Reflections On Being An Indie Film Producer #12

The Director's Cut
Software, part 2

This week’s blog discusses post production software in filmmaking. There’s a distinction between using software in pre-production vs. post.

Post production is more creative and lots more fun. Of course, the cleanup can be quite tedious and time consuming. Having said that, the possibilities are endless in post. Once the film is locked by the editor and the cleanup is complete, the fun starts. We found in Blood Pledge several horror scenes lacked a certain punch because of our limited budget.

The magic starts with the incredible selection of software plugins available to create Hollywood level special effects. In blog #10, I discussed the use of Kronos Simple Monsters to enhance the voice.

To improve the intensity and anxiety feel of the video portion, I found a plugin called “Twitch” from Video Copilot, which created light chaos and shake randomness in the scenes, making them feel stylistically uncomfortable, consistent with most horror films. Even a subtle use of Twitch had a dramatic effect. And, the cost of plugins is quite reasonable for the results they provide. Note, Twitch is designed for After Effects.

One last word on post. It’s crucial to discuss with the editor the system they use. Gib Jaffe, being an A-list editor used Media Composer, made by Avid—the choice of most studio editors. We wanted to edit the sound with Adobe audition, since we were already licensed for Adobe and I was familiar with it, but found the complexity of converting between editing systems technically prohibitive.

In the end, it worked out. We chose ProTools, which is the compliment to Media Composer and is an industry standard. Plus, it provided additional plugins and supported all the purchased plugins we used, which was not the case for Audition.

You can see the results here:  Blood Pledge