XIANGLI-MM history paper

Thesis paper 01-Past

History of Postproduction


This semester I want to explore the development of post motion picture, and I will put more energy on the field of post production of film and television.


Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, one of the earliest silent films-a production experiment by the photographer Eadward Muybridge on Jun 15, 1878,  led to the development of motion picture. At first, the motion picture that consisted of 24 photographs in a fast-motion series   was shown on a zoopraxiscope. Soon after, the zoopraxiscope, along with zoetrope and the thaumatrope, were considered as the forerunner of today’s motion display technology (including the animated GIF and video display technologies).

The history of film cannot be credited to one individual as an oversimplification of any history often tries to do. Each inventor added to the progress of other inventors, culminating in progress for the entire art and industry. Often masked in mystery and fable, the beginnings of film and the silent era of motion pictures are usually marked by a stigma of crudeness and naiveté, both on the audiences’ and filmmakers’ parts. However, with the landmark depiction of a train hurtling toward and past the camera, the Lumière Brothers’ 1895 picture “La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon” (“Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”), was only one of a series of simultaneous artistic and technological breakthroughs that began to culminate at the end of the nineteenth century. These triumphs that began with the creation of a machine that captured moving images led to one of the most celebrated and distinctive art forms at the start of the 20th century.

Audiences had already reveled in motion pictures through clever uses of slides and mechanisms creating “moving photographs” with such 16th-century inventions as magic lanterns. These basic concepts, combined with trial and error and the desire of audiences across the world to see entertainment projected onto a large screen in front of them, birthed the movies. From the “actualities” of penny arcades, the idea of telling a story in order to draw larger crowds through the use of differing scenes began to formulate in the minds of early pioneers such as Georges Melies and Edwin S. Porter. This Discovery Guide explores the early history of cinema, following its foundations as a money-making novelty to its use as a new type of storytelling and visual art, and the rise of the film industry. Though the development of technologies, motion picture brought more entertainment for people, and post production also continues to improve year after year.

By far, the large majority of visual effects today are created in postproduction, usually at specialized effects labs called optical houses or effects houses. In 1931, the invention of the optical printer allowed filmmakers to take pictures of pictures, effectively enabling them to duplicate sections of their film while adding or subtracting elements. If you want a better closeup, you zoom in the optical printer’s camera on the subject. You could also rotate the camera to tilt the shot, or photograph each frame more than once, effectively creating a stuttering slow motion. Parts of the scene could be masked out so that other elements could be photographed in their place.

The increase in computing power available to the average consumer, along with the advent of more affordable software for creation and editing of visual effects, has brought the optical house into the computer age. Nearly everything can now be done digitally. For example, in Robert Zemeckis’s 1994 Best Picture Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks’s character, Forrest Gump, was inserted into various historical film footage to give the appearance that Gump was actually in the scenes.


Hardware and software have developed rapidly. So that A longer time will be spent in the process of making post production of a film than that spent on the actual shooting of a film. Through the post production, it is possible to increase cinematic effects. Furthermore through the use of color correcting tools and the addition of music and sound, For instance a blue-tinted movie is associated with a cold atmosphere and the choice of music and sound increases the effect of the shown scenes to the audience. The atmosphere of the movie can be heavily influenced, and 3D technology has a great breakthrough.

3D films have existed in some form since 1915, but had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3D films became more and more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of 3D presentations of Avatar in December 2009 and January 2010.

The process of editing a movie is also seen as the second directing because through the post production it is possible to change the intention of the movie. Post-production is, in fact, many different processes grouped under one name. These typically include:video editing the picture of a television program using an edit decision list (EDL), Writing,recording, and editing the soundtrck, Adding visual special effects – mainly computer-generated imager (CGI) and digital copy from which release prints will be made (although this may be made obsolete by digital-cinema technologies), Sound design,Sound effects,ADR, Foley and Music, culminating in a process known as sound re-recording or mixing with professional audio equipment,Transfer of Color motion picture film to Video or DPX with a telecine and color grading (correction) in a color suite.

In television, the phases of post production include: editing, video editing, sound editing, animation and visual effects insertions, viewing and the start of the airing process. It is imperative that post production executes and oversees the preparation until the final product is completely ready.

Techniques used in music post-production include comping(compiling the best portions of multiple takes into one superior take), timing and pitchcorrection , and adding effects.Contrary to the name, post-production may occur at any point during recording and production process and is non-linear and nonveridic.


3D film will occupy the leading position in the future market. With the development of post production and displayer, it will be unnecessary for people to wear 3D glasses when they watch 3D films.

Now, the naked eye 3D technology is still in its infancy, but the major operating systems are already aware of the importance of the 3D display in the future. Previously executive vice president of HP’s Personal Systems Group Todd Bradley said, they found that WebOS is the second largest 3D gaming platform; Nokia and Intel claimed that MeeGo is the best platform for researching and developing 3D device experience.

From the above information, both hardware manufacturers and software vendors are putting more emphasis on 3D technology. For the users, the future smart phones can not only provide more high-quality 3D games, the scope of its technology will also be extended to more Hyun UI interface, as well as other features and applications.

Due to the restrictiveness and bad experience of wearing glasses to watch 3D movies, the naked eye 3D will be a big trend。


Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art. It is a term for all stages of production occurring after the actual end of shooting or recording the completed work.

Post-production will play a essential role in modern film production process.







One comment

  1. Patrick · March 18, 2013

    Xiang – this is good research as far as facts go. Need to show its affect on filmmaking as well. Has storytelling changed because of it? Have the abilities to do things changed the nature of stories? Has the narrative changed because of the technology? That’s the real issue here. We will talk more in class.

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