To give tips to others on how they might organize their P2 media, I’d like to show how I organize mine. Take the ideas, or leave them. I am just putting them out there.

Now, the first time I imported P2 media, I did it rather haphazardly. I made one bin for each day and imported the clips. Each bin held over 1000 clips. YIKES! The next batch came in and I was a little bit better. I organized them in DAILIES bins…a separate bin for each card. That wen’t much faster, but still, I had lots of small clips. Most clips were under 1 min. A quick shot of a cannon firing, shots here and there of cannon teams loading and aiming cannons. Generic stuff so I couldn’t really organize it into smaller catagories. I ended up with HUGE bins of CANNON FIRE and CANNON DRILLS (no fire)…for both sides of the war. It was VERY time consuming to look thru all the clips.

But hey, I have a good excuse. This was not only the first time I dealt with P2 media on a professional level, it was the first time ANYONE dealt with P2 media on a professional level. We got the first HVX-200 cameras on the West Coast, and began shooting with them 2 days later. Loading footage one week later. While we had the process down for production (P2 Workflow Part 1, P2 Workflow Part 2, P2 Workflow Part 3), but I didn’t have the post part worked out yet. After that show I made a plan that if that happened again….generic footage of stuff…that I’d take all the clips from one card, lay them out into a timeline, then export a Quicktime movie that I’d then reimport…making a single clip that I can shuttle thru. I liked that idea. And one day, when that happens, that is what I’d do.

But that won’t work for the current show I am working on. This show is all docuDRAMA. Shot very much like a feature film, which means that I have SLATES! Well, that helps TONS. Sure, the HVX camera operator (Andy…great DP) might just shoot the slate for a second, but it lets me know what is coming up. So I organized my footage exactly like I would for narrative productions…Scene and take.

Well, lets start from the beginning. First I imported all the clips into DAILIES bins. Giving the bins the same naming structure that came from the set, and separated by day. So a bin for the day (Sat, Jan 13), and then the bin number (B001, B002). And I import the FULL clips. This is not only due to the fact that FCP 5.1.2 didn’t work for me (read a few articles below this) but because of another reason. If I lose a drive, or if the media gets corrupt or vanishes, then I’d be able to reimport and reconnect immediately. If I used the options available in FCP 5.1.2 or P2 Log or HD Log…the ability to mark IN and OUT points and import only portions of a clip…then I wouldn’t be able to do this. Not without noting IN and OUT times and manually re-importing all these clips again. And maybe that would work.

So, once I import the clips, I add information to the clip name. Becuase “0001HG” and “0019XV” really isn’t that descriptive. I add the Scene and Take, and a short description, and leave the clip number in the name, but put it at the tail. This way, if I lose the media for any reason, I’d be able to look at the clip name, note the number, and after I reimport the P2 media, reconnect it. Like this:

Now, changing the name of the clip in FCP doesn’t change the name of the original clip on the drive. It remains “0001FQ” even though I have added “43B/2b B_CAM Weatherford talks to Indians about attack.” But I have the number at the tail to help me track the original footage. I haven’t lost media yet, but doesn’t help to be prepared.

I have also encountered several clips that were broken in two. This is due to the first part of the clip being recorded on the first card in the camera, then carrying over, or spanning, onto the other card. What I did in this case is first label them similiarly…45B/2a and 45B/2b…then drop them onto the timeline and export them as one clip. I’d then reimport that clip and lose the “a” and “b”…and since it isn’t a P2 clip, it doesn’t have a number at the end. Oh, and I label it RED so I know it is a spanned clip. Thus:

Now I hear there is an option in the P2 Import window to connect spanned clips. But, I haven’t seen it. Might be a feature of FCP 5.1.2, which I am not using for this procedure. I’ll look into it more and get back if I find anything.