No one likes clutter and a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, right? Just as the effort you put through to keep your condo neat and clean, you should manage your editing project (regardless of the NLE you work with) in a similar way so that you’ll be able to find quickly and effortlessly every single piece of your project media whenever you need it.
Typically, there is a lot of prep that needs to happen before you throw yourself into the editing process if you want to avoid headaches and tackle the obstacles effortlessly along the line. Joe Scoma from RocketJump Film School has some interesting insights to share on the topic in the video below. Cleaning your room (and by room, he means your project) is just one of the recommendations. Let’s see what else Joe has got to say.
First things first, right after you receive the raw files straight from the camera, dump all the media into appropriate folders so that you’ll be able to keep everything in one place on your hard drive. It may sound obvious, but if all your files are in a single place, they will never go offline.
The next even more important step is to organise your media in the same way inside your NLE. Right after you create a New Project, spend a few minutes to create all necessary folders for your project files.
Another tip is to clean your timeline once you’ve wrapped up editing and locked the picture. Just bring everything down to a single video track. This way it will be easier for you in case you want to add additional adjustment layers or text layers, or any other third party visual elements to your edit. At last but not least, it’s essential to make a copy of your sequence in case you want to make a revision the next time you open your project.
Once you are ready with your project, create “Output” folders. Typically, the odds are you’ll need to export multiple versions of your edit so keeping stuff nice and clean again will save you time and efforts down the road. If you want to take the process one step further, put a date in the name of every folder.
That way you’ll be able to find the most recent version or the very first one. It doesn’t matter as far as you have organised and labeled everything accordingly. Just be consistent, find the best method to manage your media and never forget to “clean your room”.