POSTPRODUCTION - the Product - being creative and an engineer

POSTPRODUCTION TEAM - DIRECTOR in charge of POSTPRODUCTION with SOUND EDITOR with team

or DIRECTOR creating the POSTPRODUCTION alone as SOUND EDITOR

DIALOGUE EDITOR + ATMOS + FXS + special FXs + 'Mise-en-scène'

THREE PHASES OF PRODUCTION - PRE-PRODUCTION, PRODUCTION, POSTPRODUCTION

 OVERALL TASKS OF POSTPRODUCTION (BELOW)
 FIRST STEP - TAKING ON MATERIAL FROM PRODUCTION - FORMING THE POSTPRODUCTION TEAM (BELOW)

 SECOND STEP - TEAM TASKS (BELOW)

 THIRD STEP - TECHNICAL (BELOW) - SUMMARY OF HOW TO DO POSTPRODUCTION EDITING
 
 

EDITING

 EDIT POINTS - edit-friendly points for POSTPRODUCTION (CHANGEOVERS) (BELOW)

 STANDARDIZING FILE NAMES - efficient system, as film
 PROBLEMS - LOGIC PROBLEMS - ATTRACTING THE WRONG ATTENTION - SLOPPY MIX
 EXAMPLE - SOAP (SERIAL DRAMA) - GROUP OF DIRECTORS CO-ORDINATING (BELOW)
 Marketing, web site, relations with the listeners, pod-casting?, legal aspects, logging copyright information especially about music on the web site (BELOW)
 TRAILS
 
 

OVERALL TASKS OF POSTPRODUCTION

 Working on the final PRODUCT - delivering the PRODUCT
 You are at your most creative here. You show a skill in communication and a flair for style.
 This also involves a lot of computer labour. You are a sound engineer, moving sound files around, cutting and pasting.
 You create convincing, coherent play scenes. The listeners are not made aware of the PRODUCTION that went into them.
 STORYTELLING: You bring the narrative to life. You focus the listeners' attention. You boost their emotions.
 STRUCTURE: You design the characters' journeys through the play. You link their narrative arcs.

TEAM

 POSTPRODUCTION TEAM (BELOW)

DIALOGUE

 DIALOGUE EDITING - assemble scenes with dialogue only at first ('dry' scenes)

  EDITING

SOUND EFFECTS EDITING - assemble FXs, atmoses, special effects, creative design

 MIXING - dialogue and effects put together, timing co-ordinated for scenes
 (SOAP - SERIAL DRAMA) Episodes exactly timed + SIG (see BELOW)
 Music - choices - music - underscoring, signature tune (for soap or play), emotional, dramatic
 Action scenes - Montages - Special FXs
 SCENE BOUNDARIES - the scenes come together - Scene boundaries - 'hard' into / 'soft' into - silence - music bridge and Scene boundaries - CHART FOR CHOICES
 Overall rhythm of scenes and scene boundaries - 'through composed', cross-fades, music bridges, 'Archers' fade, silences - excitement, energy, pauses
 
 

FIRST STEP - from PRODUCTION -

CREATING THE POSTPRODUCTION TEAM UNDER THE SOUND EDITOR (POSTPRODUCTION)

ONE-OFF RADIO PLAY or PROJECT

SOAP (SERIAL DRAMA) GROUP OF DIRECTORS - SOUND EDITORS

 Form the POSTPRODUCTION TEAM - here are the TASKS and RESPONSIBILITIES (depends on resources)
 SOUND EDITOR -overall control of POSTPRODUCTION (DIALOGUE EDITOR + CREATIVE DESIGN)
 DIRECTOR - overall control of PRODUCTION (may become SOUND EDITOR)
  PRODUCER - responsible for the business side of radio drama production, budgets, contracts, delivering the product
 TECHNICAL ASSISTANTS - collecting and co-ordinating all material from PRODUCTION, and POSTPRODUCTION tasks
 DIALOGUE EDITING - editing takes, assembling scenes, STANDARDIZING FILE NAMES
 SOUND EFFECTS -

  EDITING

Editing, dubbing, adding FXs, balancing, normalising levels across the whole PRODUCT

 (1) DIRECTOR in charge of PRODUCTION becomes SOUND EDITOR in charge of POSTPRODUCTION (one person operation) + PRODUCER (business organisation) (tightest budget - greatest artistic control)
 (2) TEAM WORK: DIRECTOR (PRODUCTION) + SOUND EDITOR (POSTPRODUCTION) + technical assistants
 SOUND EDITOR has overall control.
 (SOAP - SERIAL DRAMA) GROUP OF DIRECTORS-SOUND EDITORS CO-ORDINATING (BELOW)
 
 
 

SECOND STEP - TEAM TASKS (POSTPRODUCTION)

  PRODUCER

 PRODUCER: Final budget work - payment for contracts - marketing the PRODUCT - publicity - preventing overruns or delays - allocating computer resources - solving issues between DIRECTOR and SOUND EDITOR

TEAM

 SOUND EDITOR: Allocate scenes for POSTPRODUCTION among TEAM.

