"You can't handle the truth!"– A Few Good Men
Post Production Tips Part – 2
Pointers in the PPT - 1 were,
*Attitude & Relationship, *Technical knowledge, *Planning & Buffer, *Food, *Market knowledge & Contacts, *Systematic, *Backup’s, *Accounts, *Bills.
Here are some more that would help you to be a good post production manager,
1. Understanding the Director
Understanding the director you are working for is important to smoothen the process, each director has a unique style of directing and therefore functioning. Most directors get categorised into drama, comedy, style, etc. So while some give a lot of importance to post, there are some who concentrate mainly on pre. In the case of the earlier you can be assured that the director is going to be involved at every step in post, there are films that have a lot of graphics or special effects these always require a lot of the directors involvement as approval at every stage is generally required. Therefore knowing if your director would be present throughout or would come at the last stage helps in planning the post. Example some directors like the editor to go through the rushes and come up with their version of the cut that they feel right, the director then joints the edit after that. But there are others who would like to sit and make the first cut themselves. There is also some who like starting the day late and working into the night while some like starting early and packing up early. Once you have understood the style of the director it is up to you make sure that you function in the style that is best suited to that director.
Another key ingredient in a good post person or any other department of film making is communication, there are and will always be days when there are delays, or some problem or the other, it is very important to communicate in these cases. Informing the director or editor or the dubbing artist that there is a delay which allows them to plan their life so they don’t have to come to the studio and have wasted time waiting where they could have done some other work. Being in touch with people working for you helps especially when on multiple projects or multiple bookings at the same time, this helps you be on top of what is happening in all places and making sure that time is not wasted. Like if working on online and music at the same time speaking to the editor to know how much work has happened or the music director if you need to be calling for a singer or musician. There will always be a time when multitasking would be called for and this quality comes in handy the most. Letting the director or a producer know about a goof up helps in controlling a situation well in advance and that avoids things to blow to later. Also communicating the right information at the right time can save a lot of embarrassment for many, not always does one know or have all details and therefore a warning about a delay or a goof up can be rectified faster without anyone having to lose their cool.
3. Getting Favour
Being polite and getting favours done is an art by itself, getting a few extra hours or a last minute booking at a busy studio takes a bit of doing, remember that while you should always try and get your work done, there are times for you to also return favours to people, like helping the studio to give away your room despite it being your booking in order to help another client will be remembered by the studio and they will definitely return the favour when you need it. Don’t forget to give a subtle hint that you are going out of the way to help the studio (even though you may not be) so that your favour is remembered. Remember you will only win favours when you help others.
4. Cracking Deals
As part of this job you will also have to deal with money, which you may not be paying but the production house you work for does, understanding the need and fixing deals so that all parties are happy will be required. Most production house work with same post studios so usually rates are already fixed, in the case of the first timer or in case of a very low budget is when such deals are cracked, you could bargain for better rates as the frequency with the associated increases and at the same time keeping market values in mind. One way of cracking a deal is to tell the studio the time that you estimate that you would use and the amount that you have in total to spend, or you ask for a discount in the rate per hour and you try to fit the no of hours as per your budget. One very important thing to remember is that all deals should happen before commencement of the project and not after, it is unethical to make someone work and then ask for a discount on the rate after the job is done, even if one has worked with this party for a long time, give people the right to decide if they want to work for lesser or not. Also once the deal is fixed and both parties are happy then should be no re-negotiating after that.
5. Track Booking and Cost
There are some producers who will give the post guy a free hand while some will check in at every stage, irrespective of that it is the responsibility of the post person to know at any given time how many hours were used or how much money has been spent on a particular project. If it is one project it is usually easy to remember but most of the times there are multiple projects involved, the trick to keeping a track of all of it is to use the schedule sheet, at the beginning of any project a schedule is drawn up and bookings are taken according to this, carry this around with you at all times and enter the hours used at the end of every day or session, use the remarks column to make note of things that may be required to remember at a later stage, like if a singer or a extra voice was called during the music session and how much did the person charge. So while working on multiple projects remember that while signing the challan / work sheet, to make a note of it on your schedule as well, carry printouts as its easier to write this down immediately. However entering it on your computer or carrying a updated sheet on your mail always help recall after many days.
6. Say SORRY when needed
The biggest problem that I have seen across people especially the fresher’s is the lack of ability to say sorry when they goof up. I don’t understand why saying sorry even after the mistake has been pointed out and sometimes even self realised is so difficult. We work in a industry filled with egos and it would be the best to own up for ones mistakes, it cuts down the other persons anger and helps keep the situation under control most of the times. While I will never say sorry if something I have done is right, but for that I have to not only 100% sure that I was correct by what I thought but by universal standards as well. So before standings ones ground better be sure of what is acceptable or not. There are time when saying sorry diffuses the situation at the moment and justifications can be given at a later stage when all is calm.
Keep these pointers in mind and you will suddenly notice how smooth projects go, you will begin to have fun and there will be an increase in your demand and in turn also have made a lot of friends and money for your work.
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