File Structure for Project Editing

I’ve been asked on several occasions how I organize all the files and related date for one of  my projects.

I use a concept that we found from the Still Motion team and updated it for our workflow…

(They are a great resource to learn some awesome story telling skills, so check them out.)

Everything related to the project gets loaded into one file structure that keeps files sorted as the project unfolds.

I save this as an empty “NewProjectTemplate” and store in my Drop box folder. When I need a fresh copy for a new project, I duplicate it and move to the drive that I’m working from.

File Structure

Screen shot of folder organized for editing projects

Most of the folders are self explanatory, but some notes on specific items.

Assets are where any non Audio, Footage or Graphics files get stored. Typically any project files or video that our team did not create or shoot. Client supplied clips or audio files would go in here.

Audio, Footage, Stock Footage and Graphics are pretty straightforward. I separate the footage for each day, with a folder name that contains the date and the key subject.

For example, 99.01.12 LocationName. B-Roll might be 99.02.15 BRollLocation or BRollName.

If multiple cameras are used, they get their own subfolder. I usually change the name of the camera to the actual care type, say C100 or D7100 so I remember if they need any special treatment in post.

Conversions are where we put any downsampled files for lower resolution files, while Build is where each revision of the final output master files (say at 1080p) and any down sampled output files end up. I also put the NLE working files in here as well, so my FCPX library goes in here.

Notes get any text, doc or scanned files, while Project Files usually include estimates, changes, permits, spreadhsheets etc.

README.txt reminds me of what the various files mean when it’s late at night!

Soundtrack is where the original score for the video is stored prior to input into my NLE.

And Stills is where any stills from BTS or production end up.

This is just my particular view. You can customize for your particular workflow, or steal as is…

As always, leave comments or suggestions!

can put on one removable drive

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