A film’s post-production phase feels akin to that dreaded ritual where once the freshly baked cupcakes come steaming and golden from the oven, you must sit and wait, wide-eyed with lust, as they cool on the windowsill and the icing is readied. Likewise, after the shoot is done, when the cameras are packed and the clapper shuts for the last time, there are still things to do before it’s finished. So you sit and wait.
And since Justice Squad’s principal photography wrapped in late 2008, there has been much waiting while the remaining workloads were completed: pick-ups, transition animations, score, visual effects, audio mixing, colour grading, etc. A number of artists here in Australia and overseas have pitched in to complete the last of the bits and pieces and have rushed to meet the April deadline. Now, it’s in the can.
Over the last year, my lion’s share of post-production was to oversee the completion of the visual effects with the magically talented Benni Knop and Jacob ‘Chewie’ Dyer. Their job was to turn the script’s best intentions into actual moments (while I mostly made the tea), creating an array of sparks and bolts and explosions. This is not necessarily simple, with many long nights of tracking and experimentation involved.
Also, the faux realism of the mockumentary genre requires a rather restrained approach, the visual effects often the punchline to running gags rather than action beats. Subtle magic is something of a non sequitur and to create visual effects that compliment dry humour is a tricky exercise, so the sterling results are a compliment to both Benni and Jacob’s efforts.
As I’ve written previously, a film is never quite finished, you must simply stop one day. Now, after all these years, the loose ends have been tied up and we reach the denouement. Justice Squad has now stopped, the finished product in consideration for premieres and soon to screen at a cinema near you. The wait is almost over, the ritual done… time for those cupcakes…