Well, I guess I’ve gotten vain enough to assume that I might know a thing or two about Avids and editing. So perhaps the world would be a better place if I shared my seemingly limitless knowledge (?). Occasional tips that relate to offline and online editing, Photoshop (my right hand), After Effects (my third hand) and managing media and other files. Throw in the occasional rant to let off some steam and you get the gist . Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


005- Two blogs ago I gave you a small list of "nevers". What about always?

When an assistant starts to work with me I like to sit down and explain how we do things here in our office

“Always replace the toilet paper when the roll is done.”

“Always put your mug in the dishwasher, not the sink.”

“Always leave my slippers at the foot of the bed when you tuck me in.”

Okay, that’s creepy…but you get the idea. Generally the always (and the nevers) are meant to keep the peace. The peace that would only be lost if they fail to do as I say. Got it?

In the Avid, here’s a few “must do” examples: Always put all the cuts into their own bin (no mixing with other file types). And while we’re at it…always put all the footage into its own bin and then sub-clip selects from those into a new bin (no mixing). Always import music into its own bin. Always import sound effects…again, you get the picture.

But hey, all that helps. Really helps. I’ve opened other editors' projects to find absolutely everything in one bin - all mixed up. OMG! How does anyone work that way?!? How can anyone tell where anything is? How does anyone delegate? It’s a sure fire recipe for disaster. And when I’m working with directors or agencies the last thing they want to see on their dime is me trying to remember what I did with a file. If I’m not here and someone needs to get into my project they should, with little effort, find what they need. In short, it gives me great peace of mind to keep organized.

One trick? I like to number my sequences bins. But I’m not being anal retentive. I don’t have such an elephant-like memory that I can recall what is in a bin labeled 245. That, obviously, is not practical. What I do is label my Cuts bin: 001-Cuts. Why? Because then my cuts, that is to say my most important bin (or bins), shoot to the top of my list in my project window. Easy to find! It’s a little thing but it helps me a lot.

When I’m done my project I need to isolate the sequence or sequences that are used for the master files or tapes. So I create a “000-Hero cuts” bin for a copy of the versions used to master. This “000” shoots to the VERY top of my project folder. Long after the project is done, and without my assistance, anyone can instantly identify which sequence they need to use or modify when the project is restored. (Don’t forget to duplicate the sequence first!)

When I want something to shoot to the bottom, well, I use a “~” symbol (a tilde symbol). Snaps it to the bottom. I could use it to identify selects I may have grabbed like “~ farm shots” or “~interviews”. Whatever. Down they go. Yes, I could create a folder for those bins (as I frequently do) but sometimes a “~” does the trick.

Remember: ALWAYS be organized and if you get hit by a truck in the middle of a project your team won’t spit on your grave. At least, not for that.


  1. I use exclamation marks around a master or anything else I want to appear at the top of a bin. When I consolidate, the exclamation marks in the back up bin name makes it he first item in the consolidation copy of the work; very easy to find when restoring.