Production, part 6: Japan Post-Production at Q-Tec
Nowadays one can edit an entire feature film on their own computer in Final Cut Pro. And professionals in Hollywood do this as well. But, if you want to show your film on the big screen, having experts focus on color grading (adjusting the color so that it’s just right) and final online editing (putting together all the final tweaks to output for the big screen) are of tremendous value.
How could a budget-less, not-for-profit, all-volunteer film like Pray for Japan accomplish this? It kept Stu up at night. Just when he was about to give up, Stu spoke with his good friend Takahiko Akiyama, who made the introduction to Noriyuki Hirano at Tokyo-based post house Q-tec.
Their team met with Stu in Tokyo and were moved by the trailer he had made and his compassion for the people of Tohoku, and Japan in general. Their CEO Toru Kajio signed off on committing Q-Tec’s resources voluntarily to the project, and the entire team was wonderfully supportive.
Color grading was a jam-packed week of late nights and endless caffeine, with star colorist Makoto Imatsuka at the helm together with his team (Ayaka Minami and Motohiko Mizutani) working with Stu to create a “bleach bypass” look to the color of the film. Stu, together with Imatsuka-san, wanted to create a classic look that retained the beauty of the landscape while reflecting the austerity of the mood.
After color came online editing, which included incorporating all the elements – completed audio, the final cut of the offline edit with graded color, motion graphics, animation, subtitles, and supers. The process of incorporating the timing on all these elements and managing that software was handled by Q-Tec’s very own online editing super team of pint-sized, Energizer bunny Minami-san and quiet, focused Mizutani-san. They powered through another full week of all-night sessions and Stu’s silly jokes to bring all the film’s elements together.
Throughout the process, tireless Post-Production Supervisor Kazuhiro Terui problem solved while Shinobu Fujinami and Hidehiko Yamamoto handled schedule and facility challenges. Through the final days before the first premiere dates, the Q-Tec team has remained committed to delivering the film in high-definition digital cinema quality. And they provided free coffee and tea the whole time!
Q-tec participants in Team P4J:
Post Production Manager: Shinobu Fujinami
Post Production Coordinator: Hidehiko Yamamoto
Post Production Supervisor: Kazuhiro Terui
Colorist: Makoto Imatsuka
iQ Editor: Motohiko Mizutani
iQ Editor: Ayaka Minami
Executive Producer and Q-Tec CEO: Toru Kajio
Q-Tec Executives: Tomonori Furusako, Nobuhiro Itoh
Q-TEC has been in business for about a quarter of a century, and was born in the great anime boom that peaked in the 1990s. Bandai Visual, responsible for so many hit series and Original Animation Videos before and since, is one of the main investors in the post-production house.