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Fix It in Post

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Strong Bad: The Cheat, what happened? You told me this was gonna look like some kind of giant T. rex with tentacle arms and laser beam eyes!
The Cheat: (The Cheat noises)
Strong Bad: "Fix it in post"? This is post!
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective

Post-production, known as "post" for short, is the part of a film's production process that occurs after principal photography is complete. "Post" is where the film is edited into a coherent story, sound effects are added, and (most notably) visual effects are created.

"Fix it in post" is a phrase uttered by filmmakers who screw up a shot but don't want to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of shooting it again.note  The expectation is that the editor will (hopefully) be able to edit around the error, or remove or obscure it, to make it less apparent to the viewer. With current digital image manipulation techniques, this can actually be done for some things you might think couldn't possibly be fixed in postnote , but the amount of work involved can easily end up having an eye-popping cost in money and time.

These are the four worst words to hear on any set — it means the responsibility for repairing the error will be passed onto the editor, and there is a good chance the quality of the finished film will be deteriorated. Not only are the crew members tipped off that something bad is happening, but the editor knows that their job has just gotten exponentially more difficult.

It can often lead to the usage of B-Roll footage.

If the remark "we'll fix it in post" makes it through post itself, it's a case of Left It In. If the mistake doesn't get fixed until after the theatrical run, see Enhanced on DVD.


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    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot used this in a story arc where Jason and Marcus imagine themselves cast in the roles of Frodo and Sam for the then-upcoming The Lord of the Rings films. They react with awe to the armies of orcs and the balrog, then react with horror to Lady Galadriel. Director Peter Jackson facepalms at this, and the assistant director assures him that the editors can swap those reactions in post-production.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Norm of the North, a bunch of people try to shoot an ad for tourist homes in the Arctic, but Norm and his lemmings try to stop them by sabotaging their equipment. At one point, the director provides us with this gem of a quote:
    "We'll fix the rest in post. Anything can be fixed in post! In one of my movies, I wrote the plot in post!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This was supposed to happen with Manos: The Hands of Fate, but it never did, thus leaving us with a movie known only because of how awful it is.
  • Played straight near the beginning of Hannah Montana: The Movie, where the director shooting Hannah's music video invokes the trope word for word.
  • In Planet Terror (one half of the Double Feature Grindhouse), a zombie ruins an otherwise perfect take by grabbing for Rose McGowan too soon, so Robert Rodriguez just fixed it by blowing his head off.
  • The Snowman (2017) had so many issues during production that the director estimated that, at wrap, 10-15% of the script had not been shot at all. In addition, Val Kilmer had recently had surgery for cancer that rendered his voice unrecognisable, meaning his every line needed to be dubbed (and leading to the director trying to shoot around the problem). Attempting to fix the many, many issues that all of this created has resulted in a movie that is - being charitable - just barely coherent, but which features a detective who never seems to detect anything, subplots that go nowhere, characters who just disappear from the story entirely, characters having flashbacks to other people's memories, and an ending so incomplete and jarringly-edited that it feels like it might be a poorly-executed satire of itself. Folding Ideas breaks down the problems in an extensive video here.
  • This is the mentality of Scott Shaw's "Zen Filmmaking". They will shoot with little more than an outline of a script, capture spur-of-the-moment spontaneity and improv magic, and make it all flow with editing. It never works.
  • The works of Neil Breen have a... peculiar approach to post-production. Mr. Breen is apparently willing to spend quite a lot of time assembling effects sequences (albeit not good ones) but will also leave what certainly appear to be multiple takes of the same line in a single shot.note 
  • Star Wars:
    • Evidently Marcia Lucas did an absolutely heroic job of fixing stuff when it came to patching together a usable climax for A New Hope.
    • The porgs in The Last Jedi are ever-present on Ahch-To because those scenes were filmed on Skellig Michael, an island which is home to protected puffins. Instead of removing the puffins with CGI, they were covered up and turned into memorable (and marketable) comic relief.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spoofed in the "Wormhole X-Treme" episode of Stargate SG-1. A real alien spaceship comes down to pick up some stranded alien beings in the middle of a Show Within a Show written by another alien, based upon hazy memories of the SGC. While two of the show's production crew (who actually are real production crew on Stargate SG-1) are talking about it, they say that the special effects were a little weak, and that "We'll fix it in post." Then they go to play some golf.
  • An out-take from the fourth series of Red Dwarf: Cat (Danny John-Jules) and Lister (Craig Charles) are in a tight spot — when Lister pulls out his lighter, they find themselves in what appears to be a small cave. Craig Charles says "Stone," and taps the wall, which makes a very obviously hollow wooden sound. The audience immediately cracks up. Danny starts laughing as well, and Craig shouts at the audience: "They were gonna sort that out in the dub!"
  • Seen often on game and panel shows filmed live, wherein, after a failed or very dirty joke, the teller says aloud that they'll take it out in post. Of course, they leave it in...
  • On The Colbert Report, Stephen occasionally jokes that he'll edit out a guest's statements to make himself look better. At least once the show actually makes good on Colbert's promise, though the guest's statements were actually edited for time.
  • A very common rescue joke in stand-up comedians' recorded shows is to claim that they will edit out unfunny sequences or add artificial laughs over unsuccessful jokes in post-production.
  • Examined and accidentally invoked in Screenwipe, in this sequence detailing the difficulties of producing even a relatively simple shot (the presenter, Charlie Brooker, falling off a log). The script called for the production crew to deliberately leave the boom mic in shot in order for Brooker to point out the kind of thing that accidentally happens on a shoot, but they ended up forgetting to do so and had to resort to shooting a separate boom mic against a white screen and adding it into the shot. Charlie Brooker lampshades the absurdity of having to un-fix a perfectly fine shot in post in order to demonstrate the kind of mistake that needs fixing in post, and calls the whole thing a "pain in the arse".
  • Though the trope isn't actually said, it's obvious Garth Marenghi's Darkplace was heavily edited in post to make the show even make a tiny bit of sense. They do directly refer to a post-production trick at least once, explaining the ludicrous overdose of slow-motion shots; "The episodes were running up to eight minutes under... the only way to stretch them out was with slow motion".note 

