Chapter Eleven. Polishing Sound and Images

When futurist Arthur C. Clarke observed, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” he could have been talking about movie postproduction. Movie magic would be much less compelling without synthetic sound and imagery—effects so artfully artificial, and so invisible, as to create a “realism” that's totally fake.

There's a long tradition of such wizardry in film, but less so in video: Most broadcast TV runs on tight deadlines that don't allow much time for postproduction polish. But television series and movies-of-the-week are produced film style, which allows their soundtracks and imagery to be more sophisticated.

As production goes digital, the demand for special effects ...

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