Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with mistakes in post-production. We’ve all been there. Everything during pre-production and production goes seemingly smooth; you write the script or storyboard for your video, you cast actors and produce a full day of footage. Everything goes great. But in post-production, you realize the boom made its way into your best shot or the sun’s presence ruins your favorite shot. Dealing with these issues can be expensive, complicated and overwhelming. However, these problems can be solved with VFX.
In this article, we’ll share some insights and ideas for finding a VFX freelancer that’ll help fix these mistakes. Additionally, we’ve included a checklist to help you easily prepare to send off your post-production elements to the freelancer you ultimately decide to hire.
Finding the right VFX freelancer for the job
Searching for the right pick
Finding the right freelancer can be daunting because there are so many options out there.
Some people seek out help through a friend, through Facebook or through an agency. However, a favorite among many creative professionals is Fiverr. There are hundreds of freelancers ready for work, right at your fingertips. A good way to start your search is to use the filters and categories Fiverr offers. Using these features will make your searches more productive because they’ll help you remove the options you wouldn’t consider. You can choose things like a creator’s skill level, delivery time, cost, even the type of work you need them to do. Also, be sure to compare relevant freelancers with each other. Check their star ratings and the number of ratings they have. If an individual has a 5-star rating, but only one review, that isn’t as reassuring as five hundred reviews with a 4-star average.
Once you’ve found a few relevant freelancers who will do the kind of work you need them to do, it’s time to reach out. message them and start communicating about the project. Good communication is a skill that will pay off in the end. Not only will you get to experience their response time, you’ll also see how well they communicate. Be sure to tell them about your project when messaging them. They should be able to guide you into what package to choose for the work you are looking to do.
Now it is time to compare the creators you have found. You now know their star reviews and their ability to communicate. Determine what star level you are comfortable with. Are you satisfied with hiring someone with a 3-star rating, but seems to communicate effectively and seems able to complete your project? Also, be sure to determine that the price they’re charging for the job is reasonable. Make sure you have an apples to apples comparison to validate the cost. If you are looking for someone with a higher skill level and a quick turnaround time, it will cost more.
Identify what needs to be done
Once you have found the perfect VFX artist, you should start the project by identifying what you need to prepare for your VFX artist; that way, they have everything they need to get the job done. Communicate with your artist and take notes from your conversations. By doing this, you will have a clear checklist of what your artist expects you to send.
Communication with your VFX artist is critical. The better the communication, the better your artist will know what you want to achieve with the project. Ultimately, you want the outcome of the project to match your original vision.
Lastly, be sure to contact the freelancers you have in mind. Introduce yourself and talk about the project’s parameters and what you would expect from them. This stage is important because it will give you an idea on how they communicate.
Label all files and folders appropriately
Now that you know what you need to complete your project, it’s time to appropriately label all of the files and folders you will be sending to your artist. This process is essential, but many overlook it. While you might have all of the assets your artist needs, they need to have the ability to find them efficiently. When naming the files and folders, make sure the file names are unique and easy to identify. It is also better to give the names some details, such as descriptions of what they are. Added information will be helpful if any reconstruction is needed.
Send only what’s needed
There is such a thing as sending too much. Sending a large number of files, especially those that are unnecessary for the project’s outcome, will only make things harder on your artist.
The best way to organize the files is to consolidate them into one folder. Make sure the file has an appropriate name. Everything the artist will need should be available in one folder. Subfolders are fine; however, make sure they are appropriately named as well. Organizing your files into one folder ultimately makes it easy to send all in one package.
Before you send the file to your VFX artist, you should test the folder and be sure it has everything your artist needs. The best way to test this is to try to open the file before you send it off to the VFX artist. If you don’t test before you send and are missing a file, it will slow down the project.
Review the work
When reviewing the work of the VFX artist, identify any issues you have with their work. It might help to create another checklist so you can keep track of any changes you want to see. It is essential to be clear about what you want to be fixed. The clearer you are, the easier it will be for your artist to make changes. Including timecodes would also be helpful.
When talking to your artist about the project, don’t be too harsh with your critique. It will be better for the morale of the project to start the evaluation with something positive. After starting with the good aspects of the work, offer your suggestions for improvement. End the discussion on another positive note by highlighting another good aspect of the artist’s work. Offering critique this way will make it easier for your artist to accept your changes and will also reinforce the good work they have done.
Post-production work can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. You can still achieve your vision when hiring a freelancer for your project. You now have the knowledge you need to prepare your project for a VFX artist, which will take a great deal of time and stress off your hands. Remember these important steps: Communicate effectively, stay organized and work harmoniously with your VFX artist. Do these things, and together you will accomplish a finished product that reflects your original vision and ideas.
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For quick reference, here is a checklist for you to use quickly for your next project.
Check out our video Managing post production using Fiverr Episode 1 – VFX and Sound Design
Click here to learn how to prepare your project and assets for sound design