Tame the Beast: How to Organize Your Project to Save Time & Maintain Your Sanity

Making a film is messy work, but organizing all of your project's data and materials will save you a whole lot of time as well as headaches when you move into post-production.

But how do you go about putting everything in its proper place? Ryan Connolly of Film Riot has a functional method of organizing all of the elements of his projects, and he shares it in the video below. (Be sure to watch on full screen to be able to see the labels of the folders and all of the fine details.)

Personally, I like to keep a master template on both my external hard drives and the computer I'm working on. (I have a copy on my laptop and my desktop.) When I start a new project, I save a folder with the project's working title onto my external hard drive, then place a copy of the master template inside of it.

The master template has a folder structure similar to Connolly's: VFX, Sound, Images, and Raw Footage. I like to also include folders with a copy of the script and pre-production materials (budgets, locations, etc.) This might be overkill for many of you, but because I'm usually the writer, director, producer, and editor of my projects, I like to keep all of these materials all in one place so I'm not bouncing around trying to pull up different data. Also, I'm a little OCD and like all of my stuff to live in the same house. 

Regardless of whether or not you find Connolly's organizational approach helpful, there's no doubt that finding a method that works for you is imperative if you want to keep both your head and project clear of clutter. Not only that, but being disorganized can add hours and days to your project — and let's not forget about how easy it is to completely misplace important data. So, if you don't already have a method, you might want to try his out and see if it works for you, and add to it and/or edit it as needed. Or you can check out the template Vashi Nedomansky created for Deadpool here.

How do you organize the materials for your projects? Let us know in the comments below!     

Your Comment


really helpful !

March 19, 2016 at 6:49AM

subhakar tikkireddy

Nice work. As a side note, I recommend getting those monitors off the desk and onto stands. It is easier to accurately judge bass in your mix when you decouple the speakers from the table, move them up and further away from your head.

March 21, 2016 at 9:24AM


This is great, thank you!

April 2, 2016 at 3:09AM

Paul-Vincent Alexander