Being on set is stressful. As is always the case, production is running a million miles a minute. And you’re following your film plan as you’re shooting film. AND you’re also planning the shoot for the next day and post-production. It’s a lot.
How can you stay on track during all of this chaos?
By creating dailies, that’s how!
Let’s Sync the Dailies
The term “dailies” refers to the raw, unedited footage from a film shoot.
In the early days of filmmaking, film reels from a day’s shoot would be developed. Then a specialist synced the day’s audio before creating a new film print. The new print would be a daily for that day’s work and it included all the takes and camera angles from that day.
If you had 12 days of shooting, then you had 12 dailies.
Film crews would watch these reels before a new shoot day began. Personnel like the Director, DP, and producers would view the reels. Then they could assess how the film was going and plan reshoots.
Nowadays the term refers to rough cuts created at the end of a film day. These are usually compressed digital files that and include rough audio. They serve the same function, allowing crew to make sure the footage is acceptable. If any scenes need to be reshot, it makes sense to do it while talent is still on set and available.
Is this important shot in focus? Does the scene have good lighting? Is the actor’s toupee convincing? These questions used to haunt productions. But now interested parties can rest assured knowing they’re production is on track.
Fun fact: in the US we call them “dailies” but in the UK they’re called “rushes.” Wild, huh?
The Legacy of Dailies
Dailies have a pretty notable legacy in film history. Originally the studio was nervous with casting then unknown actor Al Pacino in The Godfather. Surprisingly they tried to fire him a lot of times. Director Francis Ford Coppola eventually moved up a scene in production to showcase the actor’s performance. The next day while watching the dailies, the studio was impressed enough to keep him around.
Dailies have also caused changes in casting. The dailies for Back To The Future actually convinced Robert Zemeckis that Eric Stoltz wasn’t a good fit for the role of Marty McFly. Can you imagine Lance the drug dealer in that puffy vest? No thank you.
With digital technology it’s now easier to get footage back quicker. Dailies are, in essence, the very beginning stages of the post-production process. Really, it’s on-set post-production.
First, the dailies specialist quickly converts the footage to a convenient viewing format. Then, they simple sync up the audio with one click of a button in a specialized software.
All-digital workflow allows film crews to get dailies back quicker. Producing a project in-house means clients don’t have to wait for the dailies to come back from some distant lab. Conveniently, dailies are drafted up on or near a set, right by the folks in video village.
The ECG Dailies Difference
At ECG we can provide top quality dailies on schedule. It’s the advantage of being an script-to-screen agency. We don’t need to send you dailies away to a third party. We can keep everything in-house and on budget.
Of course we’d also be happy to provide you with dailies for any asset.
ECG knows that any delay in scheduling costs you money. And we are not about that, fam. Contact ECG today to learn more about our dailies services!