• Jay

The Importance of Logging

It’s a job everyone hates but yet it’s present everywhere. In this case, I’m talking about video. I’m about 95% tapeless anymore and in my environment, I’m typically the only one working on given project. It’s not like the ‘old days’ when I have no idea what’s on a tape. I can simply preview the clip from my folder and I’m on my way. I’m also always under some sort of time crunch. So what corner do I cut?


In this case, I had a list of interviews I’m conducting. I had two cameras, to camera ops, three drives and I’m on location. The initial schedule was thrown out the window as interviews were canceled, new ones were added last minute, and schedules adjusted. As we finished the interviews and sometimes as late as the end of the day, we just dumped from the cameras to the HDDs in their “daily” folder. Sounds quick and easy. And it was.

But I had no idea what interviews I actually had and moving around.

Today, I was asked to pull two interviews. My initial response was “who?” I had no idea. I knew what interviews I was cutting and there was nothing else. Because I had not logged via paper and the corresponding files, I had no way to track whether it wasn’t transferred, missed a transfer or inadvertently deleted on site.

I will be making a few workflow changes moving forward. This can’t happen. Ever. Especially with the tapeless 3 camera shoot I have coming up in early February. So here’s what I’ll be doing:

  1. Keep a simple, old fashioned paper “clip” log.

That’s it. When I transfer each folder from the camera to each file, I’m recording on the log all the appropriate information. Not simply name the folder I dump it in to. Then before I even start the project, I’m going to rename all the clips accordingly but I’m going to have a reference point.

Yes, it’s time-consuming, but since I’ll be conducting regular transfers I want to make sure I have a reference point at the time of the original record to verify.


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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