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Clips from films produced by Luciano Saber

PLACEBO EFFECT - This espionage thriller was shot on location in Chicago and had a limited theatrical release.

SCARED - This upbeat feature film was shot on the Sony lot on 35mm Kodak film.

AH! Vision



By L. Saber

If you’re on a movie set long enough, you’ll most likely hear the expression: “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in post.” The reality is that not everything is easily fixed in post, not to mention the additional cost to fix the mistake. To avoid an unpleasant post-production experience, you have to plan for post, just as you do for development, pre-production and production.

If you have the budget for a post-production supervisor, make the investment. It will pay off later. The post-production supervisor will take care of a lot of issues and save you from disasters. If you don’t have the budget to hire a GOOD post-production supervisor, consider this:

Style and look of the film or television project—make sure that all of your department heads are on board. It’s just as important for your editor to understand the style and look of your project and share your vision as it is for your director and production designer. The truth is that you can shoot your entire film and capture the angles you dreamed about, your sets could be just as you imagined and the costumes impeccable, but when you turn the footage over to your editor, he or she can edit an entirely different film than what you envisioned.

Set up a few meetings with your director and editor and make sure you provide your editor with a copy of the script and a copy of the script broken down, during the pre-production stages. Make sure the director and editor are on the same page and share your vision.

Once you start shooting, send dailies to your editor and start the edit process. This is beneficial for a number of different things—it gives you an idea of the direction of the film and it gives you a glimpse of the look of your film.

Send your top notch dailies to acquisitions executives and distribution houses (for more information on this point, see the article on distribution).

Have your editor cut a short trailer when you have enough footage.

If you follow these steps you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to editing your rough cut and hopefully you’ll make an impression on your future distribution partner(s).

Don’t forget about your music composer. It’s not unheard of to compose the music before the shooting starts. Sometimes the music inspires the direction of the film and vice versa.

If you’re shooting film, choose your negative processing lab carefully and make sure you understand the process. Make sure you know the difference between a one light, two lights or best light (that’s another article all together). Keep in mind that once you process your negative, you’ll have to transfer the footage for editing and that costs money.

Whether you shoot film or video you’ll certainly have to do color correction and looping. Get familiar with your color correction lab and colorist. Have your director talk to the colorist and make sure he or she is available to sit in on a few color correction sessions.

Post-production sound is just as important as everything else. This is where the looping takes place. Looping is the actor repeating the lines in a controlled environment such as a soundproof room. You then, sync the recording with your film or video footage.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but we haven’t even touched on special visual effects, sound effects, sweetening, transfer to print and delivery; artwork, posters, one-sheets and more.  All that and more to come in future articles, so stay tuned and stay in touch.

If you’d like to ask specific questions about filmmaking please write to feedback@aspiringhollywood.com. §