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  • toby wray

Video Tips For Marketeers #12 File Management

I know it sounds really boring and frankly, it is but get it wrong and you could literally lose everything you’ve edited and filmed so it’s kind of important. Don’t learn the hard way.

The most common question asked by beginners is “now where did we save that clip again?!” Avoid hours of frustration by learning how and where your computer stores files! Getting to know your computers layout is vital if you are to keep track of all your footage. Decide early on you will store everything in one folder and stick to it! Be conscientious, when saving your work, what you are calling your file and where it will be stored! Give it a name you and others, will easily remember. Use a simple number system if you use more than one version of a file.

“Non destructive” editing

Any changes you make to the video clips in the timeline do not affect the original clip. This remains the same on the hard drive. Don’t worry about not being able to undo anything, you can always start again with the clip from the browser. If you do make a vital mistake, don’t save your work, close the software and reopen it. It will reopen at the last point you saved it.

The difference between project files and footage clips. The video footage you capture is stored individually on the hard drive. In the software, the footage clips are held together by the project file. This points to all the clips and tells the computer how to play them. You need both to complete your movie (important if you transfer your files onto another computer).

How to find your files through the root folders.

If you want to import files into your edit this is quite important. Because of non destructive editing (see above) your original video file remains on the hard drive untouched even if you delete it from your edit software. If you reimport it (as you would a picture or audio file) you will find the file untouched! These folders are called the root folders and are sometimes a bit tricky to find but very worth while. Usually you can discover where they are hidden by right clicking on the file and scrolling to properties.

Save your work

Remember to save your work regularly or risk losing it! You can go to the “file>save project as” option, you can then create several versions of your edit as you progress, for example “my movie edit 1”. This is h

andy if you want to try an edit style out which will mean doing so many moves the “undo” function will not be enough. You can always revert to the older version. Remember to keep track of which edit you are working on though, it may be a good idea to delete the versions you don’t need.

Back it up

Your project is over, such a relief! You know where all your files are, they are in clearly labelled files and root folders so you can always come back to them. But wait, what if the external hard drive is faulty if you need to reuse the footage 6 months later? Or it’s lost, or someone’s wiped your files because they needed the space? If you’re in a big company IT departments will take care of your normal PC files but they may shy away from putting your 2 terabytes of data on their cloud as it will take forever and clog the network. If you’re in a small company you may want to get your boss to buy a ‘RAID’ system or something similar. It’ll probably never happen but guaranteed that one time it does will be with the footage you can’t replace.

Next week, The legal stuff!

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