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Jun 1, 2017 // 11:36 AM

What To Expect When Working With A Post Production House: Archaius Creative

Written by Meg Tetrault

How many hours do you spend editing a week? What about a month or a year? It's terrifying to think about right? What if you could get those hours back to continue doing what you really love: shooting films. 

We reached out to our friends at Archaius Creative, a post production house you know from our YouTube channel, to get an idea of what filmmakers can expect when working with service like theirs. 

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What does a POST PRODUCTION HOUSE offer to a filmmaker?

We’re proud to offer scalable services that fit any client’s needs. Whether it be just organizing and culling raw footage, providing a first cut-only, or just color grading an otherwise final video, we’re able to fit into any amount of a videographer’s post production workflow. We focus on creating videos that blend into a filmmaker’s established style, and work hard to communicate effectively and personably so that everyone enjoys a productive and collaborative workflow.

Most often, we receive a project’s raw footage and work with a client to create a deliverable, final video. This scope of work includes collaborating on music options and multiple rounds of revisions to both the creative editing and the color and mixing phases.

What type of filmmaker can you help?

We originated and grew up in the wedding filmmaking industry - so we’re right at home and love working with wedding filmmakers. We’ve seen the growth, improvement, and shifts within that culture toward more cinematic and expertly produced films within the last few years. Many of our clients that began as strictly wedding videographers have seen wonderful opportunities to create corporate and commercial work, and we’ve been honored to be along for the ride.

We’ve worked with clients editing projects for larger brands like Disney, Cisco, MRI Fitness, Natrol, and ABC.com, as well as smaller, local businesses like Contracting Pro and Vasa the Yoga Studio. We also have experience in editing tutorial, training, and workshop videos for companies like Udemy, Paymo, and, as you can view on their YouTube channel, even LensProToGo.com! 

What is included in an edit?

Our offerings are customized based on our clients needs. We offer three starting points; we call these package levels Expert, Standard, and Fundamental. All three cover raw footage to deliverable films, but vary in the depth of each service. For instance, the audio mixing on an Expert film includes white noise reduction, noise removal, and speed/pitch adjustments, whereas the Fundamental mix only includes balancing levels.

We also frequently create mix-and-match packages, where a filmmaker may request a Standard edit with an Expert color grade. While the scope of work and intensity of each service can be customized, every customer can expect that their project will be well-organized, that their unique branding and stylistic requests will be heard, and that we’ll be happy and grateful for their collaboration.

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HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT AN EDIT LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE THE FILMMAKER'S WORK AND NOT A SEPARATE BODY OF WORK? 

In a word: communication! In another word: research!

Once a filmmaker is ready to send us a project, one of our Project Managers will watch through any examples they provided, as well as a few selections from their general filmography. They’ll note down their observations about conventions and stylistic preferences, and from there hop on a Skype or phone call with the filmmaker. We’ve found it to be super helpful to talk directly with videographers about what they’re striving toward and most enjoy in their work - plus it’s always refreshing and invigorating to talk with other artists who are passionate about their craft!

Based on their call, the Project Manager will work on that filmmaker’s project personally, and deliver a first cut that they feel best embodies the clients style and branding. From there, they share the cut with the filmmaker and continue to hone in the film through Frame.io-based revision rounds or further conversations if they’d like.

One of our lead editors, Ryan, noted the interesting dynamic that happens with projects: “you have to be passionate and tied to all the creative decisions you make to get that first cut, and then step back and let the filmmaker give their critique without being stubborn about the changes or revisions.”

That humility has been the key to ensuring an edit looks and feels true to a body of work that was created and established before we took part in a single project.

what does the turnaround time look like? 

6 - 8 weeks is the average for an uncolored, roughly mixed first cut. A “final delivery date” can't be guaranteed because each time a cut goes out, we can only move as fast as a filmmaker gets us feedback.

After we get “picture lock”, meaning there aren’t any other changes to the shot selection, pacing, or music we move forward with color and mix - which averages under a week. We go through another round or two of revisions for color/mix, and then we’re done! We provide all the assets used to create the film (project file, music, sfx, etc), and a final export if needed.

We can also offer an expedited turnaround if filmmakers need their projects completed quicker than our standard workflow. Corporate projects for example, often have shorter timelines and require a slightly different collaboration process than wedding work. We also understand that many times videographers come to us with a backlog that’s got some pretty old projects - even with the threat of being sued! In an effort to serve our clients the best we can, we’ll explore all options in order to turn around a project more quickly if needed.

6 Ways To Shoot For Post Production

How do you overcome not being at a shoot? 

Without having been at a shoot, one of the biggest ways we can set ourselves up for success is to have as much information up front as possible. We’ve created a Project Details Form that we suggest clients fill out before we dig into a project - we’ve gotten feedback that these are easiest to fill out immediately following a shoot. This form gives us some basic information about how many angles we should see available for different parts of the day (i.e. 4 cameras during ceremony), and what sort of audio sources we have to work with (i.e. high quality lapel mic for interview, backup was an overhead boom).

There are also places on the Details Form for videographers to leave special notes or thoughts they had about how they envision the edit coming together, mentioning a particular event, or things to avoid. In some cases filmmakers prefer to have a quick call about a project before we dig in. With corporate projects, we’ll typically set up a call, where we'll talk about outlines, notes, and scripts that pertain to the project.

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Everyone wants to know: Do you really watch through ALL of the footage?

We do watch through all the footage! As part of our rough cutting process, we cull and organize each shot: pairing it down to the usable portions and dropping it into sequences with the same content.

With wedding projects, we have bins designated for each part of the day: Pre-Ceremony, Ceremony, and Reception. Those bins are then populated with sequences based on specific activities, like Bride Prep, Ceremony Estabs, or General Dancing. By organizing our projects in this way, we’re able to easily navigate to specific content pretty quickly.


Conclusion: Is a post production house right for you? 

From personal experience working with a post production house, Archaius specifically, is a time saver. If you're anything like me, you get the most enjoyment out of shooting. While editing may come easy, it still has you in a chair for long periods of time.

Choosing the right post production house is key. Finding an editor who will devote their own time to understand you as a creative and shooter is important. Once you find them, consider them part of your personal team. That's what we consider Archaius Creative! 

We'd like to thank David and his team for taking the time to answer all of our burning questions about post production! If you have additional questions, let us know in the comments below!

Topics: Filmmaker Filmmaking Tips