Post Houses Need Information
As the edit advances and requests begin to go out to post houses for improved sound & VFX for screenings, Editorial must talk to post houses before assuming that their lovely edit will simply pop up on a completely different platform without a problem.
Editorial needs the specifications each Post house requires for handing over a sequence in order to keep the Workflow intact and avoid costly problems. Contact your post houses and ask for their Handover Specifications.
This is the point at which it can get particularly messy, and post houses become very testy and rightly so, as they’re asked to repair Handovers which may take days out of a limited schedule and budget – with no extra time or money to cover the delay. Editorial can be the cause of creativity being lost in order to repair poor preparation. And that erodes the relationship between Editor and Producer – the person who does the hiring for the next production.
Temp VFX – looking better than exAvid – may be needed for Test screenings. Temp or not, it’s still a full Handover to VFX so contact them and ask for their Handover Template. Here’s an example from Perceptual Engineering’s Handover specifications of a VFX Master Template and how you fill one in:
Schedule dates begin to impact on other post houses – make sure the schedule is realistic to begin with, which means talking to them early.
Each post house has different specifications for Handover – contact them and obtain their specs. Follow them religiously. Any problems – call the post house immediately. Talking with them saves schedule and budget. And most problems occur in the Sound Post handover.
Feature Film Reels
If required by your post houses, make sure you supply every house with reels, that naming protocols match, with SMPTE head & tail leaders 2 pipped each track for every reel, and hour start timecode matches the reel number. Make an EDL of each layer for each reel because they work when AAFs and XMLs sometimes don’t, and sound post houses using Conformalizer** (most do) can match in the work they did for the temp mix into the final mix.
Web or television – same deal (check Park Road Post’s midline handover notes for webseries (PDF 251KB)). Check your broadcaster’s required length of black between reels/eps. Watch out: fades to black or up to image may present problems.
Timeline Handover Preparation
Ask Online Post how they want Vision prepped.
Ask Sound Post how they want Audio prepped.
Two quick rules to help you avoid problems at this stage:
Talk to your post house before you Handover. Follow their specifications to the letter.
You will find some of the main post houses and their contacts here. While some have shared their Handover Specifications with DEGNZ, you still need to talk to them.
It still all comes out of talking to the right people at the right time.
Enjoy your smooth, trouble-free production and have a great time doing it.
* Check the Glossary for any abbreviations and terminology.
** Conformalizer is a tool for comparing two versions of a picture cut and re-conforming audio data to match. It saves a huge amount of time for sound editors and removes any doubt or uncertainty about what has changed. It allows editors to easily rebalance sound data between reels.
Conformalizer compares EDLs, XML or cutlists which represent the two versions of picture and then automatically recuts a protools session or database. Usually, the picture editorial dept. outputs a corresponding list every time they output a picture version. The sound dept. keeps these for later use and is able to very quickly update their data from any version to any other, without bothering the picture team.
There are other packages such as Ediload, however check with your Sound Post to find out what they prefer.
Last updated on 12 January 2022
Top Image: Sound theatre at Park Road (Courtesy of Park Road Post Production Ltd)
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