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What Does a Post-Production Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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The responsibilities of a post-production supervisor are typically related to ensuring that the various tasks necessary during the final stages of a film or television production are completed on time and within budget. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, though a supervisor is usually responsible for overseeing editors and other crew members involved in post-production. Ongoing budgetary analysis is usually performed by these supervisors and schedules and budgets are updated or altered as necessary. While a post-production supervisor does not work directly on a film or show, he or she is often in direct contact with directors and artists working on a project.

A post-production supervisor is someone who oversees the aspects of production that occur after principal photography for a film or television show. Many different types of work are usually done during post-production, including video editing, sound engineering and editing, and the completion and addition of computer graphics (CG) special effects. A post-production supervisor works with the different artists and professionals completing this phase of production to ensure they are on schedule. This schedule is vitally important, in order to ensure that the efforts of the editors and other people working on these projects are properly synchronized for optimal productivity.

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One of the most important duties of a post-production supervisor is overseeing the budget for a production and ensuring different departments do not overstep their funds. Post-production is one of the most time-intensive and expensive phases in production, yet a great deal of financial resources are often spent during principal photography and production. This means that a post-production supervisor may have to find ways to ensure tasks are performed even without optimal funding. This supervisor might need to have a director or editor change aspects of a film to adjust for changes that result in finances, such as the inability to complete some effects shots.

Most of the work done by a post-production supervisor involves time and people management. These two elements often come together since the artists working on a film or television show, such as directors and editors, may be more involved in the artistic work and less aware of practical requirements for a production. A post-production supervisor often helps these individuals strike a balance between artistry and practicality, to ensure that the final work is still creatively successful and delivered in a meaningful way. This can be difficult, and so post-production coordinators can also be hired to directly work with editors and other professionals on a daily basis, and then to answer to the supervisor.

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