The last scene has been shot. The wrap party is over, but in many ways the movie-making process has just begun. In the post-production phase, all of the “coverage” (total hours of recorded acting performances) must be edited and assembled, the music and sound effects cut in, and visual and optical effects created. Like production, "post" requires a vast array of talented, technologically savvy crews.
During production, picture editor and editorial assistants start their work viewing dailies (each day’s filming) with the director, and begin assembling camera “takes” into coherent scenes. By the end of principal photography, the editor has edited (cut together) a rough assembly of all the scenes, which the director will use as a starting point to shape the picture into the story she or he wants to tell. Generally, directors have at least ten weeks to edit their assembly of the film before the producers view this "rough cut," suggest their changes, then show it to the studio executives.
Advancements in technology have made the editing process faster and more creative than it used to be. Directors and editors are now able to make and view changes instantly with the use of digital workstations.
Computer-generated visual effects can be easily laid in for the director to see. The days of cataloguing strips of film, splicing scenes together, and running them on a flatbed editing machine have given way to exchanging digital files off a shared server (small storage network) which are viewed and edited on a digital editing system such as an Avid® or Final Cut Pro®.
The edited scenes are stored as files on the server and can be opened or transferred to other computers in a flash. Digital editing systems are also helpful when creating optical effects, such as fades or dissolves; editors no longer have to imagine what these effects would look like in the final film; they can now preview and refine opticals until they are satisfied with their appearance