4 Tips To Help Filmmakers Develop A Great System For Organizing Video Files

As a filmmaker, it is fun and exhilarating to take on a new project. From meeting with the writers and actors to shooting the different scenes, it can be a heady experience that keeps you busy 24/7.

Of course, one non-flashy but crucial part of making a film — one that many people outside of the business don’t know about — is keeping all of your film footage neatly organized and stored. The last thing you want to do is lose or misplace critical footage that you finally captured after a full day on the set. Keep your videos well-organized.

Use a Program like Kyno

One great way filmmakers and videographers can keep their footage organized is with a program like Kyno. You can log your materials through the program and then mark and make sub clips for your files, so that you can export them in an Excel document. Thanks to Kyno’s intuitive search features you can easily find your video, and you can browse through your video footage either from your computer hard drive or SD card.

Create a System of Folders

To be sure you can easily locate and access all of your hard work, consider dividing your raw video footage into a series of folders on your computer. As Digital Film Farm Workshops notes, the main folder can include the name of the movie or project and then any additional folders inside the main one can be sorted and named by shoot date, scene number, actors who are included, subject matter or anything that makes sense to you. You can also start a folder called “sequences” or something similar; this is where you can store video footage in the order you feel it might be used in the film. Be sure to clearly label your folders with whatever keywords or dates you need to easily find them later on.

Have a Separate Folder for Edited Work

As you work through your raw footage and edit it, start a new series of folders where you can store your finished work; follow the same labeling system you already created, only add words like “EDITED” or “FINISHED” to the name so you can easily differentiate between what you have completed and what still needs to be edited. You can also create a separate Edit Log document that will let you track the work you have already finished, where the film footage is stored and other notes. Use an Excel spreadsheet for this or whatever system you are comfortable with.

Make Sure You Back Everything up

In addition to using a program that will allow you to easily store and access your video files, you want to be sure that everything is regularly backed up. In addition, you want your backup drive to have the same system of video folders as the original. Carbon Copy Cloner is a great option that will allow you to do just that. Also, when you import your raw videos into whatever video editing software program you are using, be sure to select the “copy the raw file” option. This step will give you an extra layer of backup protection, and will allow you to save your raw files in their original form.

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