After the stress, the disagreements, personality and creativity clashes, hot sun, rain storms, wind, snow and whatever natural disaster that came to destroy your shoot has passed and you realise you have all the raw footage you need you can breathe a big sigh of relief. You get the awesome opportunity to say “That’s a wrap!” while your crew and cast applaud your hard work that did not go unnoticed. Or if your production team was anything like mine you wipe the sweat off your brow and say “Thank God we done shoot.” (I’m saying this in Jamaican creole, just so you know.)
Yes, it is a time to throw your hands in the air and praise baby Jesus, but don’t celebrate for too long as you’re only half way there. Editing accounts for the other 50% of the work you are doing and trust me when I say editing can be a real pain. Also, this is when you back up all your footage on an external hard drive. And when I say all, I mean ALL. Leave nothing to chance. Nothing is more depressing and frustrating when you lose footage because somebody deleted it by mistake. Or when you are half way through editing and your editing software crashes and you didn’t get to save what you had (This happened to me just the other day.)
So, to avoid having to reshoot unnecessarily, save, save and save again. Every step of the way, every time you make an adjustment, save it. While you are working on your computer or laptop, be saving to an external hard drive simultaneously. Trust me, it takes nothing to save the work an extra time but it takes everything to have to reshoot because of lost footage.
When you have finally completed the post production stage and your work has been uploaded or burned to a DVD, then you can truly celebrate your hard work and success. So if you have completed a production recently and made it all the way through without going to jail or throwing a crew member off a building, pour yourself a glass of wine, put your feet up on the sofa and smile. You deserve it.