Student at a computer working with the DaVinci Resolve video editing software.

As a video editor, it is important to establish a clear and organized workflow during post-production. Improper media management can lead to hours of unintended frustration down the line, or even worse, misplaced video clips or missing media.

Luckily, there are steps that you can take to help ensure proper media organization and a smooth workflow.

Begin with these 3 tips below to help ensure a smooth post-production process:

  1. Establish a Clear File Structure: After acquiring media on a shoot, it is imperative to organize your footage, audio and other assets in a cohesive fashion before bringing them into your editing application. On your drive, create folders to organize and house all of your media and future assets such as effects and exports. Your collaborators will thank you. 
    Example of a file structure for a video project
    Example of a clear file structure.
  2. Rename Media Prior to Import: If you choose to rename your media files after recording, be sure to do so prior to importing them into your non-linear video editing software of choice. If you change a file name after importing the media into your editing application, the file may go “offline.” In other words, your software recognized the initial name of your file upon import and does not recognize the new renamed file that is linked to your editing project. If this happens, you will need to find the missing media on your hard drive and relink it.
  3. Utilize your Project Manager when Applicable: Many video editing applications offer “Project Manager” tools. These tools aid in organizing and consolidating media and/or making exact copies to share with a collaborator. Using Project Manager to make a duplicate will ensure that no media is left behind.

    If you are working in Adobe Premiere, you can go to File> Project Manager and select Collect Files and Copy to a New Location. This process will collect all of the files used in your video editing project and copy them into a new folder. If you have a messy project, Project Manager will help collect all of your media and place it in one location. Note: You will still need to organize messy bins but at least you know that all of your media is in one place.

    The Premiere Project Manager Options Window
    The Premiere Project Manager Options Window
    Menu showing that the Project Manager is accessible in Premiere
    In Premiere the Project Manager is under the File menu.

For more information, tips and tricks visit for free workshops, professional courses, filmmaking bootcamps, and more resources to make your productions successful.