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Old December 21st, 2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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How do you organize and manage your footage?

I'm embarking on editing a 60-90 min. historical documentary; the materials supplied by the director span DV tapes, DVDs, online videos, even Flash. Luckily I only have ~7 hours of footage to work with (not 700), but I still like being anal about asset management, it always pays off later.

I'm used to narrative projects with structured data: scenes, shots, and take numbers, unified timecode etc. My question is not technical, but purely creative & managerial: what strategies do you employ when preparing your footage for editing? How do you attack this massive pile of shots?

Due to the amount of footage, scale and crew size (no assistants) I'll skip FileMaker and intend to utilize what I can within Final Cut Pro.

1. What data do you log?
Some fields I had in mind:
- Description
- Director's notes
- My notes
- Shot type (interview/B-roll/still)
- Characters featured in the shot
- Location
- Acquisition source
- Ref. number (for archival footage, if applicable)
Anything else you'd recommend?

2. How do you organize your bins?
I usually have one set of bins for "originals" or "master clips", sorted by technical parameters (source type / reel), and a second set which includes subclips, organized by content (some story block units).

3. Any other suggestions or insights?

Drew Lahat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #2
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What do u mean when u writw"beian anal"?Seems bad...
sorry but english is not my language
Marcus Martell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Marcus Martell View Post
sorry but english is not my language
Neither was Freud's, but it was he who coined the phrase. :)
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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A couple more you might consider:
- Camera motion (pan, zoom, tilt, tracking)
- Camera framing (cu; ws; ms)

And some more from the creative side:
- Concepts, tags or keywords that indicate (to you, at least) what the clip is about. For example, I might tag a clip as "character background" or a name for the topic the subject is discussion, like "anthropology" or "history of warfare."
- "Good" takes or some kind of rating, to flag the clips you know you have to use.
Documentary for the masses!
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:51 PM   #5
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It's an interesting question Drew. For me it would depend very much on what type of documentary it is to be - I tend to group clips based on creative themes or location, even types of movement - rapid, still etc. In your case the original format might be a very useful category too as presumably the look and quality will vary a lot - personally I'd certainly start with that and then have similar category bins within these main bins.
Geoffrey Cox is offline   Reply

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