File Management for Video Editing

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File management for video editing is a crucial step in any video production, as it will keep your project on time, organized, and easily navigable. The three key concepts for managing any video project revolve around file naming, storage, and file structure for saving content.

File Naming

Considering what you will call your content when organizing a video project and how you will store it is really important, no matter which video editing platform you are using. Keep in mind when labeling your video files it is standard to start your file name with the date (Year-Month-Day i.e. 181024 for October 24, 2018), and then add some descriptive information, i.e. 181024_CloseUpInterviewWinniethePooh.mp4. Think of the five W's when naming files: who, what, where, when, and why. Use this as a guide for labeling and organizing your raw video files.


Storage is arguably one of the most important things to consider when starting a video project. Before you import multiple gigabytes of data onto your computer's hard drive, see if you have an external hard drive available and consider using that drive to store all of your media. You can also edit the footage off of this drive and export all finished products right back to it! Of course, you'll need to organize all of those files and footage, consider imposing a file naming structure on the external drive, outlined in the next section:

File Structure for Saving Content

Consider the structure below for saving and organizing your video project contents. All of this should be saved within a folder, and then each title (in bold) is a sub-folder that would exist within that folder and hold the content relative to that sub-folder. Below this are further sub-folders necessary further file structure. Attached to this documentation is a .zip file with the suggested structure to assist you in your video projects.

01 Project_Files
  • 01 Video_Editing_Files (save your video editing files here, most video editing platforms will create project files in addition to your media)
  • 02 Special_Effects (save your special effects project files here)
02 Media
  • 01 Video - Consider keeping additional folders like "01 Day 1" for your raw footage.
  • 02 Audio
    • 01 Recorded_Audio
    • 02 Music
  • 03 Photos (if any)
  • 04 Graphics (if any)
03 Exports
  • 01 Special_Effects_Exports
  • 02 Rough_Cuts - Consider the names to be "01projectname_roughcut" , "02projectname_roughcut" and so on.
  • 03 Final_Cuts - Consider final names of documents "01projectname_finalcut", "02projectname_finalcut" and so on.
04 Documents
  • 01 Releases
  • 02 Scripts
  • 03 Shot_List
05 Final_Assets
Place all final video assets such as: the final video export, thumbnails, closed captions and any other essential elements to your final project. This sub-folder should contain anything you plan to publish or make available to a wider audience.


Article ID: 2986
Fri 10/2/20 5:20 PM
Thu 1/14/21 3:59 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Plymouth State University (PSU)