This phrase is a popular one, which rolls off tongues on nearly every production I have ever worked on. When it’s a stills shoot that’s fine, fixing nearly everything in Photoshop is attainable with today’s budgets. However when video is introduced into the mix, ‘do it in post’ is not so easy.
To put things into perspective, lets say I have a model in a warehouse lit by big HMI constant lighting with big cables everywhere. We carefully set up the shots so we couldn't see all this equipment. Nearing the end of the shoot, a last minute decision is made which involves shooting from the opposite angle. It has to be done because it looks awesome says the art director on set.
Ok but we have to set all the lights again because we can see them in the shot but we don’t have anytime left, “let's do it in post” comes the response.
Yes we can and we can also double the entire budget and pay a very talented and expensive after effects artist to painstakingly remove the unwanted cables and lights frame by frame. For this particular shoot 50 frames per second for however many seconds we use in the final edit.
There is a very easy answer to this problem. Pre production.
Getting everything right in pre production down to the smallest detail, with detailed shot lists, story boards, wardrobe decisions, colour schemes, locations and very importantly casting. Also don’t forget that all of these things need to be shown to everyone involved.
(Blog image courtesy of Getty Images/Emma Innocenti)