Organizing Video & Footage in Your Video Editing Software

How To Organise You Video Editing filesÂ

amarotFinding a system to organised your video editing files should be the first thing you do after opening your video editor software. It doesn’t matter what video editing software you are using – movie maker, Avid or Premier, every video editor knows that organising video and footage should be done even before capturing or importing the material.

Finding the strategy to organised your clips will make you work a lot better and faster. If you are working on very small projects right now, you might not see the need for organized files, but you should build the habit of organized work, so you won’t be in shock when big projects will come along.

Here are some organizing tips to get started:

Working With Tapes & SD cards

If you are working with tapes, you should start by giving them names (actually, it was the cinematographer’s job, but it’s your job to make sure he did it and that the names are clear enough for you). These tapes (or SD cards) are what you are getting from the field, so it’s very important to give them the attention they need. When you will start capturing the tapes, you will write the name of each tape you are recording on, so later on when you will need to re-capture everything (maybe to capture again in better quality or maybe just because the media files got lost), you will not have a problem.

Managing & organizing the clips

The clips will be named after the scene’s number, the shot’s number and the take’s number, so it can be something like 05-06-03, which means scene 5 – shot 6 – take 3. Keep the names short.

If you already know the material, most video editing software (like Avid) will give you the option to color the clips in a different color like green for good takes and red color for bad takes. Now I’m going to make a folder called RAW MATERIALS and to put all the bins inside it.Â

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Organizing video in bins and folders

Now you need to decide how you want to capture/Import the materials into the bins. Personally, I like to organize the bins first by the days of shooting. For example, If I have 3 tapes on shooting day 1, they will all be placed in the “Day 1” bin. All the tapes of the next shooting day will be placed on the “Day 2” bin and etc.
After I will finish all the capturing/importing, I’ll usually make another folder called “Editor” or “Work” and then I’ll copy all of the clips to new bins which will be organized by scenes. Later on, you’ll also have to make a bin for graphics, audio and everything else that is not your video files. If you want, you can also make a bin for bloopers or behind the scenes shots.

Another tip is to give numbers to your folders, for example, 01_Media, 02_Audio,03_GFX and etc. That way the video editing software will organize the folders in the order you want them to be. It is also recommended to have a bin called Master or Current Edit, and to put in it the last version of the edited sequence.

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No matter what strategy, you choose, you must be consistent with it. If something doesn’t work for you, you can change it, but make sure you are changing all the material. I would love to hear how you are managing you video & footage in your video editing software, so you can answer me in the comment section.

One thought on “Organizing Video & Footage in Your Video Editing Software

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