posted by Video
The script has been written, planning is complete, the shots have been acquired and it's a wrap on production. Now it's time for post production where we put the whole video together. Aside from the things that are most noticeable (editing, graphics), there are many little but important things that go on in this phase that often go unnoticed—and if done right, they shouldn't be noticeable. That said, they really add polish to a video and it can be noticeable if they’re not done at all.
Dialog editing & audio sweetening
Viewers are more likely to forgive bad picture vs. bad sound. Therefore, clear, intelligible audio is a very important production aspect. Ideally, we've captured good audio on set so we shouldn't have to do much repair. That said, there are often factors we can't control such as air conditioning noise or a person's voice just not being very clear. These are things we can fix, reduce or enhance in post-production audio.
If there's a slight background noise that's low and outside the frequency range of human voice, we can cut or reduce that part of the spectrum. Sometimes the volume of the talent's voice fluctuates to the point where if we turn it up, the loud part is too loud and the soft part is too low. There are filters we can use to bring down the loud parts so the volume is more consistent and easier to hear. We also often bump the volume of vocals to around 2 kHz, which is intelligible to human ears. When there's music behind dialog, we'll reduce the frequencies in the music where human voice occurs so that the music doesn't overpower the dialog. We do this as opposed to simply lowering the volume of the music, which might make the music too soft, losing its impact.
Special effects in marketing videos are usually minimal. However, we've had some experiences adding things to the picture that didn't exist before. In the example below, you'll see footage in three phases of post production; 1) as shot, 2) visual effects applied and 3) color graded. The explosions weren't in the original shot. We pulled them from a library and carefully blended them into the shot. This is often a tedious process that not only involves placing the effect in the right place, but also making sure it moves with the camera, gets masked by objects in the foreground and matches the coloring and lighting of the overall scene.
Watch the Team Wendy EXFIL™ Tactical Bump Helmet video
While we strive to shoot the best-looking footage possible, it's never 100% perfect right out of the camera. Color correction goes beyond just brightness and contrast. We also make sure the color temperature looks neutral (not too blue or too orange), skin tone is correct and sometimes even individually adjust these aspects separately on different parts of the picture through the use of masks and camera tracking.
Watch Lube Stop ad featuring Mike Polk
Although most marketing videos require neutral (normal) color grading, sometimes a particular style of video will require a signature look. This is where we intentionally (but consistently) change the coloring to add a particular effect or invoke an emotion.
For example, if we had a shot of a futuristic evil medical lab with lots of high-tech equipment, metal surfaces and bright lighting, we could make it feel evil, cold and uninviting by giving the shot a bit of a blue tint. If this same lab is instead developing a cure for cancer, we can make it feel welcoming and inviting by giving it a warmer tint. Step three in the above example under effects shows color grading. For that shot in particular, we wanted it to feel like a war zone in an action movie because the product is marketed toward military professionals.
If you have questions about video production, let us know in the comment section below!
About the author::
Matt Stevens is the manager of multimedia services and a graphic designer at thunder::tech. When he doesn't have a camera on his shoulder, he's probably swimming, biking or running (aka training for a triathlon). He also considers himself a proud "tree hugger."
TAGS: thundertech, video, multimedia, post, production, post-production, color, correction, audio, sweetening, editing, edit, Lube Stop, Mike Polk, ad, Team Wendy, detail, effects, special
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