LOAD MATERIAL FROM PRODUCTION

SOUND EDITOR with TEAM: Collect and co-ordinate the sound files from PRODUCTION. Load this material for POSTPRODUCTION.

 EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY: Ensure STANDARDIZING FILE NAMES - efficient system, as film for every scene

SOUND BOX

 EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY: Archive of FXs, music, special FXs, atmoses in SOUND BOX. Continual additions of sound files to SOUND BOX. Ensuring the security of sound files and that these do not become lost or corrupted. Backup of SOUND BOX.

  MUSIC

EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY: Editing, dubbing, adding FXs, balancing, music, normalising levels across the whole PRODUCT

  EDITING DIALOGUE

EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY: Dialogue editing under DIALOGUE EDITOR = SOUND EDITOR

SCRIPT

 CO-ORDINATION: POSTPRODUCTION SCRIPT (BELOW)

 CO-ORDINATION: scenes in same locations across TEAM - repeated sound pictures (scenes)
 CO-ORDINATION: TECHNICAL POINTS as phone call protocols, particular FXs co-ordinated across the production
 CO-ORDINATION: logic problems, etc.
CREATIVE: special effects, montages, moods - as 'spaceship passing a black hole', 'travelling through time'

THIRD STEP - technical -

how to do POSTPRODUCTION EDITING

SCENE BOUNDARIES - beginning and ending scenes - your choices

 STRAIGHT CUT FADE INTO FADE OUT CROSSFADE
 'ARCHERS' FADE - fade out to silence (2 seconds or less) and fade in the new scene
 Music bridge and music FX  FX (sound effect) bridge  ATMOS BRIDGE MONTAGE
 Non-realist and 'art' pieces - other techniques

The cut and the fade offer different rhythms to the overall play - potentially:

 CUT - 'STRAIGHT INTO' or 'STRAIGHT OUT OF' (instantaneous change) - the scene starts straight in or ends suddenly
 FADE or DISSOLVE - the scene dialogue is faded IN / OUT. You choose how gradually (SLOWLY) or how quickly (STEEPLY).
 FADE IN SLOWLY - new scene begins with the dialogue being gradually heard, and then up to the required level for conversation. (But this is all within a few seconds.) Ditto FADE OUT SLOWLY.
 FADE IN STEEPLY - new scene begins with the dialogue being speedily heard. Ditto FADE OUT STEEPLY.

DIALOGUE EDITING

TASKS OF DIALOGUE EDITING:
ASSEMBLING THE DIALOGUE PREMIX: Cleaning up the assembled and edited FINAL TAKES. Removing noises. Replacing bits of dialogue from alternate takes. Organising and smoothing. Ensuring better stereo.
EDITING INTO SCENES:

 

EXAMPLE - SOAP (SERIAL DRAMA) -

GROUP OF DIRECTORS CO-ORDINATING

 G: Discover problems to be solved ahead. Note these in the PRODUCTION SCRIPT.
 Examples of co-ordinating scenes, from 'The Canterbury Vampires' - the Vampires live in tunnels. Each of these underground locations has to be given the same individualising sound picture, as the Vampire Boss in his lair (12.2), the different acoustic of the prison cells (14.4), workshop (16.3). Ditto the scenes across the university campus - lecture room (Professor Williams) (6.11), student dining hall (6.1), students' individual rooms. And the outside scenes.
 
STANDARDIZING FILE NAMES - efficient system, as film

POSTPRODUCTION SCRIPT

  SCRIPT

A lot of cleaning-up is involved. Your notes from PRODUCTION are crucial, finding the best takes, going to what needs to be done.

 POSTPRODUCTION SCRIPT: This is more detailed than the PRODUCTION SCRIPT. You have made all the notes you needed onto the PRODUCTION SCRIPT. (Hence the importance of putting as many technical notes as possible in the PRODUCTION SCRIPT.)
 In additional hand notes, or preferably, by reworking the SCRIPT on the computer, create the more detailed POSTPRODUCTION SCRIPT.

