Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Today we’d like to talk about one of the most important aspects of editing: How to set up a proper editing sequence. For beginner editors and filmmakers, like students or businesses who want to edit in-house, this is a great post for you to get a good handle on editing sequencing.
Here at STBY Studio, we have loads of practice editing our short form content for brands in the fashion, luxury, and lifestyle space. These projects involve so many different assists like music, graphics, transitions, SFX, overlays, and motion graphics to name a few. Needless to say, we need to be organized to be able to manage everything!
The first thing you want to do is create your “master” folder. This is going to be your reference for everything relating to your project. All of your other folders go in here. Make a folder for everything! We usually make these folders for our basic projects:
• Assets(for logos, overlays, textures)
• Save(this is where you save your project)
Deciding what folders to create when you begin editing is determined by what project you’re shooting. If you know you recorded sound separately, then you want to add a “sound” folder. If you know that you don’t need music then you won’t add a “music” folder.
See image below for an example of our master folder.
Make sure this folder stays in one place. This allows the path to your project to stay intact. Ever wondered why you get a missing link notification or have to relocate your footage? Your editing software makes a path to everything that imports into it. So if you rename a file, the path is broken. If you move a file to a different folder, the path is also broken and you have to relocate the file. This is why you should set up all your folders and name your files ahead of time! You can always add new items to the folders. Just make sure you put them in the right place so you never have to move them again.
What happens if you realize you need to add a folder, or that a folder should be merged with another? Adding folders is easy, just add them because it’s a new path being created. This issue comes when you move or rename a file that already has a path created. Secondly the point is to think ahead of time about your folders so you don’t need to merge later. But if you do have to merge, you’ll just have to manually link it when you open the editing software(as seen in the image)
The next step is to import everything into your editing software. In our case we are using Adobe Premiere. Import everything like it is in your master folder. We like to add numbers here just for more organization, totally optional. One additional folder to add here is “sequences”. Keeping everything organized is helpful for two reasons.
It keeps you from getting confused and spending extra time looking for files.
It makes it super easy for other people to edit after you. You never want to hand a project over to a team member with it looking a complete mess. It’s very frustrating and time consuming to try and decode another editor's random work process. So be organized!
Something big we’ve learned over time is that it helps to invest in a second monitor. It saves a bunch of time and helps you visualize everything easier by having more visual real estate to work with. It makes editing a seamless process. Consider an investment! A good quality monitor we use is a 20” Scepter, but more can be found here.
A key bit of advice that was incredibly insightful for us personally was to make new sequences for everything! Especially if it’s a project that will have multiple revisions(which is every project). Any time you are about to make a major change, make a new sequence so you have every version of your project along the way.
Organization is an issue that gets overlooked and can cause some anxiety in editors. Knowing where to start will help build confidence, and make sure you don’t get frustrated trying to find footage in your first few attempts. Be sure to send this to anybody who you think may benefit from this information, and comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for other topics you think we should go over.
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