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Creating a Flow Chart: Film Editing Organization Tips

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/23/2010

Here is a look at how to make a flow chart for your footage to add to organized post-production.

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    Film Editing Organization

    Film editing organization can be one of the most difficult parts of the post-production process. When you are dealing with multiple file types and locations you are not going to just have to manage them in your non-linear video editing software, but also in the actual digital storage places on your computer and hard drives. When you are dealing with DV tapes this is even more difficult because you have to manage the physical tapes themselves and know what is in them. This has a certain level of film editing organization required when you are working with narrative film, but when you are dealing with documentary post-production it brings a whole other level to what is required for film editing organization. Here is a look at how to make a flow chart to organize what your footage is and where it is for further film editing organization.

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    How to Make a Flow Chart

    The best way to look at how to make a flow chart for film editing organization is to first divide the footage into broad categories. This requires you looking at your documentary film in larger terms to draw out the main themes. You can do this by breaking them up into interview topics, footage relating to a specific event, or types of B-roll. If you happen to be doing a film about the destruction of the rainforest you may want a broad section on the indigenous people of the area when creating a flow chart.

    From here you are then going to create a three column spread for each broad category, and this is going to start you with actually creating a flow chart. The first column will be where you list a subject. Here is where you will put a more specific subject that is addressed in a specific area of the footage. For example, in your broad section on indigenous people you will have a subject on disease. You will try to look at all of your footage that you have already grouped into the broad category and list all of the specific subjects that are pertinent to your story and list them in this first column.

    You will then create a second column, and this will indicate where the footage is. This can be tape numbers if you are using physical mini DV tapes, it can be the name of the file and folder it is in, or the digital storage platform. Here you will put the numbers or titles as to where the footage is that will address the accompanying story subject in your flow chart. For example, if you are corresponding to your area on disease in the indigenous people because of rainforest destruction you may list the tape numbers that the footage, interviews, and stock footage are that address this directly.

    In the third column you will add keywords. This is going to allow you to search for things later on in your film editing project and to allow easier reference.

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    Organizational Workflow

    Part of determining how to make a flow chart is how it is going to help your film editing organization. You must do this after you have logged all the tapes or footage and know what is there. Then you have to make sure that the footage is catalogued in easily referenced areas so that you can go back and create this flow chart to diagram what content is there and where it is. It is important to mix the interviews with the other footage when creating a flow chart so that you will match the interview topics with the footage that physically illustrates what they are discussing.

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