Sloane and Adam, in the edit bay
The phrase we’ll fix it in post is one heard all too often on film sets, and usually met with hoots of derision. Over time it has become a standard ‘catch all’ response to any potential issues – lighting problems, a stray cable, etc. On productions these days, it’s become a bit of a comedy catch phrase – ‘lunch is late’…’we’ll fix it in post’.
Of course there are valid times for the ‘fix it in post’ solution. When shooting as quickly as we were (500 slates in 21 days) it is inevitable that there will be some kinks that need to be ironed out. For example, Sloane’s favourite take for one particular scene, has an uninvited guest appear for a few frames in the deep background. It is a simple fix – but these simple fixes start to add up, and it is easy to see how budgets can spiral out of control in the pursuit of perfect images. In many ways having such a limited budget is a blessing – we don’t even bother discussing the possibility of removing that buzzing wasp, or that stray chicken.
Of course, we want things to be as perfect as possible, but it is about finding that balance. Sloane and our editor, Adam Garstone, are both of the ‘performance is king’ mindset. If a particular take has the best performance then that is the one that will make the film. If it has any little issues, we will discuss the feasibility of fixing them – but if we can’t, and they don’t interrupt the flow of the film, then they will stay. Of course there are numerous examples of this in film – reflections of a dolly in Apocalypse Now for example.
Recently I have been wondering how ‘fix it in post’ would apply to real life. It would be fantastic to be able to rectify mistakes, after the event has actually happened. Imagine being able to remove that silly argument you had with your Mum/Dad/Spouse/Dog. Or, imagine if we could fix certain historical political decisions by simply firing up the computer and changing the data. So, I ask you – if you could ‘fix it in post’, what would you do?