Don’t Alter Master Clips
Never put any effects, whether video or audio, on the master video clips. You never know what you want to do with the clips later so you do not want to alter the entire clip, just put them onto the sub-clips that you are putting in your Timeline. This is true except in cases of dialogue audio correction or color correction, which you may want to be applied to the entire clip depending on the situation.
Protect Your Portables
Since you will most likely be using a portable hard drive you will be even more subject to losing it or getting it stolen. It seems like an illogical thing for someone to steal, especially when they do not realize just how important the data on the device actually is to you. Make sure to keep it with you as close as you can and lock it up when you are not around. Also make sure to write your name all over it, which may scare some people away from taking it.
The same type of care needs to be taken to avoid any kind of damage happening to your hard drive. Try not to leave it in cars because moisture pockets often form and can enter the sensitive technology. Try to keep it in a box or carrying case to avoid any damage if it bumps into anything or is dropped accidentally. This may seem like an obvious point, but any kind of mishap to this little piece of equipment can entirely destroy your editing project.
Set Your Scratch
Make sure that you reset the scratch disc each time you use it so that you do not save the footage or work in the wrong place. This can lead to it disconnecting very easily or the raw footage getting deleted by accident. The same is true of using Save As every time you work on your project. Every time you save while working on it or every time that the program auto saves, a new file goes into the Auto Save Vault. This is not as good as saving a completely new file that is properly labeled and placed in a location where you know how to find it easier. Things can get very complicated and a lot of work can be lost if you have to constantly pile through your Auto Save Vaults looking for the most recently modified file date.
Check Before Exporting
Before you export to QuickTime or Compressor you must make sure that it is going to come out the way you want. Exporting is a very long process, especially on projects that are more than twenty five minutes. Make sure that everything is fully rendered and that you do a run through on the film to make sure all the media is connected and in the correct order. Double checking is the key before you deal with exporting.
Always be aware of the technology that you are using while you are editing. Nothing will make you lose work like accidentally unplugging your portable hard drive or bumping into the power button. If you are using a portable hard drive for this make sure to actually eject it when you are done using it and do not just unplug it.
Make a Password
You may want to protect the entire editing computer, especially if you are using the internal hard drive. Password protect it so you can limit the number of people that get on it. It is not that they will necessarily alter your project, but their use of the computer could change the memory or hardware and that could unintentionally affect your editing work.
The rule of thumb is to just make sure that you are very aware of every action to take, and if you are about to do something risky with your project test it out on a blank project first. This is the most important part of video production so you need to be more careful than the rest of the production.