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August 2014
Issue: December 1, 2013

Editor's Letter: Wrapping up 2014

By: Marc Loftus
For more than a decade now, Post has been using its December issue to look back at the past 12 months, and on to the year ahead. Each December, our issue takes on a SWOT theme, where we look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing different segments of the market. This year we look at the Editing landscape, Audio Post, The Business of Post Production, and at studios working in Animation, Design & VFX. We also check in with a number of high-profile Directors, who give their take on Hollywood, the post processs, and the film industry as a whole.

Collectively, the issue provides a very well rounded outlook at the business of post production and what’s on the minds of professionals throughout the industry. It will come as no surprise to learn that many of the talented individuals we spoke with are concerned with continually-diminishing budgets and the trend that sees content producers asking facilities to provide full service, even if some of those services are not in their line of expertise. Is quality suffering because of this? One can wonder.

Still, most are optimistic about the year ahead thanks to new content delivery outlets — namely, the Internet. There is a steady increase for content that viewers can enjoy on their own schedule, and on their preferred device. This content will need production, editing, graphics and sound services, so many feel there won’t be a shortage of work in the year ahead. Check out our SWOT and Outlook pieces to get a feel for what’s happening throughout the industry.

Our cover story (page 10) this month looks at the editing process for the new blockbuster Lionsgate film, The Hunger Game: Catching Fire, which represents the second feature in a successful franchise. Editor Alan Bell, who worked with director Francis Lawrence on his 2011 feature Water for Elephants, was challenged with cutting together a number of different formats (some of the film was shot in IMAX) to achieve the final two-plus hour cut that’s showing in theaters. Bell edited the film on an Avid, and in this issue, details his set up, along with the process and his collaboration with the director.

And I had a chance to visit the Vice offices in Brooklyn this month, where they are in production of the documentary series Vice, which will return to HBO in 2014 for Season 2. The program’s documentary shorts are shot predominantly on Canon cameras and are edited in Final Cut Pro 7. VP of post production Mike Daniels details the company’s history and workflow on page 4.

Enjoy the issue. Let us know what you think? Here’s to a successful 2014!