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Organizing Documentary Footage

So I’m working on a documentary for Veneer, a local Boston rock band. It’s a project I volunteered for back in late 2009, shooting various footage up through May of this year. I’ve amassed over 4,000 media elements, composed of video clips, music, unsync’d audio, and stills. A total of 400GB worth of material.

One of the daunting tasks I faced was how to organize all of these elements in my Final Cut project such that I’d be able to make some sense of what I had, and find things fairly quickly. I unfortunately didn’t have an assistant editor (or the time) to go through every single media file and tag it with some useful metadata or description, so I had to keep things at a high level. The project structure I settled on is shown below. I haven’t gotten far enough to validate this is working well for me, but one thing it’s already done is transformed an intimidating sea of media into a logical structure that makes it easy for me to hone in on the media I’m looking for.

I haven’t found many examples on the web for how people have structured their projects, especially for docs which tend to have a lot of media and different forms of it, so I thought I’d post one yet-to-be-proven example.

Final Cut Documentary Project Structure

Do you have any examples to share from other projects? Leave a comment with a link.

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