When was the last time you went looking for a file and it didn’t magically appear before you eyes?
Yes, the intensely interesting topic of project and file organization strikes again. It won’t hurt, I promise. It’sa one thing to look for a song in your itunes library, or do a spotlight search for that contract you need. It’s another thing entirely to have dozens and dozens of projects stored across many hard drives, worked on by multiple people, and spanning a year or more back in time. So, here at HDM/Lovestruck films we have come up with a simple system to track all our files.
We use a large spreadsheet. It’s divided into 3 project groups; active projects, finished projects, and deleted projects. Inside each group, we track the project’s name, raw footage location, project files location, and the project’s status in our pipeline.
This is a huge time saver for us. Anytime we need to work on a project, we simply look it up on our list, see which drive it’s on, and grab that drive from our alphabetized drive drawer. No more swapping drives in and out until we find what we are looking for.
The project status part is also very helpful because the average project passes through the hands of at least 3 people at our office, each working on different aspects. It keeps us sane with questions like “Has this project been color corrected yet?” or “I know I finished this project, did it ever get delivered?”.
We even have a detailed deliverables error checking area at the end of the status information. That keeps us on our toes about double and triple checking spelling and dates on our projects. We watch through our master DVDs and Blu-rays to catch any freak errors that might creep in during encoding or burning before we make the couple’s copies. Then we track if all of their copies have been made and packaged, whether the client has been notified, and if the project has been delivered. This gives us maximum assurance that projects are not going out the door with errors. We keep this detailed information even for past and deleted projects because it gives us a record of what happened with that project. And it allows us to answer any questions that come up about it.
Well, that’s our project tracking in a nutshell. A little (or huge) spreadsheet that holds a birds eye view of every project going through our hands.
If you want to give this a whirl, you can download our blank project tracking spreadsheet here.