The Video Editor's Hard Drive: Indie Gold

Updated: May 21

“I would teach organizational structure. I still see professional editors not have a succinct hard drive.” Wes Powers


In episode 30 of the MAKE IT podcast, our good friend Wes Powers offered a simple yet important observation regarding his editing compatriots. He reminded us all that editing is both art and science and that the science of it should not be ignored.


Editors play an important role in film production. As we all know, there's the film you write, the film you shoot, and the film you edit. The one you edit is the one everyone sees but what about when production is finished? What then? What is the role of the editor?


If you didn't know, the editor's hard drive is marketing and distribution gold. When you hand off your project to a distributor, you have to know where everything is and what everything is. You have to have files and formats in order and ready for the show. A lack of organization can result in distribution delays and cost overruns as these files are needed for final QC (Quality Control) and asset verification and validation by the distributor.


QC identifies any technical issues and mistakes that may not have been caught during the editing processes. QC also ensures that the final master that is passed to a distributor is available in all necessary formats without any issues that would otherwise impact the viewer's experience. Some distributors leverage a combination of automated QC processes and human reviews to ensure technical acceptance.


An efficient QC process requires an organized hard drive that provides quick, intuitive access to all needed files. The more efficiently this process goes, the less time, effort, and expense is involved in transferring film artifacts from filmmaker to distributor.


Now, let's talk about marketing. The editor's hard drive houses all of the artifacts needed to create all of the critical assets to support a film's marketing campaign. These artifacts include:


  • Trailer

  • Teaser

  • BTS (Behind the Scenes) Footage for social

  • Images for social posts

  • Ads for social media marketing

  • Ads for OTT (Over-the-top) marketing


Once again, an organized hard drive makes it easier to create these artifacts when needed thereby creating efficiency in the process. As time is often of the essence in managing content marketing campaigns, efficiency is king.


Here are some quick tips for organizing your hard drive:


Create an "Hard Drive Template" folder with this folder structure inside it:


  • Approvals

  • Audio (Subfolders: Mixes, Music, SFX, VO)

  • Documents (Subfolders: Scripts, Interview Questions, Project Briefs, Casting Notes)

  • GFX (Logos, Stills, BTS Images)

  • Masters (Subfolder: Deliverables)

  • Media

  • Projects (Subfolders by Program)

  • VFX


If you want to hear more about the life of an editor and some great tips for keeping a tidy hard drive, listen in on this episode with the great Wes Powers. You'll be happy you did!


As always,


Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.

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