Being organized from start to finish is KEY to working quickly. While you think that it is time wasted that you could spend shooting/editing/whathaveyou…it really is the secret behind working efficiently, and smartly.

And don’t just take it from me because I am trying to sell a DVD on how you can better organize things in FCP (see the sidebar on the right)…but it has been coming up a lot lately. TWICE TODAY as a matter of fact.

First from my buddy Dan Wolfmeyer, who talks about the importance of being organized in post, but also BEFORE post. Getting post involved before you shoot, and just being organized from start to finish.

Then there is Norm Hollyn, USC professor and feature film editor (HEATHERS!)  He talks about not only the importance of organizing in post, but WHILE SHOOTING.  He and Shane Hurlbut (see links for Hurlbut’s blog in Norm’s blog) talk about the importance of organizing your footage on the set, especially in the world of the tapeless shoot.

Too many people want to shoot first, organize later…and that leads to a world of hurt.  I started this blog when I started working with P2, the first major tapeless format, so that I could share my experiences, and pitfalls, of working with that format.  And from the start I stress organization.  Taking the time to backup the footage, smartly, on location.  Helps to come from a film background where you need to reload and track film reels.

And I will also throw in another link to a post on the Suite Take Blog from about 7 months ago…all about organization.

With so many of industry professionals talking about how important organization is, you’d should get the hint that, well, organization is important.  So I don’t want to hear any excuses about how “oh, we just needed to capture and edit this quickly, we didn’t have time to stop and organize.”  That’s bullcrap.  Organization aids in the speed of editing, and helps you learn what you have, so you aren’t searching and searching for shots.

Organization on the set is equally important.  I can’t tell you how many times I get handed a box full of tapes, with ZERO writing on them.  What are they?  Which one is first?  And tapeless shoots with footage in such disarray that I am taking days just to sort it out.  Something that could have been prevented with just 5 min of time to properly label footage.

On bigger budget, and mid budget TV productions, they hire people SPECIFICALLY to keep things organized.  A whole profession whose sole purpose is to organize things!  The Assistant Editor.  Feature films have career assistant editors.  Major TV production companies have a handful…working day and night.  Now, there are times when there isn’t the budget for a full time assistant, in which case it is your job as the editor to know how to organize.  I have done this quite often, myself.  Never have I just captured willy nilly and began editing.  That’s just plain insane.

‘Nuff said?