Our House

House Keeping!
As a post production supervisor part of my job is to institute workflow processes that allow for a smooth and easy post production experience. And no two are alike.
Probably the most important aspect of any job is making sure that all your files are in order. A place for my stuff as the late great George Carlin once said.
I am anal about where files sit even if the project consists of a single quicktime or sequence it really must be setup properly. If I am off on another job or sick, whoever takes over from me must be able to walk in and pick up where I left off and that’s why, for me, it’s imperative things are in order. Know where everything is in a logical and simple way. Everything in its right place. It’s easily accessible and you never lose anything.

I work in long form TV so for me it is vital that I know what episode, slate, scene, take etc for each clip is. Without it I’m pretty screwed. Also to that end, footage is left in it’s ‘day’ bin. As the dailies arrive it goes into my assistants workflow of renaming as per continuity sheets and marked up script comments, good take, bad take, reason for bad take (noise, fluff etc). Everything that is relevant. So, I create separate folders on the hard drive for each different element of a project. A typical scenario is as follows:-
Rushes (per day which will automatically sort in episode order), Buzz Trax, SFX, Music, Voices, GFX, Titles/Logos etc, Audio Mixes, Audio omfs, Project files (each episode has it’s own project file), Exports (for approvals and final masters etc)
And that file structure is reflected in my project with bins for each of the above but with Rushes having sub folders for each of the scenes for that episode. And 1 final bin as an homage to George called STUFF. It’s here that master sequences go. I cut each scene in its own sequence which is kept in the rushes scene bin. There may be several versions of the sequence if I am working with several people who want to try different versions of a scene but generally I only have 1 sequence and that is the only sequence therefore the final sequence for that scene.
That then all gets assembled into a final episode sequence which is also the final playout sequence or final delivery sequence.

Here are just a few of the common mistakes editors and edit assistants make.

Random clips in the project bin, Clip 1, Clip 2 or my current favourite, mvi0001. Grrrr! (Rename according to shot)

Multiple project files for the same project. XXXXproject_Episode1_recovered_21_7_2012.fcp. XXXXproject_Episode1_recovered_22_7_2012.fcp. And there will be 10 or more of those. Eeek. (Recover and rename as per original once you have checked everything is still where it should be!)

XXXXProject_Episode1_Final – the XXXXProject_Episode1_Final_Final – or XXXXProject_Episode1_Final_Final_New – and XXXXProject_Episode1_New_Final_Final all in the same bin. Holy mother of all that is evil, so which one is it! (There can be only one so delete the ones that are not needed)

A final broadcast export of a file on Monday is called XXXXProject_Epsiode1_Final_Playout but on Tuesday we get XXXXProject_Ep2_Master. Grrr! (Name files consistently)

Saving files to desktop and leaving them there. (I hate a cluttered desktop and it also chews your system drive so don’t do it)
Naming sequences with someones name. Like Episode 1 Sibo(the editor), Episode 1 Angela(the director), Episode 1 Mark(the producer). So which version is it? Do we go with the editors version, the producer or the director and what if there are 2 producers? Do we go with the one who shouts the loudest? (Name the final sequence correctly, we don’t need to know who’s version it is, unless the ego is involved)

Those are just a few of my bugbears and we’ll probably have more of those in later posts.

Peace love and self mutilation.