May 10, 2016 at 7:53PM

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Short Film Post Production, Editing, and Sound

I recently wrapped principle photography on my first short and after taking a breath I realized...(dun dun duuuuun)...I still have post!

I was hoping someone could chime in on a few technical points:

1. My DP was kind enough to supply his Red Scarlet Dragon for the shoot. I wound up with prores transcoded footage as well as the raw red footage. I have a 2011 mac book pro and plan on editing in Adobe Premier. What is the best strategy to maximize the quality of the footage? Import and edit with prores? Once creating the final cut can I transcode back to the raw for quality purposes? Am I doomed to lose the quality of the footage because of my machine? Its a short, not The Godfather, so am I really sacrificing that much?

2. My audio is not synched yet. Would you recommend creating at least the first assembly and rough cut before syncing audio to save time? Or sync all audio first and then create the assembly?

3. Based on the answer to number 2 when is the appropriate time to incorporate a sound mixer or sound designer? Can I count on them to sync the footage and match it to the rough cut or final cut?

Thanks in advance.

2 Comments

With respect to editing RAW or Prores you could obviously use a proxy but the whole point of using RAW is that you have more control over white balance and exposure in post and to use it non-destructively. By making ProRes proxies you won't have the same options as you would not be able to see them as the proxies would already have baked in decisions.

I know it must be me but I really do not understand people who want to edit 4k and up on some laptop. Get at least an X99s based desktop with a good graphics card and with at least a 27 inch QHD monitor and up (two monitors are obviously better).

With respect to when to sync I would sync first. Not sure what you mean by the time saved, I take it you would not want to sync things manually.

For sound there are different steps:

For each scene you potentially would have to make decisions on what to do with the sound, adjusting levels, substituting sounds and adding sound effects.

Only after the editing is complete you can start to think about adding music and then finally you can mix and master it everything.

Someone who is going to mix and master the film is typically not going to be happy if they have to sync up things or tinker with individual scenes.

May 10, 2016 at 8:57PM, Edited May 10, 8:59PM

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Cary Knoop
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Definitely sync first. You need good quality sound to edit your scenes. Do not rely on scratch sound (if you have). Needless to say, you will need a pair of good monitor speakers or some good reliable phones.
Usually the editor (aka you) will do the first sound design and preliminary mix.
In the final steps you could bring in someone to do a final mix and master.

May 11, 2016 at 4:49AM, Edited May 11, 4:49AM

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Stel Kouk
Filmmaker
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