Picture Lock is a Lie

Scenes of Witchcraft by Salvator Rosa, 1645-1649

Well, well, well. Look who broke Picture Lock. Commence the rituals. You know the ones. Apologies Proffered. Lunches bought. Rates renegotiated. Weekends ruined. Grudges accumulated.

You were bad. You did something that happens in post for every project that’s ever made it to a screen. So maybe we should start thinking about this problem differently?

Seriously, who hasn’t spent way too much time in sound, wrestling in the mud with iZotope and an errant footstep that stepped all over the most important word in the most important line? Eventually the step wins and you step in to swap out a different take. All fixed. But the new shot is longer than the old one. You ripple out more frames to cut the thing properly and you can step aside buddy if you think you’re invited to the next BBQ.

And who hasn’t noticed, deep into the color grade, a beleaguered PA’s bounce-holding, arm-aching grimace reflected in our hero’s sunglasses? Resolve’s tracking on that tracking shot is going to be murder on this murder movie so that shot is getting bounced right out of here. You root around and unearth a different take with no afflicted PA in sight. Lovely. But - you guessed it - the new shot is a few frames faster than the old one so listen friend, your next rent check is on track to bounce itself and you right out into the street if you don’t sacrifice your weekend to Moloch the Picture Lock Bringer of Despair.

You ponder these things in your neighborhood dive, fishing a fruit fly from your glass and taking inventory of your shattered social life. You watch somebody way too young and way too hot to be in this horrible place edit a movie on their phone with one hand.

“I get it,” you mutter to yourself. “We’re professionals, perpetually striving and failing at the impossible and beautiful pursuit of divine perfection. But still, in the digital era, shouldn’t some of these ancient hurdles be a little easier?”

“Yes, we are lacking modern timeline revision control technology in post production,” says the waiter. “Also, I’d hardly call my place a horrible dive. I mean, check out all these sexy social media influencers editing movies on their phones.”


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