Archiving Completed Projects

After living and breathing a project for months or years, it may be hard to imagine you’ll ever want to look at it or touch it again—but you never know for sure. You might get a surprise distribution offer, but with the caveat that you shorten the project by 5 minutes. If that happens, will you be able to resurrect the project from its individual media and sequence components? Did you save everything you needed?

When you archive your project, you need to ask yourself, “How long will I need this project?” This is a hard question to answer with certainty, so most people err on the side of caution. It’s almost always better to back up more than less.

For long-term archiving, you should save both the project file and the original media (such as the actual videotapes). As long as there is an accurate timecode relationship between the clips in your project and the timecode on your videotapes (or film), you can open your project and recapture your media at any time.

Depending on the duration of your original footage, the captured media files that you used for your project are not necessarily worth archiving long-term, simply because they are extraneous copies of your original videotapes. Also, backing up to inexpensive formats, such as DVD-R, can be fairly time consuming. As long as you archive your project file and you have the original videotapes available to recapture clips from, your project is sufficiently archived.