KEEP ON TARGET - ADAPT - PROBLEM SOLVING

 FIRST TASK: check all of the usable takes. Do you have everything for POSTPRODUCTION? This task needs to be done fast and efficiently. You depend on problems being already solved in PRODUCTION.
 DIALOGUE PREMIX: The first edit of each scene's dialogue. Your first edit must sound good. You are clear about the next steps - adding atmos (if needed) and FXs.
 FALLBACK - REPAIRING PROBLEMS IN PRODUCTION
FALLBACK - possible? IS THERE A PROBLEM IN THE FIRST DIALOGUE EDIT FOR A SCENE? Has the PRODUCTION not been good enough for editing? Technical problems?
 RETAKES POSSIBLE? RE-RECORDING NEEDED? You should give yourself the possibility of going back into PRODUCTION for re-recording. You may have to retake a section of a scene, if there is no other alternative.
 
 IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF A PARTICULAR ACTOR? Danger! If the actor's performance is not good enough, you have to be ruthless.
 All that matters are the listeners and your PRODUCT. There comes a point when you can do no more in POSTPRODUCTION. And it becomes all too clear in the first edit of the dialogue (DIALOGUE PREMIX), that you must make a radical change.
 Is the problem a minor actor with only one or a couple of scenes? BACK TO PRODUCTION AGAIN (1) below, is the best solution. A poor acting performance is the weakest link for your play. Listeners will remember even one poor actor in one single scene. That could spoil the whole PROJECT for some listeners. It's just a fact of radio drama.

 

ALTERNATIVES - (1) BACK TO PRODUCTION AGAIN (with a new actor), or (2) POSTPRODUCTION SEVERE CUTTING, or (3) BACK TO PRODUCTION AGAIN (with the new actor PLUS the other actors) and REWRITE THE SCRIPT.

 (1) BACK TO PRODUCTION AGAIN: Recast the actor (replace with a new and better actor). Go back to the Studio.
 SPEEDY PRODUCTION SOLUTION: Cast a new actor in the role. Record the new (and better) actor, alone in the Studio, and 'drop in' (technical term) all of the dialogue for the character in POSTPRODUCTION. This is a tough assignment. But possible. (Alan Beck has done this. The actor who has been deleted from the project will not be pleased.)

 

(2) POSTPRODUCTION SEVERE CUTTING: Cut back the actor's contributions severely. See what you can do with editing and atmos and sound effects. But there is a limit.

 THE LAST ALTERNATIVE IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE IN TERMS OF STUDIO AND PROJECT TIME.

(3) BACK TO PRODUCTION AGAIN (with the new actor PLUS the other actors) and REWRITE THE SCRIPT. Redraft and retake sections of the scenes. Reshape the play. As the PROJECT is delayed, you will need to redraft the script. Also redrafting is needed for the new actor.

BUILDING THE SCENES & RADIO PLAY

BUILDING THE SCENES AND THE EPISODE (SOAP - SERIAL DRAMA)

 SIG - Music signature tune for the top and bottom of each episode = sig tune
 PLACE THE 'SIG INTRO' AND THE 'SIG OUTRO' at the beginning and end of the EPISODE (soap - serial drama). These are the TOP and BOTTOM) of the episode. This gives you the boundaries. You have to stay within these, absolutely. Each episode has to last exactly the same time.
  'SIG INTRO' AND THE 'SIG OUTRO' give you what you have to achieve. You see this visually on the screen.
 CREATE A FOLDER FOR EACH SCENE OR EPISODE (SOAP). Put into this copies of all the FXs you need.
 
 

 

BEING CREATIVE - THE RHYTHM OF A SCENE AND THE EPISODE (SOAP - SERIAL DRAMA)

 POSTPRODUCTION: You can create much more than the SCRIPT and PRODUCTION.
 Only so much can be put into the SCRIPT. It is only in POSTPRODUCTION that you can fully realise the rhythm of a scene, and bring all the elements together.
 You can experiment with the different elements of the architecture of the whole.
 
 

NARRATIVE ARC FOR EACH OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS

 
 
 

EDIT POINTS - edit-friendly points for POSTPRODUCTION (CHANGEOVERS)

DIALOGUE EDITING

 DIALOGUE EDITING:

Has to be done at the dialogue editing stage
 Before the atmos is laid under the dialogue
 Before the music
 Think about in the PRODUCTION takes.
 Take especial care in OB
 

Marketing, web site, relations with the listeners, pod-casting?, legal aspects,

logging copyright information especially about music on the web site

Advice - Your work as a radio drama director

 

 

 

 

This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also.  Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.

TECHNIQUES - FULL RANGE OF RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES ON THESE SITES

Academic material on this site is Creative Commons License Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Learn about radio drama on this site along with my book - Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-4631-4 Available on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

To the WELCOME PAGE for Alan Beck's sites. See more of Alan Beck's work.

Disclaimer

Any opinions expressed in this site are the personal opinions of the owner of the site. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE EMAIL TO : radio@savoyhill.co.uk

 

Read more about: postproduction and sound
HTML powered by FREE Go FTP Software