Posting in high definition is a different beast than SD posting, but producers can often avoid potential problems by thinking ahead. Here’s how HD post pros say producers can dodge problems in the first place
- Expect longer edit times: It takes around 20% longer to edit HD footage than SD because HD requires more memory and processing power. ‘You’re going back to what SD was about five years ago,’ says Leah Welsh, executive producer at Raleigh, North Carolina-based Serious Robots.
- Keep an eye on focus: Retrain yourself to find focus problems at the offline stage to avoid surprises when you go online. ‘For years we’ve been used to seeing blurry pictures at the offline stage because producers had to digitize at very low resolutions, so they didn’t pay much attention,’ says Alex Olegnowicz, president of Toronto post house Imarion. ‘In high def, if something is out of focus it is very, very apparent on the online.’
- Work with guidelines: Discuss your broadcaster’s deliverables with your post house before you shoot. You want to make sure you’re using the broadcaster’s preferred format and resolution as they can vary from one network to the next.
- Consider SD airings: Shows shot in HD are probably going to air somewhere in SD, so discuss with your post house in advance what kind of SD will come from the HD, whether it will be center cut or letter box and what to do about the titles being different sizes. ‘Often times people don’t consider that to begin with and it causes a lot of headaches near the end,’ says Curtis Elder, editor at Atlanta-based HD post specialist Crawford Communications.
- Brace yourself: HD post costs can be up to 50% higher than when working in SD.