not least is the process of creating a teaser and/or trailer. The teaser is just a taste and lets guess what the video will cover, while the trailer will delve into the highlights of the narrative that the video will tell.  

Once the post-production is finished, it’s time to distribute the video, and show it to the world!

Do you have a shoot that you want to post-produce but don’t know where to start? Or are you still in pre-production and need someone to manage the production and post-production of your video? We are here to help you: contact us and let’s talk about it together!