We have officially moved into post-production of Into the Wilderness and while we’re certainly excited about the end results, we know that many of our fans and friends wonder what, exactly, happens during this phase of making a feature film.

As you know, during pre-production we work to plan the steps we need to take to find talented actors, crew members and even coordination with press and spreading the word about our project. During production, we film!

Post production however, is a stage that can take time to coordinate as we have many things to handle during this stage of the Into the Wilderness movie. Some of those include editing film, adding in visual effects and mixing sound and even editing background noises from our recordings.

Let’s look at some of the steps the Into the Wilderness editing team must take during this phase of production. Trust us, each step takes a considerable amount of time and must be done precisely and perfectly!

 Director Richard DeWitt (Sitting with Sony Venice camera) and crew behind the scenes during production of Into the Wilderness.

Director Richard DeWitt (Sitting with Sony Venice camera) and crew behind the scenes during production of Into the Wilderness.

Editing the Pictures

Every single shot filmed must be entered into a project filing system (in order!) to make sure everything is ready to go. The editor will take all the scenes shot and piece them together to go along with the script. Yes, the editor will have the script to go by, so they know where everything must be, and to ensure it’s all in the correct order.

This is a painstakingly long ordeal where we realize so many shots that we could have made yet failed to do so, or where we can see some amazing shots that we didn’t even realize we had at all.

Editing the film itself to make sure all the shots are right can take hours, or even days even for short films. For a feature film like Into the Wilderness, the picture edits can take weeks to complete so we have them exactly how we want them.

As soon as all the picture edits are complete, the files will be locked up so no one will be able to mess with them (and goof things up) and we’ll be able to proceed to the next steps.


 Actor Curt Willis on location during production of Into the Wilderness

Actor Curt Willis on location during production of Into the Wilderness

Sound and Music

Sound and music in a movie can make or break the whole project. It’s imperative to make sure that spoken words are clear and that background noise is what it should be. For instance, if we happened to film a scene in a wilderness area, but there were cars nearby on an access road or someone was talking off set, those unnecessary noises will need to be edited out in a way that does not affect the scene in a negative way.

We also must work on music to make sure everything sounds just right, and that the music we use in the film goes along with each scene it is used for. We were fortunate to work with several incredible musicians on this movie and we can’t wait to share their talent with everyone when the movie is released.

Once the vocals are edited and the background noises have all been checked, a sound mixer will go over everything and they will make sure that every detail of sound in film coordinate well with others. For instance, if Shuler Hensley is trying to say something quietly by a roaring waterfall, the sound editors will make sure viewers will hear his voice instead of hearing the waterfall and just seeing lips move on screen. Mistakes like that can ruin a movie, unless you just happen to be a terrific lip reader!

Just as with the picture edits, the sound edits and mixing can take several days or even a couple weeks to make sure everything is right. We want this movie to be perfect, so we’re taking time to make sure everything is handled just right.

Once we get the sound edits finished, we can move onto the cool stuff like visual and special effects.


 Alex Haralson in charge of sound during production of Into the Wilderness

Alex Haralson in charge of sound during production of Into the Wilderness

Visual Effects

When it comes to film completion, you’re going to have a blend of visual effects (VFX) that will be very noticeable as well as many you’ll never even think about when watching a movie.

Notice that we said visual effects and not special effects? Special effects (SFX) can be edited in after production, but in most cases, special effects include things like prosthetics, robots and puppets that are used on set during filming. Visual effects are edited in during post-production to add detail, make corrections and enhance scenes. This helps with movies where scenes are shot in front of a green screen and must be edited to add the background and other scenery.

For instance, let’s say a great scene was shot and everyone felt incredible about the energy the actors brought to the table and the location was perfect in every way. The clip gets to editing and suddenly, in one corner of the shot you can see a fire extinguisher sitting on a small table or a cord leading to a camera dragging the ground. How can someone miss something like a fire extinguisher? Things like that happen in this industry all the time and thanks to the brilliance of the visual editors, those mistakes can be covered up. Those are the visual effects that viewers never notice because what you see is exactly what you should see. A perfectly filmed scene.

You also have visual effects that must be edited in to create magical scenes or scenes that will truly amaze the audience. If you have ever watched movies like Star Wars, you have already seen the magic of visual edits, and you have a good idea of how this works. Comets plummeting to the center of the earth in space movies are often edited in after production to enhance the film and get that shock and awe response that the Director wants. As you can see, the visual effects can make a very big difference to the movie.  


Now that you know a little more about what we’re facing now that production is over, and we’ve moved into post-production, you can see that this is a stage that takes considerable time and a great deal of skilled work to complete. It’s exciting to us and we can’t wait to show everyone the finished movie once we get finished with the edits!


Until then, be sure to continue visiting our blog for all things wilderness so we can keep you up to date on where we are and what’s happening with the movie!

Angela Caito