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RE: Eclair Cameras: Digital Post-Production

Hello Kelly
At last, something I know something about!

1) labs: depending on where you are, mandy.com will give you the leading labs in your area. If you let us know what town you're in, you'll probably get a lead from someone who's working in your area.

2) the software producers are at war for your DVD buck: currently Avid XPressDV and Final Cut Pro v4 are the main contenders. Professionally most all the people I know are working on either Avid (XDV or XPro) or Final Cut Pro 4 (FCP4). You can get set up with either fairly inexpensively these days, especially if y ou know someone with a student;s ID.

3) it's pretty much still a Mac world because the other effects and sound programs (After Effects, Photoshop, Pro Tools, Sound Designer) are all pretty much still Mac, but even as I write this, most of the software I mention is available on PC, and I know of two editing houses here in Hollywood that have switched to PC from Mac recently (i.e. in the past month).

4) color correction at post houses is to sophisticated these days that you can get pretty much any image out of anything. The issue is time, and therefore cost. So for those of us with not much money, we tend still to use that stock that give us the effect closest to what we're looking for without tweaking (i.e. that which allows us minimal extra time in the expensive telecine/datacine bays ot today. Of course, both FCP4 and Avid XPro both have very extensive color correction abilities within the programs, so that helps too;

5) the main thing that I have to say, after having edited many features and television shows, is that if it doesn't sound good, it won't look good. i.e. put as much emphasis on the audio as the picture when you're shooting. People can forgive a lot when it comes to picture if it sounds good (i.e. they don't have to fight to hear the soundtrack) and the story is engrossing.

When I started in 35mm feature films, the picture editing schedule was 8 weeks - and the sound editing - 24 weeks! That's how important it is to the professional. Most producers aren't even aware of the existence, let alone importance, of the audio edit process (and think that they can finish the audio to a professional level on an Avid or a FCP station, for instance)

Sorry I didn't have time to make the answer shorter.
If you want more, just ask!

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