Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Organize Your Material

So, you are an assistant and you want to impress your new boss (the editor) with the material you've been asked to digitize.  Or, you might be an editor at the beginning of the biggest project you've had to date -

You're just starting out what could be a long project: How best to Organize it?

Well, let's go back a step, How to you label the materials as you bring them in?

I think it's always best to avoid wasting crucial information place holders with notations like:

Tape - 12

So Don't.  One option is to name it after the over all project - so a project about Bible Storyland might always be BSL - but even better - is the name of the person you are interviewing:  Pierce - 001

Why put extra numbers?

ALWAYS put 001, 002, 003 etc.  Why? Because otherwise, your single numbers get mixed up in your 20's and 30's etc.  so if you number 1,2,3,4,5, etc. when they are listed in the bin or on the drive it will be, 1, 10, 11, 12...2, 20, 21, and so on.  THUS the use of 001, 002 003, and everything ends up where it is supposed to be.

So let's presume you have everything properly labelled (no small feat)

You are looking at an empty bin in FCP - where to start?

Okay - you should have just five folders:

FOOTAGE, and within that, you might have two folders, INTERVIEWS and B-ROLL. And within those - particular interviews, particular b-roll divided by folder.  YOU CANNOT have too many folders at this level.

Though there will be shows that are strictly verite - you can use big categories:  MONTANA, FLORIDA to group the material.  You might use DATES:  SEPTEMBER etc.

But what should go along side FOOTAGE?

ARCHIVAL (if you have it)
PHOTOS (if you use them)
(or just Audio and split those two up)
And what ever other categories you might accrue.
But must importantly - you have a folder JUST for SEQUENCES.

Sometimes, depending on the size of the project - folders within folders of Sequences - but at least one folder.

And there you have it - the beginning of a well organized bin....

Please, if you have other suggestions or thoughts, post them.


Stephanie Hubbard.