Filmmakers generally don’t know when to stop working on a project. While that may be a stretch, there is some truth. You generally run out of money, time, or desire to keep making tweaks and finding that perfect cut.
However, with advances in technology, it can be tempting to even revisit your “finished” projects. I have photos that I’ve wanted to go back into Photoshop/Lightroom and tweak because of the improvements over RAW processing (most notably when the “Recover” and “Fill Light” functions were added, which enabled you to lift the shadows without making things milky and to recover detail in highlights without compressing the high-end luminance).
Because almost everybody has Final Cut Pro, the excessive costs of editing bays are not imperative for making tweaks to a cut. This, like all the technology we have recently acquired, is both a blessing and a curse though. The accessibility and low costs of these systems are excellent: when in the right hands. Just because you have Final Cut Studio, it doesn’t mean that you are an editor or a colorist. Just because you own a RED, it doesn’t mean that you are a DP.
I’ll blog about what happens when directors/producers own production cameras another time, but right now I’m only going to dwell on the post production process.
Ever since YouTube upgraded their media players to be 16×9 native I’ve had an urge to upgrade the format of some of my old projects. Actually, I’ve wanted to do that since I got my HDTV two and half years ago. In order to maximize resolution, I updated my most recent reel to be HD. In doing so, I had to be sure that all of my footage was 16×9 native and 23.98FPS. About 85% of my reel contains media that has been onlined in HD, however that 15% had been holding me back all of this time. Thankfully all of those clips originated on film so there is a logical fix to that: reverse telecine.
This also presented a good excuse to go in and tweak the headroom on a few shots that have bothered me for some time.
The process took a few days to complete, and you can see exactly what tedious steps I took to make this possible. I’m still quite proud of these projects despite their age. It was also nice to do some color correction to my Bank of America spec, which you can see in the posting image. The color continuity of the sand used to stick out like a sore thumb…