Picture Lock

At the end of the fine cut stage, the filmmaker will decide that they'll no longer make any changes to the visual aspect of the film.

Misha Tenenbaum avatar
Written by Misha Tenenbaum
Updated over a week ago

"Films are never completed, they are abandoned." - George Lucas

Once an editor has done the final pass of a project and the director decides that they will no longer make any changes to the visual aspect of the film, the film will be in PICTURE LOCK.

Once Picture Lock is confirmed, the edit is "turned over" to the next stages of the post-production process. In this final stage, the sound designer, composer, colorist, and visual effects artist begin to put their final touches on the film. Locking the picture allows this next stage to focus on their tasks without worrying that a single frame will be changed. If the picture is unlocked during this stage, it could create a lot of extra time and work to be redone.

Before moving the edit to the final stage of post-production, the editor MUST watch the film one last time. This final pass allows them to spot any technical errors like stray or black frames - a few frames from a clip that accidentally did not get removed.


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