Behind the Scenes of DMA Studios: Post-Production

By Phill Powell

We’ve had a great time recently covering the activities of a recent DMA Studios class, thanks to firsthand reports from student correspondent Patricia W., who’s had the creative time of her life in DMA instructor Tyler Winick’s immersive filmmaking experience (assisted by TA Ben Dominguez).

Our production crew has finished shooting its footage. Now it’s time to put it all together!

Written by DMA student Patricia W.

JULY 11, 2016 – Post-Production Day 1

Working with 1.09 terabytes of footage and a total of 976 clips is no easy task. Tyler spent the whole weekend transcoding the footage, and finally finished at around 10 this morning. We were all so excited about that! Today we did a lot of assistant editing: organizing files, naming clips, making subclips of good takes, etc. It’s tedious, but I have a feeling it’s going to pay off. Tyler told us that some people are in charge of doing this all day, and many people use it as a way to break into the industry.

DMA Studios shooting at Zoo Labs
All DMA Studios students get to experience different production roles.

Through today’s assistant-editing process, I came to appreciate the little things we did during production that really helped us organize and edit. For example, I didn’t know how useful the slate was until I realized that I didn’t have to watch the whole footage to figure out what line someone was saying. All I had to do was look at the slate! Editing is tough, but I’m hoping that all this work will make the end product turn out great.

JULY 12, 2016 – Post-Production Day 2

Today our goal was to finish assembly editing. This is when you put together all the best takes of each line and assemble the script and footage so that they tell a story. Tyler told us that this is a really important step because we can use the assembly edit as a foundation for our creative choices, and if we decide that we want to try something different, it’s easy to go back to the assembly edit to get our original clips. I got to watch my classmates’ assembly edits, and they did an amazing job. It’s starting to look like a simple, basic commercial. We still have a lot to add and polish: music, special effects, B-roll and stock footage…but I’m really happy with our progress.

DMA Studios using drone footage
The class incorporated super-cool aerial drone footage into its production.

JULY 13, 2016 – Post-Production Day 3

Today was rough cut day! Tyler and Ben told us to be as creative as we could. “Don’t ask if you can do something…because you can,” Tyler said. They are going to take inspiration from our work to piece together an edit of their ideas and the best of ours. Today has been full of learning, doing and feeling inspired. I spent the day looking for B-roll footage to use from the clips we shot and online sources and trying to learn how to carry out the ideas I had. I’ve never done editing like this before.

I was really impressed by my classmates’ work. They put together some really awesome videos with great music and artistic choices. I felt really lucky to get to work with such talented people.

One thing I was really proud of today was figuring out how to put three videos together, so that they are playing side-by-side. I really wanted to try and see what it would look like, but I had no idea how. So, I hit up the Internet. I watched a few tutorials and finally, a few hours later, I was able to do it! The cool thing about going through the process of learning how to do something on my own was that when I wanted to try the effect again, I only needed a few minutes instead of a few hours. Also, when someone else wanted to try the effect, I could teach them how to do it!

JULY 14, 2016 – Post-Production Day 4

I can’t believe that today is the second-to-last day of this amazing experience. Last night, Tyler and Ben looked through all of our rough cuts and took inspiration from them. I watched a little bit of Ben’s rough cut today and it looks amazing. There’s colorful drone shots, cool text and awesome music.

It’s truly amazing to see how far we’ve come. This morning, Tyler read some of the “hopes” and “actions” we’d taken, which we wrote on our first day. They said things like, “I hope to learn a lot,” or “I hope to make an amazing finished product.” He read one of mine, which said, “I hope to arrive on time,” because I’m usually always late. One thing I’m very happy about is that I arrived early every day. We’ve definitely learned so much through watching and doing, and I know we are on our way to creating a great product for Zoo Labs and DMA. Fingers crossed that we can finish it tomorrow!

Today Tyler and Ben looked at everyone’s work and gave feedback on it. They gave us great advice and also had some really nice things to say about our work. It felt really awesome to have people watch my work and give me honest, constructive feedback on it.

DMA Studios student at Zoo Labs
Getting to shoot at Zoo Labs was an “illuminating” experience for all of our DMA Studios students.

JULY 15, 2016 – Post-Production Day 5

(Last Day of DMA Studios)

Today was definitely bittersweet. This morning our goal was to finish the final cut. Ben taught us how to do color correction. There are so many things you can do to change a photo: exposure, RGB curves, sharpness, vignette and much more. At first, I thought wouldn’t bother with color correction because the footage looked fine by itself and I thought it might be too complicated.

Then I tried color-correcting a clip. I was amazed at how much more professional it looked. After that, I tried color-correcting almost every clip, and it made my project look so much better. Tyler then taught us about audio correction. It’s a very technical process, but taking that extra step can make a video go from good to great.

While we were finishing up our final cuts, Ben and Tyler were working on finalizing the main edits of the commercial and behind-the-scenes video that will be sent to Zoo Labs and Canon. They did such an amazing job with the final touches. All the clips looked so bright and beautiful. We watched the final videos so many times that I can’t even keep track. I’ve pretty much memorized the commercial script!

I’m so proud of everything that our class was able to accomplish in just two weeks. Not only did we have so much fun and learn a lot, but we’ve produced a quality product for a great client that deserves to get their story told. When the parents came in at 3 that afternoon, we got to share our work with them and some of the great memories we made during the past two weeks. Tyler told us to keep creating and exploring.

One lesson that Tyler taught us on the first day of DMA Studios and we kept reflecting on every day was about manifesting our hopes. On the first day, we opened up on our fears. Some of my fears were being late, not being able to contribute and not making any friends. Then Tyler told us that those fears are just in our head. We can turn them into hopes instead.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m scared of being late,” I could say, “I want to be on time.” After we wrote down our hopes, we wrote down behaviors that we would take to make those hopes come true. We crumpled all our fears, and kept our hopes and actions on the wall. I’m so happy to report that all our hopes came true!

DMA Studios slate
DMA Studios: An incredible and life-changing experience. Just ask Patricia W.!

…AND THAT’S A WRAP!

DMA Studios has been an amazing, unforgettable experience, and probably the best two weeks of my life. I’m so grateful to Tyler and Ben for all their hard work to make this happen, for all their heart and dedication, and for inspiring our whole class everyday. And I’m also very glad that I got to work with my amazing, talented classmates! We did it!

Be sure to check out Patricia’s other reports from DMA Studios, including their first days of production and final days of production!