What is your Post Production Work-Flow
During my final year of MFA, I started Video post production with Final Cut Studio I know that is a long time back and post production was a nightmare not just technology was clunky but I did not understand when my professors said that you need to create a good workflow. It did not sink in till I made my first mistake with my first client and I could not sync footage from two cameras because I could not find the right audio.
Now after years of editing I have come up with my workflow and I insist my students to follow the same process. I always work from an external hard-drive.I keep separate folders for each client. Here is a system that I follow every time no matter what video editing software I am using to edit .
1.Create folder with client name Inside main folder create 5 more folders name them as – A. Footage or Raw Files or Rushes | B. Project Files | C. Graphics | D. Audio | E . Exports . You might need more individual folders if you have more specific needs depending on the kind of video piece.
2.Transfer all footage from Camera or any other storage device to your rushes or footage folder . Convert or transcode to right file format so that all files you are dealing with is same extensions eg. .Mov etc. Transfer all assets that you will use for editing like audio | graphics| | pictures etc at this time to appropriate folders. Sometimes while editing you might receive extra files but make sure you transfer and convert into right format and folder before ingesting them into your project.
3.Open video editing software name the project and do save as to the project folder that you have created in Step 1. This is crucial you can name it as Name of client | Date. The date helps me if I have multiple versions later.
4.Create your sequence ( this depends on the footage format and client needs) and other preferences that you want to set for the project should be done at this time . This step is optional . In premiere you can skip this stage and just create sequence later from timeline.Eg auto save | duplicates etc.
5.Create Bins in the project file Start ingesting footage into the project and appropriate bins and label footage. I also create a bin for multiple sequences. Do not use import function in Premiere use the media browser function on the project panel.
6. Once you are done with transferring all footage. Go back to your script and look at your footage simultaneously and mark in and out point on your clips. Create markers and notes at this time.
7. Start doing a rough cut and put all your selected clips in the timeline ; try not to digress from your script at this time. If you are unable to decide the shots put all angles right now in the time line. Don’t worry about audio. Once you have put the entire storyline down go through it. Watch it second time and take down notes. This cut should be long since you have not eliminated much. Do not try to edit at this time . Just take out unusable clips.
8.Now you are ready for your second assembly which will involves cutting down aggressively and reaching towards your intended length. This cut should be close to the targeted time length or few minutes more .
9.The third cut or the fine cut where you work with both audio and video at this point and trim out finer edit points. Edit to your targeted length.Choose your best audio . You will also be multi tasking at this point when you are working with graphics | spotting different music and creating titles. You will create a picture lock at this point this is your final cut you do not make any changes to your visuals .
10. Edit and clean your audio and sweeten it. Remove background noise and other extraneous noises. Find the best possible background music. Add required SFX or ambience and room tone . Add your audio fades and music fades and mix your audio to appropriate levels.
11.Time for final graphics || transitions || color grading and any small tweaks that is necessary.
12.Export it out to the export folder and send it to your client.
I follow this more or less to all projects, short film , interviews or commercials . I was recently working on a long documentary with a lot of footage and the organizing had become a challenge but I added more folders within folders to make it easier to find stuff. Video editors out there if you have another way that you follow or if I am missing something do comment on the comment section below. Here are few more links that I found was very helpful #Basic Premiere Pro Post Workflow # Larry Jordans post work flow