After months of pre-production and production involving shooting and recording comes the most important part of film making: Post-production. Post-production involves various activities which are critical in film making; failure to do so would render months of efforts worthless. Which is why post-production is the most important activity for any Film Production Company looking for lucrative deals and an interested audience for theatres. So important is post-production that it takes more time than pre-production and shooting itself.
Post-production involves different processes. We shall briefly discuss these below:
An edit decision list (EDL) is firstly created by the team of director and cinematographer, at times also involving Producers too. This is an important list which is the crux of the entire post-production process itself. Editing is rightfully considered as the very means by which a film is shaped as per Directorial vision; his understanding of montage and mis-en-scene play a very important role. But similarly, an editor too has an important role. A great editor has a firm grasp on how the scene transitions to the next stage. The perfect edit is that which isn’t apparent whenever someone looks at a film. When a film is artistically edited, the flow of the film appears so smooth that it creates an immersive experience.
Soundtrack Designing & Recording:
Writing, re-recording, and editing the soundtrack are the three activities in sound editing and designing. There’s a distinction between both: sound designing is an aural architectural work. It is about how we wish to create an overall mood of the film through background score, interactive sound etc. While sound editing involves chopping, modifying the tone of the sounds used in the film. In this process, re-recording sound becomes very important as background noise is a nuisance. Hence, sound recording studio is where the dialogues, ambient sounds are recorded and added to the film to enhance it.
Remarkable advancements in CGI technology have made it almost essential to any film we see today. It is surprising to know that The Irishman, a film by Martin Scorsese, has special effects which enhance the facial features of many of its leading actors. Since the early 80s starting with Star Wars, CGI effects have become so realistic that it is indistinguishable from real images. Therefore, CGI requires the services of specialists who work frame by frame, rendering high quality images we see on our screens today.
Color Grading & Color Correction:
There’s a slight difference between the two: Color Grading adds colors to the images while Color Correction enhances or decreases color contrasts. Both go hand in hand during the post-production process. If we go by the color theories of cinema, they enhance the overall visual mood of the film using shades of colors. For example, we can see Dunkirk as a great example of how color grades and corrections give a feel of danger. Another example is of Mandy, a great film by Panos Cosmatos, in which red is a predominant theme but notice how the 80s aesthetics have been the core of his films since the beginning of his filmography. We can also see a great Tamil film Superstar where color gradation is apparent in each and every frame.
In short, without post-production, a film is as good as worthless. The decades of film theory, visual technologies, artistic schools of thought etc. have converged to create a cinema which continues to enthrall us with great stories and visual appeal that cuts across languages and national barriers.