Post production is one of the most challenging facets of the entertainment industry, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Most people don’t move to Hollywood with stars in their eyes hoping to be a Foley Mixer or a Post Supervisor, but many a passionate film grad find their sweet spot far away from the bright lights of the set. If you, like many, are considering a career in post production here are a few red flags that should make you think twice.
1. You Need Glamour and Accolades
Let’s face it. Post production people are the unsung workhorses of the entertainment profession. Outside of the editor and perhaps the visual effects artists, most people have no idea what happens in post. Foley - Isn’t he a character on Family Guy?
2. You Aren’t Technical or Into Computers
Post production is inextricably linked to the bleeding edge of technology. When pioneers like James Cameron or Peter Jackson are reinventing workflows, they are pushing the boundaries of post production. If you don’t have a proficiency and passion for technology post is not for you.
3. You Want an Outdoorsy Life
The majority of post production is done is small, dark windowless rooms during the day. Lots of post production people have active lives hiking and working on their tan, just on the weekend or in between gigs.
4. You Don’t Do Well With Deadlines
Post is when the deadlines mean the most. You can stretch out preproduction for another rewrite, you can go a few days over on the shoot, but you miss your release date? Heads Roll.
5. You Aren’t Good At Improvising
Post production people need to be the masters of Murphy’s Law. Things rarely go as planned, but the show must go on. The true professional rolls up her sleeves, grits her teeth and finds another way.
6. You Don’t Have a Good Sense of Story
I think it was a screenwriting professor that first told me: There are three movies – the one you write, the one you shoot, and the one you edit. Until you’ve seen it first hand it’s impossible to understand the magic that a gifted editor can work. Post is the final chance to tweak the story before the audience sees it.
7. You Need a Stable Schedule
Although you can get into a good rhythm if you are lucky enough to get a job on a long running show, you can expect frequent late nights, occasional early mornings, and very little predictability.
Like most jobs in the entertainment biz, post production jobs are tough and not for everyone. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.