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My Post House: The PostMan

“Post-production is all about overcoming challenges, whether it involves correcting footage, creating special effects or delivering in the latest formats,” says Marc Savoie, owner of The PostMan. “This is the type of business in which you never stop learning.”

The PostMan is one of New Brunswick”s largest full-service and independently run post-production facilities. Owner Marc Savoie runs the bilingual studio with a focus on client satisfaction, with seven editing suites stocked with an expansive range of quality equipment.

What specific project(s) do you currently have in the works?
We are currently providing post-production services for a couple of different series. Our work on ARTV and Radio-Canada”s Season 2 of “Au Coeur du Country” involves four one-hour segments on the history of country music, all shot on RED, HDCAM and Sony EX1 cameras. For TV5”s first season of “Cépages,” we were dealing with 13 half-hour segments on Canadian wine, all of which were shot on the RED camera.

We also did the post work for ARTV and TFO”s 1-hour documentary on artist Roméo Savoie, which was filmed on XDCAM cameras and small POV cameras.

What else have you worked on recently?
Last summer, we worked on 11 one-hour segments of “Pour l”Amour du Country” for ARTV and Radio-Canada”s eigth season of the country music variety series. We also helped finish 13 half-hour spots of the second season of “Makusham” on APTN and TFO. The series features live Aboriginal and French music, and is shot on HDCAM, RED and EX1 cameras.

The PostMan owner Marc Savoie (left) with business partner Chris Goguen (right), who heads up the audio department

We recently completed production of a 26-minute short film, “Magnifier.” In early November, it went on to win Best Short Drama, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound Design at the Silver Wave Film Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The trailer for “Magnifier” can be seen here:

What gets you out of bed in the morning to go to work in post-production?
The challenge. Post-production is all about overcoming challenges, whether it involves correcting footage, creating special effects or delivering in the latest formats. This is the type of business in which you never stop learning.

What is your favorite thing about working in post?
I”d have to say the challenge, once again. No day is ever the same. I am continuously faced with the opportunity to learn something new, and constantly improving upon my skill set.

What is your least favorite thing about working in post?
Software crashes. And for some strange reason, they always seem to increase as the deadline gets closer! I think it’s a conspiracy.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago, I was splitting my year between two jobs. I spent half of the year as a production coordinator for a local production company, and the other half as a freelance video editor.

What do you expect to be doing 10 years from now?
I hope to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, only better.

What do you consider to be the next big thing in post?
Web. I keep telling our clients that we will be a web company in five years” time, and that post-production will end up being one of many services we will offer. I think that everything is close to converging: post-production, web and videogames. I believe they will all be more socially integrated and interactive.

What is your best post memory?
I think my best post memory was when I received my first Avid system, Avid Adrenaline. I was booked to do my first HD color correction on a Monday and received the system only three days earlier, on the Friday before. I had never touched an Avid and scrambled to familiarize myself with it over the weekend. I kept calling a buddy of mine during the session to ask the most ridiculous questions, such as: Where’s the button to remove color corrections? The show looked good in the end, though!

What new technology are you working with?
We have been doing tons of work with the RED camera in both production and post-production over the last few years. It has really leveled the playing field for us as far as being able to compete on a national level, while remaining located in a small city. The quality of the footage shot by that camera was completely out of reach for us a few years earlier. We just got our first Sony HDCAM SR deck in, and recently had the opportunity to test the new Panasonic 3D camera a few months back. We had a lot of fun with it, but I don’t think 3D will be a big market for The PostMan, at least in the foreseeable future.

What new products/technology are you looking forward to the most?
Waiting for my Epic camera is absolutely killing me. I think it will be in high demand here, although I am sure it will introduce some new post headaches as well. I am also eagerly awaiting the arrival of Blackmagic”s H.264 Pro Recorder, which I have had on order since July. Now that H.264 is a standard delivery format for us, I think the Pro Recorder will be an incredible time saver.

What was the first editing system you worked on?
I briefly worked on Speed Razor and Discreet Edit way back when, but the first editing system I really worked with a lot was the DPS Velocity. I absolutely loved editing on that system. I am still waiting for Avid to introduce the same live editing features that DPS/Leitch had almost seven years ago!

What technology do you currently work with?
• Adobe Production Suite CS5
• Avid Media Composer
• Avid Symphony
• Avid Unity MediaNet 5.0 16TB
• Blackmagic Design UltraScope
• BOXX Animation Station
• Client Screening Theatre with a 92in screen and HD projection
• The Foundry”s NukeX
• Panasonic DVCPRO HD
• Pro Tools HD systems for 5.1 surround sound
• RED Rocket dailies system
• Sony HDCAM SR, HDCAM, Digital Betacam, Betacam SX
• Sony EX1 cameras
• Sony BVM-L230 grading monitor