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TOPIC: Organization in large recurring projects

Organization in large recurring projects 30 Jun 2020 15:46 #108378

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Part of my job at a studio is producing weekly recurring elements for a broadcast. These are 2-3 minute segments that are put together from different shoots throughout the week to produce a package of weekly 'bumpers'.

Do you have any advice on how to organize an ongoing project/library? I need to be able to easily go back and access content from, say 2 months ago.

My thoughts were:

- One large library, each week gets an event, footage organized by keyword (B-roll, etc) and import/shoot date
- One Library for each week, organized by keyword

My concern is the project ballooning, even though each week would likely be only 10 minutes or less of total footage, but about 4 projects/timelines each week.

Looking for best practices. Thanks so much!

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Organization in large recurring projects 30 Jun 2020 19:16 #108382

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10 minutes per week.
6 months = 4 hours of video.
That's very slow growth, and not much video for a Library to handle.

I also create an Event titled "001 General Media" and use that for logos, photos, graphics, audio that will be used over ane over and over each episode/week. So I then have one place to find all of that. I put the "001" at the head of the title to force it to the top of the list no matter what any other Event gets called.

I do similar things for TV broadcast. I make one Library, then give each week its own Event. Things that are very long term, I tack a year onto the end of the Library's name, do one for each year. But you're going to end up with only 8 hours of video for a whole year. That's not much at all. There's no worry about bloating a Library with that small amount of footage. I've worked on reality TV shows that have dozens and dozens and dozens of hours in one Library.

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Organization in large recurring projects 01 Jul 2020 04:27 #108398

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I'm with Ben: that isn't that much of material.
(back when I did my weekly football reports, 6 cams in use, 90min each, one season was ~1.2TB of material… handled with a MacMini)

There's one practical reason why to keep it all in one Lib: to make ALL material searchable, e.g. when you keyword material for a 'best of the year'/highlights reel. And: creating backups is more handy with a single Lib. Organize weekly material in Events; create one Event for 'standards'.-

Read the manual about 'keeping clips in place' on import = use one ext HDD for mass-storage/the 'raws', and keep the Library on another, 'clean' drive.

Create keywords/smartlists from the editors perspective = what are the criteria to search (and find ;) ) in edit? What criteria are 'automatic' (e.g. day of recording) = don't need to be keyworded? Do you need tech-specs (slowmos)? Read the manual about 'batch renaming'…

The better you prep your structure, the easier and faster is editing. But: there's lil' general advice, depends very much on your projects individual needs…

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Organization in large recurring projects 01 Jul 2020 13:55 #108409

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Thank you both for your guidance. Seems like I was on the right track. I've been editing on FCPX for years but never a recurring project like this. Thanks again!

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Organization in large recurring projects 02 Jul 2020 14:12 #108449

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tvchris wrote: Thank you both for your guidance. Seems like I was on the right track. I've been editing on FCPX for years but never a recurring project like this. Thanks again!


In general try to avoid the tendency to over-categorize material using libraries or events. The limits of FCPX are very high. I have edited documentaries with 10,000 clips in a single event, using only keywords, favorites and rejects to organize the material. That worked well.

I also edited a large documentary on FCPX with 8,500 4k H264 clips in a single library, spread across just three events. This included 220 camera hours, about 130 multi-camera interviews, occupying 20 terabytes. Machine was a 2017 iMac 27 with several Thunderbolt 4-drive arrays.

In theory you don't even need multiple events -- you can perfectly well categorize and query material based on keywords. However events are handy, just don't over-use them. Current versions of FCPX can do library-wide queries so (unlike older versions) the events are not "hard fences" that prevent wide-scope queries.

You cannot do cross-library queries so that is an issue for archival queries. I think there might be a 3rd-party product which does this but I can't remember. Maybe someone else can.

You generally want to use a "lean library" so all media is imported with "leave files in place" and the cache is stored in a designated location outside the library using FCPX library inspector>Storage Locations>Modify Settings>Cache. This keeps the library very small and it's easy to back up by duplicating it in Finder.

That said, for a true archival situation there is the risk the referenced media trees accidentally might not be archived with the librrary. To avoid this some people make a final archival library using "copy to library". The library will be large but at least everything you need will be there.

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