How to Handle Your Raw Video Footage

Raw video footage is the unprocessed, original video captured during a shoot. Properly handling and organizing your raw footage is essential to ensure a smooth post-production workflow and maintain the quality of your final video project. In this instructional guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to handle your raw video footage effectively.

Step 1: Back Up Your Footage: Before you start working with your raw footage, create backups to prevent data loss. Copy the original video files to multiple external drives or cloud storage. This redundancy ensures that even if one backup fails, you have another source to retrieve your footage.

Step 2: Organize Your Footage: Create a well-structured folder system to organize your raw footage. Use clear and descriptive folder names to categorize different shoots or scenes. Within each folder, create subfolders to further sort your footage based on date, location, or shot type.

Step 3: Transcode or Create Proxies (Optional): If your raw footage is in a format that’s difficult for your editing software to handle, consider transcoding it to a more editing-friendly codec. Alternatively, you can create proxy files with lower resolution and easier-to-edit codecs, which can speed up the editing process while maintaining the quality of your final export.

Step 4: Review and Log Footage: Watch through your raw footage and take notes or create markers for important shots, good takes, and any issues you may encounter. Logging your footage with detailed descriptions and timecodes will save time during the editing process.

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Step 5: Use Project Management Software (Optional): For larger projects or collaborative efforts, consider using project management software or video production tools to track progress, assign tasks, and manage the raw footage effectively. This helps maintain clear communication and organization within your team.

Step 6: Create a Copy for Editing: Once your raw footage is backed up and organized, create a copy of the specific clips you plan to use for editing. This selection process helps you work more efficiently and reduces clutter in your editing timeline.

Step 7: Safely Store Unused Footage: After creating your edit, store the unused raw footage separately from your working project. This ensures you have access to the original footage if you need to make changes or refer back to specific shots later on.

Step 8: Archive Your Project: Once your video project is complete, archive all related files, including the raw footage, final export, and project files. Organize these files in a designated folder or external storage for easy access in the future.


How to handle your raw video footage with care and organization is essential for a successful video production workflow. By backing up, organizing, reviewing, and logging your footage, you can streamline the editing process, maintain the quality of your final video project, and have peace of mind knowing your original footage is safely stored for future reference or revisions. Following these steps will contribute to a more efficient and enjoyable post-production experience.