Putting the finishing touches on a film or television show is a long and involved process that requires the dedicated efforts of numerous technical and artistic departments, much like principal photography. Just as the director provides leadership and oversight of filming, the post-production supervisor wrangles together the many pieces to complete the project.
The post-production supervisor answers to the producer and oversees all aspects of the post-production process. It is his or her responsibility to see that the film or television episode is completed on schedule and within budget, working collaboratively with the heads of each post-production department, as well as outside vendors.
In close communication with the director and editor, the post-production supervisor helps to realize the final vision of the production. Among his or her responsibilities are: monitoring the work of the sound facility and sound editors, to include ADR, scoring, and sound effects; overseeing reshoots and the completion of visual effects; picture editing and refinement such as color timing and video mastering; and finally, the printing and delivery to distributors. Other tasks given to the post-production supervisor may also include overseeing legal clearances, arranging preview screenings, and budgeting the film’s post process.
Skills & Education
While it is not a requirement that the post-production supervisor be a master of each field, such as video, sound, and visual effects, an understanding of each process is necessary. A college degree in film and television production is valuable to this career, coupled with specific technical training in a particular field of expertise. Much of the post-production supervisor’s responsibilities are logistical; therefore, he or she must be adept at determining priorities, setting an efficient schedule, and effectively overseeing multiple crews to ensure goals are met.
What to Expect
There are several paths toward a career as a post-production supervisor. The first is to climb the ranks through a single post-production department, such as video or sound. For example, an assistant editor who eventually becomes an editor and then a supervising editor. The second is to build a list of credits on increasingly larger productions, starting on a small scale commercial or music video and building your experience level toward feature film and television. Finally, experience as a post-production assistant can lead to work as post-production coordinator, and so on. In either case, it will be your quality of leadership, attention to detail, and ability to deliver on high expectations that will pave the way for a long career.
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