In his career, Terel Gibson has cut an array of iconic films like Sorry to Bother You, Ready or Not, and Kings of Summer.

From the start of his career, he understood the incredible power of the editor. 

“I worked my way up, and fell in love with editing along the way,” Gibson told No Film School. “The ability to shape and craft a story through this incredibly powerful medium continues to surprise and excite me.”

Gibson chooses his NLE based on the size and complexity of the project. On the Disney+ feature Safety, for the first time, he was able to cut on Resolve. Here’s how it worked, and where Gibson sees post-production heading.

How cutting on Resolve worked for Disney+ feature Safety

For Gibson, the film was the first time he cut an entire feature on Resolve Studio, and the whole production was in the DaVinci ecosystem.

“We used Resolve on a Disney + feature called Safety last year,” Gibson told No Film School. “It came recommended by our producers, and we had [a] great support system in place throughout post-production.”

For Safety, the post process was pretty different from day one. Because of the Digital Asset Management system and the way the whole team was able to collaborate within DaVinci Resolve, the editorial team was involved with the production team from the get-go.

Editorial even had a suite in the production office!

Gibson and his team were often able to create edits of scenes while they were still being shot, and rough cuts could be watched by the end of the day or the next morning.

“I’ve never felt so close to the camera,” said Gibson.

Reginald-hudlin-121119-disney-ftrjpg_1euh0roqub6im194zrjqe8ykstDirector Reginald Hudlin speaks to the cast on the film 'Safety,' edited by Terel Gibson.Credit: Disney+

A breakdown of the insanely quick workflow on Safety

With this production, editing basically started on set.

How? Here’s a look at how that was possible.

  1. The moment cameras roll, the Hyperdeck Studio Mini recorders on the Digital Asset Management (DAM) cart record matching time code and playback footage.
  2. That video feed is piped into DaVinci Resolve and live graded on set.
  3. Video village views the color graded footage
  4. Live images were immediately available via ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switchers and Teranex Mini SDI Distribution 12G boxes.
  5. Directors, DPs, and execs were able to make notes on clips that went through the DAM cart directly to editorial.
  6. Script supervisor notes get added to metadata and are available to editorial immediately.
  7. The Digital Asset Manager, Michael, would sync sound with camera files, add non-destructive color correction and then create an editorial timeline.
  8. Camera footage is downloaded from cards to RAID drives and delivered to post-production multiple times a day.
  9. With notes and footage coming in so quickly, the editing team was never more than six hours behind the shoot.
  10. Editorial would edit rough cuts, often by the end of the day!

Are the days of the editorial team residing in a dark cave months (or years) after production... gone?

Here’s a BTS clip that explores the finished film Safety where you can catch a few small glimpses of the Digital Asset Management at work.

Is the future of post-production in... production?

Post-production has always been an entirely separate phase of filmmaking, with the cameras and actors long gone. But with this kind of technology and a whole team working within DaVinci, we are seeing how this can change.

Is this a natural progression with advancing tech? Will indies adopt this? Is this part of a fundamental post-production shift going forward in the future?

“It could be,” Gibson told No Film School. “The file size is huge and requires quite a bit of storage. As costs come down, I’m sure productions will continue to explore making editorial the home for raw camera dailies.”

Davinci-resolve-12-editing_0Credit: Blackmagic Design

Advice on becoming a great editor

Gibson has cut many great titles and continues to work on amazing films, both studio and indie, as editor.

He gets to be at the intersection of cutting-edge technological advancement and some of the world’s best filmmaking. What’s his advice for you?

“The number one piece of advice was given to me by a great editor and mentor,” said Gibson. “It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Hard work will always pay off in the end.”


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