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Get it Together with These Avid Organizational Quick Tips

Johnathan Paul

Get organized and stay that way with these easy and effective Avid organizational quick tips.

Organization is king as any editor, videographer, and filmmaker knows. Being well organized makes you more efficient – and in this business being more efficient is paramount. With this in mind, we want to give Avid users a few quick tips to help your organization and efficiency. While these Avid organizational quick tips aren’t revolutionary, they are best practices for seasoned editors and newbies alike.

1. The More Bins the Better

Avid does a really good job of demanding that you place all of your content into a bin, unlike Premiere Pro and FCPX. Being forced to create a bin to house your content is a good first step, but now, let’s take it a step further. Don’t just rest with the startup bin, expand that and organize your content as needed. The more bins the better, just remember to have a purpose and solid reasoning for the bins you create.

2. Be Consistent with Your Naming Convention

Avid, as with most editing software, allows for searching. With this in mind, remember to have a consistent naming convention for all of your imported content. Be sure to add all the useful information you can, such as clip name or number, take number, subject, shot style (WS=Wide Shot, MS=Medium Shot, CU=Close Up), etc. and apply this same convention to all your bins. Creating a consistent naming convention will save you a ton of time and make it easier to search for the material you need.

3. Create a Sequence for Each Bin

Sometimes it’s useful to call upon the celluloid days of filmmaking where all of your footage was captured on a spool of film stock. A way you can do this in Avid is to take all the clips within a bin and create a sequence for that bin. Then simply take that bin’s clips, sub-clip them, and place them in the sequence.

Now you have one long timeline with all of your footage sub-clipped the way you want it. You can then copy your entire timeline over or highlight what you need and copy it to the master sequence. By doing this, you can save some time, since all the footage you’ll ever use is already separated out and trimmed the way you want it.

4. Use Colors to Tag your Content

One last useful tip: Tag your clips with color. When you add color to your clips, you can see this color difference on your timeline, which will allow you to better keep track of footage. What I’ve done in the past for film work is have a color tag for specific types of clips, such as Camera A, B-Roll, and VFX. By adding a little color to your clips, you can keep things in perspective – and prevent yourself  from pulling your hair out while trying to find what you need.

Do you have any additional tips that help your workflow? Feel like helping your fellow filmmakers get a little more organized? Let us know in the comments below.