Coming from the IT world I’m accustomed to writing documentation. Perhaps none of my employers or clients read the documentation but it gives me the peace of mind to know the facts have been recorded for others.
I discovered that my leanings toward documentation is a rarity. Most people blame time or budget constraints and skip the technical writing. My gut feeling is those people have no idea how to communicate what’s in their head.
The concept of documentation isn’t a favorite task for filmmakers either. Not that it’s my favorite task but it’s important to know your assets.
The project I’m working on has had a few drive failures over the years and clips need recapturing. Final Cut Pro makes it somewhat easy if you’ve logged your clips properly, labeled media with reel numbers, and used consistent timecode on the media. Easy, no?
I’ve got offline clips without reel numbers. The physical media name doesn’t match the clip description and the reel numbers are missing or wrong. Just to make it more fun, the DV timecode has breaks.
The other assistant and I need to sort this out and fortunately there aren’t a lot of missing clips, however I offer up these bits of advice:
- Label your physical media with a descriptive name and reel number
- Log your clips using descriptive names and reel numbers (if you’re Type A, go crazy and use scene and take numbers)
- Stripe your DV tapes before you use them to establish consistent timecode
This is super easy and saves a lot of wasted resources down the road.