Production Guide

This guide will help you understand how to plan for post production before you even begin shooting.

Your Final Output

When you pick a camera, you are picking a codec, frame rate, and raster dimension, and those choices determine your final image quality. Taking into account what your final output will be is imperative.

  • If you shoot in 1920 x 1080 your footage will be in 16:9. This aspect ratio is not a standard screening ratio. DCPs only use 1.85:1 or 2.39:1. This means to make a DCP with 16:9 footage you will need to make a 1:85:1 (Flat) DCP that will slightly crop the top and bottom of the frame. 

File Management

It is imperative that you have at least two hard drives on set: one for use during post production and the other as a backup. Always make sure you are backing up footage directly from the recorder to each hard drive and not from one hard drive to another.

Always make sure to back-up your media to at least two external hard drives. Never rename or change the folder structure of the media coming off the cards. Doing so will significantly impact your workflow in post and make connecting to your media a lot harder.

Viewing Dailies

It's good practice to view your footage on a daily basis while on set. You should check the frame rate, resolution, and gamma setting of your video files and listen to your audio to make sure the settings are correct.

You can view dailies using Quicktime Player or by linking to your footage in Avid. Viewing dailies in Avid, you can browse your media and load a Rec709 LUT to one or all your clips. This does not embed the LUT into your media, but allows you to view a less "flat" version of your footage.

Choosing a Gamma Setting

Some cameras require you to make a decision about which gamma setting to shoot with. Take a look at our guide to raw uncompressed, and log footage for more details.

Keep in mind that whether you are shooting to a card or going out to an external recorder, you are always limited by the bit depth of your camera's codec, so while you may gain some additional dynamic range, the camera's bit depth still limits your flexibility with color.