Outlook: More specialists, less handoffs
Connor Scofield
Issue: November/December 2022

Outlook: More specialists, less handoffs

Traditionally, when a project reaches a post house, the creative has moved from ideation to delivery through a contact list of specialized talent, changing hands multiple times throughout the process. It is no different once it is in post production, as it moves from edit to sound house and color house, etc., with limited visibility until the drives show up at the front door. 

We’ve seen this cause inconsistencies, more work for everyone, and in the end, diluted creative. Turns out the creative journey is just as important as the destination. We’ve invested in building out teams of specialists that are able to collaborate throughout the whole process, under one roof. The idea of this full service model has historically made for a smoother, more cost-efficient post journey, but lacked quality. 

The solution: Blend the two models for maximum efficiency, visibility and unmatched creativity. Bringing in high-level, experienced talent, paired with young, fresh talent in all aspects of post production organically develops an ecosystem that creates value beyond the client. 

While the results yield similar benefits of timely deliveries and lower cost, the value really comes from the elevated creative and technical results. In this ecosystem, sound designers work with VFX and editors early on and throughout, building a clearer vision of the project’s goals. Lockt’s roster is made up of multi-disciplined students of film craft, not just the post portion of it. Whether coming in from college or from a seasoned career path with deep roots in storytelling, the backbone of Lockt allows everyone to collaborate from the same vantage point. 

Credit: ESPN

Having multiple teams in constant collaboration provides valuable guidance and fresh perspectives from each others’ roles. Given the variety of projects that come through the door, there are times when assistant editors may have an opportunity to lead edit certain deliverables and work closely with directors. This provides a chance to learn and make creative decisions, which is somewhat unique in that role. Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places and stretch our minds. 

A great representation of this was our recent promo with ESPN CreativeWorks for Warner Bros.’s Black Adam. Lockt’s VFX and editorial staff was at the forefront of designing the spot, creating previs and utilizing Unreal Engine to build multiple environments for the production’s LED volume. The client was able to clearly understand and approve the vision for post production prior to stepping on-set. The benefits of an in-house post ecosystem extend to everyone’s involvement on a project in this way.

Looking into the challenges facing 2023, this model seems better positioned than ever before. It has been less about solving the proverbial problems and more about reframing what works for us.  Clients love the overarching visibility and flexibility it provides through a project’s life cycle, and I believe that it allows all levels of talent to inject their POV, spark new conversations and add efficiencies that holistically elevate the quality of our projects. When we create together, we all win.

Connor Scofield is the President of Lockt Editorial (https://lockteditorial.com). Based in Los Angeles, Lockt Editorial’s range of services span offline and online editing, VFX, music supervision, original composition, licensing, finishing and delivery.