Makeweights How to do it
By Louise Heren (Reybridge Films Ltd)
Plan for Makeweights at the start of your production
Makeweights and snap-ins can become a headache unless you deal with them and plan for them right from the start of a production. So as always, letting your post-production facility know that they are a deliverable requirement at the outset is the best way for you and them to plan how to achieve this.
Our tried and tested method
There are various ways to approach makeweights and snap-ins, and below is our tried and tested method for getting them done quickly, efficiently and so that they get past the broadcaster’s techies first time.
Firstly, throughout the offline of your film, remember to choose material for the makeweights and snap-ins as you do your selects - but also remember to concentrate on cutting the film that you were booked to produce - that’s the version that may win awards, not the makeweights!
Make a 'Makeweight bin'
Next, make a “makeweight bin” in your offline project – this is where you’ll put material that isn’t strong enough for the “director’s cut”, but is really useful for extra sequences and bridges.
As you cut your main film, anything that’s a maybe or on your B list of sequences, put it in the makeweight bin; include extended interview clips because existing sequences can be extended using these to make up your makeweight times.
Keep Makeweights and Snap Ins in mind at all times
Then get on with cutting your film with an eye on the makeweight/snap-in bin at all times. At your rough-cut viewing, if the executive producer asks you to ditch an entire sequence, put that in the makeweight bin; if he asks you to trim a sequence, put the redundant material in the makeweight bin. By the time you have picture lock on the broadcast version of your film, you should also have some good choices for makeweights lurking in your makeweight bin.
Edit your Makeweights and Snap Ins
So, you’ve finished cutting your film and now you have to tackle the makeweights and snap-ins. It’s best to do these before you start your post-production because that way they can be conformed, graded, onlined and dubbed during your main sessions, but that’s not always possible and some people schedule their post to do makeweights and snap ins separately so that they don’t hold up delivery of the main shows. Which approach you take depends on your delivery date and how much time you have, but doing it all at the same time is the most cost effective and efficient way of approaching it.