Post Soup Part 1: The Ingredients of Post Soup
I started post-production supervising by accident. Most of us do. This is because producers of indie projects will often hand over the responsibilities of post-supervising to the the editors their projects. The smaller the project, the more true this is.
In the future we are likely to see more jobs created in the industry which combine the role of editor and post-production supervisor, especially as expectations of an editor’s technical knowledge increase. Other jobs in this industry have had similar consolidations. The first that comes to mind is the preditor, or producer + editor combination.
This article addresses two main points. First, that editors need to acquire at least some post-supervisor skills if they wish to remain relevant in the industry. Second, that technical expertise encompasses only a small part of what post-supervisors do. In actuality, post-supervising involves a variety of different skills in the same way that a good soup needs more than just the broth.
The Ingredients of “Post-Soup”
I’ve created a formula to help guide producers in deciding whether to hire a separate person to post-supervise or to hand over those responsibilities to the editor. I’ll use experience points (“EXP”) to measure a post-supervisor’s essential skills because I think it’s funny. If the editor’s ‘s skills add up to greater than +100EXP, the producer should feel comfortable allotting post-supervising responsibilities to them. If the editor’s EXP points fall short, the producer should hire a separate post-supervisor:
- Actual ability to perform tech work (+10EXP).
- Knowledge of tech work outside their area of expertise (+25EXP).
- Large rolodex of freelancers and vendors (+35EXP).
- Ability to communicate effectively with workers and producers (+45EXP).
- Organization of schedule and materials to meet deadlines (+45EXP).
- Hiring a post-supervisor, in addition to an editor is particularly beneficial when a producer has multiple projects (+35EXP).
- The editor’s willingness or availability to do the job of the post-supervisor themselves (+/-10EXP).
The golden rule is simple: Hiring a separate person to post-supervise must save the production more money than the cost of hiring them.
In his article What the heck is a “pro” anyway? Philip Hodgetts points out that this is true with any job.
Over the next week or two I’ll be explaining each of these essential skills in detail and how they correlate to each other. Part 2 will be all about tech knowledge, including why it’s not as important to actually be able to do the work as it is to know other people who can do the work. The article is titled:
Producer’s Don’t Care What an OMF is
Stay tuned ….