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Post Production – Attention Must Be Paid

Line producers can get so immersed in pouring sand, water and any other oxygen depriving device over their daily production fires that they sometimes forget that post production is right around the corner with it’s own little explosions about to burst.

Reality TV budgets and schedules are tight and don’t give the Line Producer the luxury of concentrating on only one aspect of the production.  With such short production cycles you’re typically going to be shooting and posting simultaneously.  So get ready to handle it all; get your juggler hat on, and get yourself the best Post Production Supervisor your budget will allow.

Hire a Post Production Supervisor who has 5 essential qualities:
1.    They can create and manage a post-production schedule.  You need someone who knows how to move the schedule around like a rubix cube, because there will be weekly, daily, hourly changes.
2.    The Post Supervisor has to be able to manage the post- production budget, and provide you with weekly financial updates.
3.    They know how to hire and fire editors, assistant editors, post coordinators and post production assistants.  In other words, someone who can put together a good post team.
4.    The Post Supervisor must be able to manage many edit rooms at once and make sure each editor has something to do and is advancing the schedule forward toward on-time delivery.  This sounds like something that shouldn’t have to be said, but let me tell you, it needs to be said.  They must be able to walk into an edit room and ask the editor what they’re doing, and when they’ll be done.  They cannot be afraid that Mr. Big-Bad-Ass-Emmy-Winning-Editor is going bluster and blow them down. Because he will certainly try.
5.    They must know and understand what network deliverables are and how to get them to the network. Every cut, talent and location release, show bible and any other network requirement.

No matter how good your Post Supervisor is, you are ultimately responsible for post-production.  Make sure you’re working with your Post Supervisor, checking in daily and getting a grip on what is happening in post, with the schedule, the editors, the budget and what needs to be delivered to the network.

The last process any series goes through is post-production.  Don’t be an absentee Line Producer when it comes to post.  Hire a great Post Supervisor.  Keep in constant communication.  Deliver a great series.  Get hired for your next gig!

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