Video is now 82% of all internet traffic. There are 50 million people in this creator economy. You can see their work on YouTube, Twitch and TikTok. Video clearly has the power to influence, inspire, and teach. Whether the raw elements are created with DSLR cameras, Zoom, Smart phone or Livestreaming software, video acquisition is easier than ever. And that can mean there’s a lot of video to transform into a meaningful and effective finished video.

The first step in video editing prep is to watch the raw video and begin to organize it. Some people like to label footage as it is captured. This process, however, cannot slow down production. So it is wise to have a Production Assistant (P.A.) or other helper log footage as it is being shot. The more likely approach is to organize the footage after the shoot. And for this some people create large spreadsheets. Others use paper or digital logs and break the footage down by location, scene, take, b-roll, or other categories.

This list or spreadsheet becomes your invaluable editing reference. It will save lots of time and help create the first rough cut.

Clearly Date And Label The Files

Use a consistent method to date and name your video files. Many editors use the YEAR, MONTH, DAY format. Follow the date with a description of the footage, for example: “211202_Assembly Line Montage.”
You may also want to create an organized folder structure. Use sub folders as needed.

Add Tags To Aid Video Editing Prep

Most video editing programs allow you to tag your video files with relevant keywords. Tagging helps you find your files directly. You can then easily proceed to trim clips, adjust colors, add audio, and more. You can do this for YouTube videos by going to your YouTube channel and then clicking on YouTube Studio. Artificial Intelligence has contributed software such as Cquence which starts at $48/month. It allows you to search an automatic audio transcription of the video, assemble a rough cut and more. A free program called ExifTool by Phil Harvey allows users to read, write and edit meta information.

See also Metadata For Video. Proper video editing prep will make editing faster and more effective.