Filmmaking was once described to me as a pie eating contest where the prize is more pie. Nothing could be more accurate. When starting out it can be hard to just to figure out how to take the next step, let alone plan ahead to post, marketing, distribution, festivals. Sometimes you just have to focus on getting through your shot list.
It would be amazing if we had all the time and experience and money in the world to focus solely on our projects. To set up a great instagram, have plenty of money for sound design, and get all the credits sorted on the first pass.
But often, we don’t.
When you’re making your first project it's important to remember that filming it is only winning the first pie eating contest. The next round of pies comes in post. Make sure you plan for plenty of time to eat all these pies! Editing can take months and that’s only part one! Then you need to get sound design, possibly do ADR with actors, color the footage, add music, create opening titles, end credits, and export everything into one file.
I talk to a lot of filmmakers who have the idea that post will take a few weeks. Usually they ask me if wrapping two weeks before a festival deadline will be enough time to do post and submit. And this is one of the few times I say, “No, that’s not possible.”
Unless that filmmaker can afford to pay a post team to work non stop exclusively on their project, two weeks is nowhere near enough time.
Unless that filmmaker wants to submit a rough first edit to the festival, two weeks is not enough time.
Post production is still part of production, your film is still being made by the choices the editor makes, the sound and music added, even the colors will change the story you are telling.
So, when you’re tucking into the first round of pie eating, remember that another round is coming. And if you can plan for that and save some room in your stomach, all the better.
Got more questions about the filmmaking process? Hit me up!