The DP's role in the editing suite (5 replies and 1 comment)
Hello, As a director/producer I have battled the issue of crew responsibilities in post. Specifically, I have a DP who insists he help with edit and that ONLY he can work with the colorist. In my opinion, both of these roles are the responsibility of the assigned professional (editor and colorist) with input from the director. This situation with my DP is beginning to rub me the wrong way and I wanted to hear your professional opinion of your role in the edit/color correction & grading suites. Am I wrong to believe that the DP's responsibilities end at wrap? Cheers, Simon
So whose career is on the line if the entire project fails? Yours or the DoP?
It's supposed to be a team effort, but there is a team leader who makes the key decisions - and that is the director. Or at least, it is supposed to be!
The DP is responsible for the photography which includes color-correction. The director is responsible for the overall film. So together they supervise the color-correction if that's what the director wants to do (some directors would rather just have a review pass after the DP is finished. Directors are busy people! Often the sound mix is happening around the same time as the color-correction.). Certainly the DP's responsibility doesn't end at wrap! Ansel Adams said that the negative was the score and the print was the performance - it's always been some form of a 2-stage process, the original image recording and then the color-correction, so a DP who is only involved in the first half is only doing half the job of photography. Of course, some might only have the time in post to just review and give notes because they are working on another project. But the photographic look includes the color-correction!
However, I will add that a DP doesn't really have a right to be involved in the editing anymore than the editor has the right to be involved in the lighting, composition, and color-correction (though some insist on getting involved -- but for some reason, they balk when the DP wants to come into the AVID bay and trim some edits...)
Saying that the DP doesn't have any responsibility over how the image is color-corrected is a bit like saying that the Production Designer doesn't have any authority over the person who decorates the sets.
Imagine Roger turning in this shot and the colorist deciding it would be better blue instead of orange... I can't imagine Roger saying "hey, it's not my responsibility any more, do whatever you want to my photography!"
You make good points, David!