Let me be clear here. There are a number of things you can only create post-production.

For example, recently a client requested an interview be shot in front of a video screen in their lobby that proudly exhibited important statistics about their platform, some of which they did not want to share with competitors.

The solution? We created a mask and a new layer post-production, and placed it over the troublesome information. Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes. Could this have been done during the shoot? Not if we wanted that shot.

For the love of all things, please don’t do the following

Please never review footage on set and comment on the shakiness, the terrible framing, the coloring, lighting, unfortunate or unattractive background props in the shot, and then utter the phrase, “we will fix it in post.”

Your end product is as only as good as the ingredients you start with. And while you could end up with a decent cake if you add a ton of sugar to cover the rest of the junk you’re using, wouldn’t just be better to use all quality ingredients to start with?

It seems obvious, but if you’re reviewing footage on set and it’s bad, change what is not working and reshoot.

Pre-production due diligence is key

I generally enjoy things about improv. For example, I enjoy how improv belongs in theatre. And well…that’s pretty much all I like about it.

Video production doesn’t start the day the camera is set up. It is essential that time is devoted to scripting, creating a shot list, conducting an area walk-through, and brainstorming ideas for b-roll. I’ve even made rough rough cuts with just stock video to help map out shots and footage needed before the shoot.

Generally, clients are working with both time and budget constraints. Even without those limitations, no one wants to be in a 10-hour shoot where every shot needs to be discussed, reviewed, and reshot. This is where thorough pre-production efforts save time, money, and lead to the best possible product for your client and client’s brand.

Editing is one-third of the triangle

All three phases of production are important, and editing is not the magical fix-it tool in the end.

It boils down to this: the only time you want to think about cover-up on a shoot is when the commercial is advertising make-up. Any other time, work to get it right in the first place.

Next up: A few of my favorite things, and why they don’t matter: Subjectivity vs objectivity in advertising