Nisimazine undercover at the ESP co-production forum

Nisimazine undercover at the ESP co-production forum

March 7, 2015

DAY 1: Pitch prepping and a ‘King Arthur table discussion’ about post-production.

On Friday the ESP participants were honing their pitch for the last time, sadly on the first day of
2015 whereupon rays of sun really broke through the Luxembourg skyline. You could see them
pulling their bodies across the finishing line. They felt ready for the real deal. The hunger for
teaming up with producers was hefty and apart from a migraine or some failing technical tools, they
looked like they will put on a good show tomorrow; so bring it on!
The seminar about post-production certainly gave a good example of how a favorable presentation
should turn out to be. The first speakers Claude Kongs and Raoul Nadalet (representatives
of That’s Us) addressed the subject head on: “Post-production starts in pre-production”. It was a
recurring theme in the display wherein all panel members agreed that dialogue was of the utmost
importance and that directors should try to make the ‘post-team’ see what they see, try to tell it in
images. And as Luc Walpoth- former ESP participant with Replika- firmly noted: “When you tackle
future post-production issues on set, it costs you far less time and money than when doing it all
after shooting.”
The debate even took a more intriguing turn when Daina O. Pusic- former ESP participant with The
Beast- said that post-production is the most mysterious of productions: “It’s like a day on Grindr,
you don’t know it until you have to know it.” After she had a very therapeutic year managing editing,
sound design, CGI and more; she could only say that a ‘post-supervisor’ would have been an
enormous asset. She gave three more points of advice you don’t want to miss out on:
– Google stuff. If they tell you it’s going to take 6 days to make 10 seconds of CGI, google it.
– Keep a balance between being flexible and professional, if you don’t want them to mess with you,
set hard deadlines
– Never Pay In Advance!
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The last speaker of the evening was Martin Bonnici-former ESP participant with Shab. He came
back to a problem that many people sitting in the room have noted and stumbled on: not having any
money to do the post-production. He did offer a creative solution though; which is “buying the ‘postpeople’
a crate of Redbull”. Yet, when you don’t have enough money you should focus more on the
core of your story and you should think about creative solutions. Another thing that he made clear
is that you need to have some knowledge of post-production, for example: “without an actual
design for the CGI creature, producers can’t work.” Sometimes obvious is not that obvious in the
world of post-production.
Thus, never start a film with cool CGI in mind but keep your view open for the wonderful
opportunities it can bring and gather knowledge about this peculiar craft. As moderator Govinda
Van Maele (Les Films Fauves, Red Lion Sarl) nicely put it: “making a film now is not the same as
making a film 10 years ago, certainly also due the enormous possibilities of post-production.”