If your organization produces a fair number of videos,

then it’s time to consider building an archive for your footage and videos. This will help your production team create better videos quicker. It also could result in reducing costs dramatically over time.
Here are some tips on how to create a video archive:
  1. The best way is to talk to your video production team. Many production companies offer an archive system to their clients. If you are using an in-house system, your production team will need to know how you are storing your footage so they can deliver it in a compatible format that matches what you are storing.
  2. If you are storing your materials in-house, look into readily available media archive software. There are some great options out there to keep track of your footage and videos. Always store raw footage as well as copies of the final video.
  3. Only store the highest quality footage available—i.e., no compressed video or treated footage.
  4. Every time you are shooting footage, ask the production crew to get additional B-roll to add to your footage archive. This will give you extra options for future projects without the cost of production. Plus it’s cheaper and takes less time to shoot B-roll when you’re already in the middle of a production than doing it separately.
  5. Organize your footage with clear labels and descriptions so you can search for specific images. This is called logging your film. Talk to your production team to ensure this is done or find out how to log it yourself before storing it. You do not want to end up with a hard drive full of footage you can’t sort.
  6. Keep an organized database to keep track of the specific images you have on hand and so you can search by project title, date, season (so you can match snow shots or sunny days, etc.), record the angle of the shot, adding other descriptive tags so you can find images quickly that will match your needs. A database is a must. It should incorporate the tags (log data) you entered above.
  7. Plan ahead to fill in the gaps. This means brainstorming a master list of images and shots you need on hand. Then mark that master list so you can see what shots your archive has and which that are missing. Every time you are filming, look at your master list of missing shots and add any items to your shot lists that could be easily shot during production. This is a great way to create comprehensive archive.
  8. Up-convert old footage if possible if you are doing your production in-house, but only if the conversion has a chance of matching current quality levels. If not, leave it alone. If you are using a professional production team, talk to them before altering any footage. They will likely want to see the original, raw footage and do any treatments themselves.
  9. Digitize still photography for future use. Always use the highest resolution possible for this.
  10. Use broadcast standards for resolution or ask your production team for the best way to digitize images.
  11. Only include broadcast quality images in your archive. Once you have a core library set, you can begin adding historic items that are available at a lower resolution. Mark these clearly so you don’t pull them without realizing they won’t match.
  12. Regularly update your database and master list by doing a footage inventory.
  13. Store completed videos separately from raw footage.
  14. As your production team to provide graphics separately, especially any animations so they won’t have to be reproduced.

For more great production tips and ideas, visit our Resource Center or Call us at (703) 683-5305, we're always happy to chat about video challenges.