Post on the up


For Upstairs Post Production the amount of work this year is similar to 2011 however there is a change in timing trends. Far more work is being shot and edited during the Cape Town winter, with June and July their busiest months for the past two years.

“Lately we seem to be quoting on the same board for several production houses at a time, with more directors pitching on the same boards,’ notes Upstairs Post Production’s Greg Shaw. “We recently had one board that was briefed to seven directors. Many of these boards then go into “research’ and simply disappear.’

As an offline house Upstairs Post Production has taken the decision to stick to what it does best – TV commercials.

“We are considered one of the best offline facilities in South Africa and our show reel speaks for itself,’ says Shaw. “In order to stay true to our skills set we only edit high-end short-form work.

“Upstairs has in the past facilitated many offlines for service companies in Cape Town, but the wasted time and costs (cars, hotels, and so on) of keeping the foreign director, producer and agency in South Africa for the offline edit has now become so pricey that it makes the idea far less appealing. It is a great pity that we lose so much of this work due to costs not working out cheaper than doing it back home in their native country.

“We have seen many post-production facilities open in the past few years, places where the editor is now the colourist, animator, audio engineer and online operator. This is not a new concept and it is feasible for low budget work. However, we don’t support this model and believe these Jack-of-all-trades setups will only have a negative effect on the film industry in the long run, including themselves.

“In the old days the offline house handled the whole post-production workflow, from telecine to final audio. Now with everything being digital agencies and production houses are taking the reins and going direct. In future editors may become far more freelance.

“We are being asked more and more to edit on set. The machines are mobile and I have just completed a job that was approved on set. If this is the way of the future then we need to move with the times.’

By Andy Stead

Screen Africa magazine May 2012


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