Post-production is among the three types of production in filmmaking, coming after the pre-production preparations and completion of the actual shoot during production. As a refresher, post-production is essentially where everything comes together -- from the filmed content, animations, voiceovers, and many more – and is combined into the final cut. In order to fully realise what you envisioned in the final video, it would be beneficial to pay attention to the following 7 key elements that are integral to the post-production stage.
1. Rough cut
Making a rough cut of your video is the first step to prioritise before anything else. The rough cut entails going over all the captured footage first, categorising the shots, selecting which to use, and slicing them together to create a rough or initial version of the video, also known as the assembly edit. This edit needs no special effects or music just yet, but you are free to put in a temp track if the video uses no voiceover or dialogue elements.
2. Picture lock
After making the rough cut, the next step is to achieve a picture lock, otherwise known as locking all the shots into their proper order. In traditional movie production, completing this step generally means the video is ready to be passed on to the visual effects and sound editing teams. When incorporating visual effects, it is recommended to first provide a rough mock-up. Doing so allows you to visualise where the effects will come in. Neglecting this extra step may throw off the video’s flow once music and sound effects are added.
3. Sound mix
Sound mixing involves editing together various audio tracks and elements to be included in the video, which may include things like the dialogue between actors, sound effects, background music, voiceovers, and more. Certain elements, such as sound effects and voiceovers, need to be recorded separately (ideally in a soundproof environment) to get a clean audio. Sometimes, actors may also have to re-record their dialogue due to unwanted background noise sullying the original audio recorded during production. It is important to remember that sound quality is equivalent to video quality since nothing brings down a video’s quality more than bad sound.
4. Visual effects
The next step is to add in the visual effects or VFX. The most common visual effect in use today is animations. Another popular one is called CGI modelling, wherein 3D rendered models, objects, or characters created via VFX software are added into the filmed shots.
5. Lower third
A lower third is text added onto a shot or image placed in the lower third of the screen. These texts are primarily used to convey various contextual information, such as a person’s occupation, the name of a new location, and many more. For example, in an interview segment, the lower third will typically feature the interviewee’s name and other key information about them, like their job title. Lower thirds must achieve their purpose while being as non-distracting as possible. Hence, following the general rule of “less is more” is almost always recommended. But in cases where you need to get the point across, there is still room to make the lower third pop out a bit more by adding slight animations or eye-catching designs.
6. Colour correction
Colour correction comes after all the VFX and lower third titles have been finalised. This process entails altering the colour of the light in every shot using digital filters to ensure they all match. These corrections address things like white balance issues, wherein the colour of the light just does not match, and exposure problems, where one shot has too much light while there is too little in another. Just like how you want your sound levels to be equal, the visuals should also look as similar as possible, without any shots sticking out like a sore thumb. If colour correction is done properly, viewers would likely not even realise that any editing was done to the final cut!
7. Title and end cards
The final step of post-production involves adding title or end cards to the video. You may already know what these are from watching dozens of movies before, wherein filmmakers traditionally use them to credit all the people involved in making the film. They function similarly in digital videos but are generally used to promote the brand in question. Although not as necessary as the previous elements, end cards are a subtle way to remind audiences about your brand. Apart from showing the brand’s name and logo, end cards also direct viewers towards the next step via a call to action.
After implementing all the elements above, you should be officially done with the video creation process, with the final cut ready to be posted online! If this final stage seems rather complicated, that is because it certainly can be. Thus, if you need some help to get things right, don’t hesitate to engage a reputable film production company for a helping hand.
At Emergent Films Singapore, we help brands express their story and message to the world through inspiring and creative narratives best conveyed through film. Driven by our passion for settling for nothing but the best, you can rely on us to make your ideas a reality of captivating stories filled with stunning visuals.