  • The original application of Auto-Tune software was to fix minor errors in a vocalist's pitch without having to re-record part or all of a song, before it became a widespread, heavily used effect.
  • The Traveling Wilburys got their name from the frequent refrain of "Don't worry about it; we'll bury it in the mix," said whenever someone would make a minor goof during recording.

  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: An occasional joke is the BBC Radio 4 editors removing jokes post-recording, either for being unsuitable for broadcast or just plain terrible.
    Jeremy Hardy: You wait 'till the edit. You won't be going "ooooh" then!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Played for Laughs in Magic: The Gathering with a particular card in the joke set Unhinged. The card in question, Granny's Payback, has artwork depicting an elderly woman slaughtering people despite the actual effect of the card being life-gaining. The flavor text is as follows:
    R&D Comments
    BB [Brandon Bozzi]: Why does a life-gaining card show an old lady killing people?
    MR [Mark Rosewater]: We'll fix it in the flavor text.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Linkara says this in one video review after he attempts to use one of his Running Gags, only to get an entirely different one.
  • From the RiffTrax of Birdemic:
    Mike: We're going to make this look good in post, right?
    Bill: The hell is post? Keep flailing!
  • A group of Drexel 3D animation students called their team We'll Fix It In Post productions, poking fun at the phrase. Their animation was featured on Drexel's site for some years, but has since been removed in favor of newer works.
  • Done to the point of becoming a Running Gag on Game Grumps: whenever they say or do something embarrassing, they immediately say "Barry, edit that out!". It's never edited out.
  • This is the image caption on for an animation error from Transformers: Energon that leaves the characters against a black background with a signature.
    It probably went something like this in the animation studio. "Hey, they left the background out." "Here's a sketch to tide us over. We'll fix it in post-production." "It goes out tomorrow." "WHAT?"
  • Lampshaded in the Tetris episode of "Furious Famicom Faggot":
    FFF: Armadillo yams!... Wait, can we cut that out? I wanna say something better than "armadillo yams". Eh, whatever we'll fix it in edit- fuck you, game!
  • A Running Gag on BlastphamousHD's channel, usually after he's made a sexual innuendo or a very dark joke. Zig-Zagged since he rarely actually edits out what he's said
  • In Gus Johnson's "every film student set", the room is empty but Gus says he'll fix it in post and explains that he'll be using this as a catch-all solution for anything that goes wrong.
    Oh, by the way, that reminds me, there are going to be a lot of very glaring, unfixable problems with today's shoot, all of which I will address by simply saying, "We'll just fix it in post" even though I have no idea how to fix anything in post.
  • Exaggerated in JonTron's "Flex Tape 2: The Flexening" video, where the fictional original cut was such a disaster that the crew had to scramble to salvage it, and ended up fixing the entire video in post.
  • In The Key of Awesome's parody of Maroon Five's "Moves Like Jagger" (where both the original and the parody have the singer topless), Mark is concerned that "my stomach looks gross" to which the producer says "we'll fix that in post" but asides to Todd that he won't actually do that.

    Western Animation 
  • In Home Movies, Jason once complains that Brendan is always saying this, even though Brendan never actually fixes anything in post. It's likely that Brendan doesn't actually know what this term means and that this is just one of the terms he throws around to sound like a real director.
  • At the end of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "(blooper) Bunny!" after a rehearsal involving a rocket and Yosemite Sam goes awry (and Sam kvetching about it during the credits), Bugs passively says they'll fix it in editing.
  • Stōked: Finn and Lo try to sabotage Emma by making a fake surfing instruction video where Finn gives bad advice to newbie surfers. During one take, Finn messes up her lines, so Lo says she'll get it in post. It turns out Lo has no idea what "in post" is, and only said that because it sounded cool, giving away their ruse to Emma when she watches the video.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Hus-keys," Molly attempts to make a video featuring her dog, Suki, being trained to fetch keys. Molly resorts to editing clips of Suki's training session together to make it look like she's further along in her training than she actually is.

  • Discussed during a Star Wars Q&A with George Lucas. A fan had asked Lucas what would happen to his body when he dies. Specifically, whether his corpse would become one with The Force or just be a normal death. George Lucas replied to the awkward question by saying when he died he'd probably stay a dead body. Then Rick McCallum (who was sitting next to Lucas) made everyone laugh by stating they would fix it in post.


Video Example(s):


Edit That

While shooting the video, Linda keeps saying that she'll edit it all together later, while also implying that she doesn't know how to edit. She eventually gives up on the video idea and she realizes how hard it is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / FixItInPost

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