Having a messy video project folder is the worst. It’s hard to find things, it slows you down, and increases the likelihood of your media going offline.
Every editor, filmmaker, cinematographer… it doesn’t matter what you are. Everybody should have an organized project folder, so in this short tutorial, I’ll show you how I organize mine.
So let’s say you just spent days and days filming your latest video. Now you’re ready to edit…. But don’t get too far ahead of yourself. This is the best time to start being organized in post-production.
So before you transfer any of your video assets, let’s open up a finder window.
The first thing we want to do is create a new folder and name it the title of your project.
After that, we’ll open the folder and we need to create nine new sub folders. Creating these folders don’t need to happen in any particular order. There’s no significance to this order, this is just how we are going to do them today.
The first one we’ll create is called “Audio”. This is where I’ll keep all my voice overs, room tones, and sound effects.
The next folder is “Music”. Obviously, this is the folder I’ll throw my music soundtracks in. I find keeping my music separate from my sound effects and voice overs makes it easier to track down files – especially when auto generated file names from royalty free music sites have a whole bunch of numbers in the file name.
The third folder I’ll create is called “Client Reference”. You don’t need this folder if you aren’t doing client work, but this is where I’ll keep any files that a client sends me in reference to scripts, style guidelines, brochures, etc. Anything that I can reference if I’m curious about how something should look, feel, sound etc… to match their brand.
Moving onto the fourth folder. This one I title “Fonts”. It’s easy to get disorganized with fonts, and I find keeping them in this central folder helps – especially if you’re passing the project along to another editor who may not have the required fonts installed on his or her computer. Also, if you have a client that uses certain fonts, you can store those here.
“Footage” is the fifth sub folder we’ll create. You’ll find yourself working a lot in this folder as this is where your video footage will live. This one’s pretty straight forward.
“Licenses” is next. Having a licenses folder is especially important if you’re buying and downloading music, videos, and/or graphics for your project. The last thing you need is someone threatening you with a lawsuit for using copyrighted materials in your project. Having this folder allows you (and other people you’re working with) to easily reference the licences you have bought.
Three more folders to go! The next folder is “Logos”. We’ll put all of our logo files in here. When you’re working on bigger projects, it’s helpful to have a designated logo folder, with the most up to date assets. I like keeping this separate from the footage and client reference folders to decrease clutter.
The second last sub folder to create is called “Project Files”. Here is where all your Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop files will live. I create sub folders within this folder for each application I’ll use on the project. You can save your scratch disks to these folders, as well as your project files, and render previews for each application. Right now, I’ll create one folder for Premiere Pro, and one for After Effects.
The very last folder I create is called “Exports”. Labeling your exports can get really messy, so it’s best that they have their own folder. I even create subfolders within the Export folder that are titled with the current date. When I export a video, I create a folder with the date on it and export to that folder. This way I can track what the most recent export is at all times.
Everyone has their own way of organizing a project; the most important thing is finding a method that works for you. Within the system I talked about today, you can create as many subfolders as you wish, as long as it helps you stay organized and save time. That’s what really matters. If you have any ideas or questions, throw ’em at me in the comment section below. Don’t forget to like this video and hit that subscribe button.