Video asset management can be a complex and time-consuming process involving many moving parts, from filming and editing to post-production, distribution, and its storage. One of the key elements of a successful video production workflow is organization.
A well-organized video library can save time, reduce stress and increase productivity by making it easier to find and access your needed videos. With a clear and intuitive filing system, you can quickly locate the videos you need, reducing the time and effort required to search through a large collection. This can save you time when you need to locate a specific video clip, access footage for editing, or share a video with others.
It also reduces the likelihood of missing deadlines or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of footage you have to manage. But how does one get started? Where does video file organization begin?
One of the first steps in organizing your video files is establishing a clear, consistent, and meaningful file naming convention. A file naming convention is a set of rules that dictate how files should be named.
Where to organize your video files?
Your video files can be organized in three locations. Choosing one and sticking to it is recommended to keep asset management easier.
- Local system folders
- Cloud storage
- Video asset management system
1. Local system folders
This involves creating folders on your computer or external hard drive and organizing your files into them. You can create folders for different projects, stages of production, or team members and use a file naming convention to keep everything organized.
2. Cloud storage
Cloud storage solutions, such as Amazon S3 or Dropbox, provide a secure and scalable way to store and manage your video files. They offer the ability to store large video files and share them with others, and you can access your files from anywhere with an internet connection.
3. Video Asset Management System
A video asset management system is a set of tools and processes that help you to organize, manage, and share your video files. This can include physical and digital folders, video management software, and cloud storage.
By combining these methods, you can create a comprehensive and effective video file organization system that helps you keep track of your files and keep your workflow running smoothly.
How to ease access to organized video files
Here are some steps to set up and share video files in a way that makes it easy for team members to work together effectively:
✅Choose a cloud storage platform
Use a cloud storage platform like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive, or their alternatives where team members can easily store and share video files. If you have a large repository of video assets, it is better to use an enterprise cloud services provider like Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, or Google Firebase.
✅Create a shared folder
Set up a shared folder within the cloud storage platform which all team members have access. This will be the central repository for all video files.
✅Upload video files
Upload all relevant video files to the shared folder. Make sure that file names are descriptive and easy to understand.
✅Share folder URL
Share the URL of the shared folder with all team members. URL sharing ensures that video files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and that access is restricted only to those authorized to access the URL.
✅Establish protocols for collaboration
Establish user access management protocols for how team members should collaborate on video files, such as who is responsible for making changes, how changes should be communicated, and when updates should be made.
✅Use tags for quick discoverability
Most video asset management systems can add tags to your video assets. Tags aid in quick asset discoverability and in clustering video folders of similar nature. For example, the tag “explainer” can be used to classify videos that are used to explain product capabilities. Similarly, videos can be tagged based on theme, color, purpose, etc.
✅Use version control
Version control helps keep track of all the changes made to video files like a timeline. This way, team members can easily revert to a previous version if necessary. Also, they can look up each version and quickly understand why the change was made and by whom.
By following these steps, you can set up and share video files in a way that makes it easy for team members to work together effectively.
Along with these steps, you will also need to establish a sound file naming convention so that videos remain easily accessible and discoverable at scale.
The need for File Naming Convention
A file naming convention is a standardized method for naming digital files in a way that helps to keep them organized and easily identifiable.
It typically includes guidelines for naming files in a consistent and meaningful manner, such as using a specific format for the file name, including relevant information about the file's content, and avoiding using special characters or spaces in the file name.
Why do you need a file naming convention for organizing video files?
Having a well-defined file naming convention can make finding, managing, and organizing your digital files easier. It can also help to prevent confusion and errors when working with multiple files, as everyone on the team will know how to name files consistently. File naming conventions are especially important when many people work on the same project or when files are shared or transferred between different systems.
The types of file naming conventions
There are several popular file naming conventions, including
- Date-based conventions,
- Version-based conventions,
- Project-based, conventions
- Role-based conventions,
- Date-based convention
A date-based file naming convention uses the date as part of the file name to track when the file was created or modified. This is a useful convention for organizing files that change frequently or for keeping track of versions over time.
- Syntax: YYYYMMDD_ProjectName_VersionNumber_Description.extension
- File name: 20230206_AnnualReport_V1_Draft.doc
2. Version-based convention
A version-based file naming convention can be extremely helpful in a fast-paced movie production environment where multiple versions of a scene or shot may exist. Using a consistent naming convention allows the entire production team to quickly and easily identify the latest version of each file, saving valuable time and reducing stress.
- Syntax: MovieTitle_SceneNumber_ShotNumber_Version_YYMMDD.extension
- File name: GalacticAdventure_04_01_B_210218.mov
3. Project-based convention
A project-based file naming convention uses the project's name as the file's main identifier. This is a useful convention for organizing files within a specific project, as it allows you to keep all of the files for a particular project together in one place.
- Syntax: ProjectName_FileType_Version_YYMMDD.extension
- File name: Avatar_Scene01_V2_210218.mov
4. Role-based convention
Role is an abbreviation for the person's role in the production (e.g. DIR for Director, CAM for Camera Operator, ED for Editor, etc.)
- Syntax: RoleName_FileType_Version_YYMMDD.extension
- File name: ED_JBS_RoughCut_210218_1230.mov
Video backing up and archiving
Regular backups and archiving of video files are important because they protect against data loss due to hardware failures, accidental deletions, and other unexpected events. Having a backup of your video files ensures that you can restore them in the event of an issue, minimizing downtime and ensuring continuity of work.
How frequently should you take backups?
The frequency of backups depends on several factors, including the size of the data, the criticality of the data, and the availability of backup resources. As a general guideline, it is recommended to take daily backups for small to medium-sized businesses and hourly or real-time backups for large enterprises or organizations with critical data.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your video files are backed up and archived regularly and that version control is maintained to ensure that your team is working with the most up-to-date information.
Having a well-organized video library also reduces stress by minimizing the frustration of not finding what you need. Knowing where your videos are and can access them quickly reduces the likelihood of missing deadlines or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of footage you have to manage.
Organizing video files requires establishing a clear and consistent file naming convention, using a comprehensive video asset management system, and regularly backing up and archiving your video files are all key elements of a well-organized workflow.
One of the most efficient ways to organize your video files is to use a cloud-based video asset management system like ImageKit. With ImageKit, you can easily upload, organize, and share your video files with your team, anywhere and at any time. ImageKit also allows you to set up URL-based sharing, which makes it easy for team members to collaborate and work together effectively. If you're looking for a way to streamline your video production process, we recommend giving ImageKit a try with a free trial.