How to Keep Your Footage Organized

by Kelanie Aragon

Sometimes production can get so hectic that we forget to stay organized and keep track of what we’ve recorded. Here are some tips to make your next post-production experience a breeze.

Disclaimer: These tips are aimed towards first-time filmmakers that have a small crew (no DIT) and need to keep things organized. To learn how to have a smooth editing workflow, check here.

1. Understand the camera’s timecode and reset by time of day.

This is especially helpful if you are using two cameras. If you reset the timecode to match the time of day, your editing flow will be easier when you need match footage and sync sound.

2. Keep a written log of each take with settings used, time filmed, and comments.

This is an editor’s lifesaver. You will be able to match all the information with the footage easily because of your timecode settings. Consider creating an Excel spreadsheet to enter this information as you go.

3. If you’re independent, like us, transfer the footage at the end of every shoot day.

Save on your computer in a folder labeled with the date, camera type and audio. If needed, match the video and audio file names. It will be easier when syncing.

4. Back up, back up, back up.

Save the footage on at least two hard drives. Just trust me on this one. 

5. Shoot to edit.

If you shoot to edit, meaning you are aware of the editing process as you are filming, you will find out the importance of recording those details you know you will not remember later. Your life will be a lot easier without the whole “we’ll fix it in post.” Always keep post production in mind by labeling your shots and matching them with your logs. Also, rename your files if needed. Basically, do anything that can help you later in the editing room.



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