▶ An important read for anyone in film post production
via Frank Kruse:
“The “White Paper for film (sound) post-production in France” has been translated into English.
Important read for all in film (sound) post. Let’s not return to the pre-COVID working conditions after COVID.”
Direct link to english PDF
me: I don’t know the back story to how this document came to be,
but from personal experience I recognise every aspect of it.
update: thanks to Théo Serror on FB for commenting on how this came to be:
“Getting there took several professional associations – AFSI (Sound Film), LMA (Picture Editors), ADM (re-re mixers) to organise what we called at the time “Estates General for Post-Production”.
This took form of a series of meetings/assembly to assess what our respective jobs are in the industry nowadays (compared to how they were defined decades ago).
I only attended the last two meet-ups, but discussion included :
– relationships between the post sound team and the editorial department.
– how to argue the relevance of having the picture editor _and_ the sound editor still onboard during the re-recording mixing (which is less and less the case in France for mid-to-low budget films)
– Assistants ? When/How/why ?
– Sound Editors & Re-re Mixers : same Tools / different jobs (?)
Being part of AFSI’s “Sound Editing Board”, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the discussions and logistics building up to this White Paper. It was a TREMENDOUS amount of work & coordination from those who organised all this.
And, to be fair, meetings between Editors, Sound Designers and Re-Re mixers is… something else. And that probably was the main benefit of this initiative. More than the white paper itself, getting people who usually don’t talk much to each other to share about their job on a wider scale was great.
A film composer friend asked as to why composers were not included:
“Composers have a completely different status in France compared to other “film technicians”.
French system is very singular, but one way of summing it up is:
– composers are “artists”. I.e. 100% freelance (we actually have an “artist” status in France) AND they own their soundtrack (copyright doesn’t really apply to the French system, but let’s say they have copyright over their work).
– other sound pros are “technicians” (in the broadest meaning of the word). Meaning we benefit from a special social security/unemployment coverage system composers aren’t eligible too. On the other hand, a Production Company owns everything we do for them.
Composers : Artists, Copyright, no job=no income whatsoever.
Other sound pros : Technicians, No Copyright, No Job=guaranteed income based on previous year’s income.
This results in working conditions (and concerns) that are wildly different.
It would’ve not made much sense to include composer in this discussion from an “industry” standpoint.
(Not talking about creative contribution/collaboration at all right there. That’s a whole other story).