What Is The Best Way to Catalog Rushes?

by Matt
(Sydney, Australia)

Hi there,

I'm in the process of trying to put together a documentary for a punk rock band. My first issue is that I have a TONNE of footage that needs to be catalogued. I'm currently using Premiere CS5.5 on a PC platform.

Currently I probably have 200+ Mini DV tapes, 20 or so VHS tapes, CD's, Tapes, Photos, H264 Files, WAV Files and there will be a lot more to come. Possibly 10 fold.

I've found that I've stopped capturing for the time being because its all in such a mess. I don't know what I've captured and what's what.

As part of this project I will also be producing live footage using multi cam footage of the artist

My question to you guys, is what is the best way or software to catalog rushes? I will have so much stuff and I'm really trying to find an efficient way of moving forward.

Thanks for your help

Desktop Documentaries Answer:

Hi Matt, Woah.. that is a lot of footage!

I'm not sure I have the answer you're looking for.

For large projects, I usually transcribe and log everything in simple text documents and just refer to those documents during scriptwriting and editing. Personally, I like to transcribe my own tapes which helps me become more familiar with the content. But many producers hire that job out to an intern or assistant.

I have never used software to organize a project, but I bet it exists.

There is a documentary called We Live In Public directed by Ondi Timoner. According to the doc website, they pulled from 5000 hours of footage to make the film. It may be worth reaching out to Ondi for advice.

Let me pitch your question out to the community and see if anyone has any suggestions. Also, you may want to post your question on one of the Creative Cow forums as well. (forums.creativecow.net)

Good luck with your project. Sounds amazing.


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May 09, 2012
by: Matt

No, not at all. I appreciate your help
I probably wasn't very clear.
You are right on both levels.

Having so much footage, even just the documenting of it is a huge task. Because a single 60min tape may have 6-100 scenes that could be used and all need to be documented in a way they can be easily found again.

I'll definitely check out the other forums.
Thanks again!

May 09, 2012
one last idea
by: Desktop Documentaries

Ah, you know what? I think I misunderstood your question earlier. It sounds like you're looking for a better work-flow -- a good system to organize your BINS in your editing system.

It's true that footage can get out of hand really fast without a good system for organizing everything.

There's a discussion at this link about ideas for organizing your editing bins. Even though it's for Avid users, maybe it will spark some ideas.


And again, Creative Cow is great for this kind of question.

Sorry I couldn't be more help!

May 09, 2012
by: Matt

Thanks Faith,
Unfortunately it doesnt seem to have many good rushes features.

May 09, 2012
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hey Matt --
What about something like www.celtx.com -- "pre-production software". The basic version is free. I've never used it, but looks interesting.


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