You Need to Get Organized, Let a Filmmaker Show You How

Being organized was somewhat of a luxury until I became self-employed; now it's the bedrock of my life. Filmmaker Matti Haapoja walks you through how you can be organized with your work flow.

I remember I used to see productivity and organizational videos as borings and unnecessary back in another, less responsible life. Haapoja himself refers to these sort of videos he makes as boring too, but they're really not. They have the best ratio of most valuable information to minute watched of almost any video, and if the content is taken seriously, it can impact you in a meaningful way.

For me, cataloging is the holy grail of organization. At any time, from any place, I can pull up the final files, the raw files, and the relevant PSDs of any part of any project. You would be surprised just how many times that is necessary. Sometimes I'll need to show a prospect client something specific, sometimes a brand will contact me on Whatsapp to ask for an image from their client area, and sometimes I'll just want to look up some color grading or editing I did for a specific project so I can use it again. If your work is properly indexed in folders and ordered and named in a way you can understand, you can quickly navigate years and years of work effortlessly.

What's the crucial element of your organization?

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8 Comments

16mm Camera's picture

A sponsored video? So it's like a commercial for the service right? Cause google drive works fine and most productions I'm on have a far more complicated workflow than the one described. This works for youtube stuff, but on feature film/tv series you're most likely adapting to an existing established work flow that you'll have to learn because the production is bigger than just you.

Jasmin Bataille's picture

So basically you haven't watched the video, did you? First, he's asking about is sponsors maybe 1 min in the whole video near the end... second, he's talking about great workflow procedures that apply to *all* productions : copying back-ups from the card or SSD's root itself (copying the folders and not only the files), have separate folders for each camera, for footage, music, media, and renders; also have a separate folder for each and every single day of shooting. This is all done *offline* and have nothing to do with his sponsor... so... BTW, well how do you think this guy makes a living man? By being sponsored. Also... I don't know what kind of production you've been on, but a feature film relying on Google drive?! Yeah, and I'm Donald Trump...! If the data wranglers do this, they are some fucking morons. Google Drive is not reliable enough, trust me, I used it too, too much. One time on three the video is not processed correctly. Anyway, in a big production you are *not* sharing the datas like that, because unwanted compression can always happen. You have to use a top pro service, and Google Drive ain't one. It's good for rough cuts, tests, and sharing files for a video going on Internet in H.264, NOT features... and again if this is used for features then it is a big mistake...!

Jasmin Bataille's picture

Finally, no when you're on features you do not have to even think about this because data wranglers do this job for you... so you don't need to adapt yourself and also, most of us are totally independent now.

Jasmin Bataille's picture

And one should *always* get his own back-up, big production or not. Unless unauthorized indeed.

16mm Camera's picture

First off my Google comment was not in relation to being used in features. I would agree with you that is as laughable.

My point on the sponsored video is just that, doesn’t matter how long he talks about it for, the video was paid by the company he is advertising. Which is fine, but compromises the information somewhat and is it really shareable? I’ve seen loads of more helpful videos than this to be honest but feel Matti gets some special treatment here the same way Peter M and now Chris Hau do.

I also take issue with the title...a “filmmaker”. I’m a traditionalist in this sense and fault me for it but that word is thrown around far too much it waters the craft down.

Again my issue, I should refrain from
taking it out on here.

Feature films, factual, advertising, documentary, reality, branded content I’ve worked in all of it and they all use different methods. We’re all independent because there is no such thing as a salary job in this position.

Data mangament is very subjective but and it’s something many people basic grasp on when they get into production/post.

If you’ve been using a computer than you understand the I’m importance of organization and backups.

I prob went off more than I should have, was feeling crusty from a long ass week, so apologies for that.

Jasmin Bataille's picture

No worries I had to sleep 20 hours after editing alll night long ;) I disagree about being an independent filmmaker... it is different than a specific role like camera operator, assistant, data wrangler etc

To me being "independent" is not being a "freelancer", more in the way of being a filmmaker meaning you direct, operate, pull focus, light scenes up if necessary, edit, color-grade and produce a full-featured video ALL by yourself. If that's not filmmaking to you, then I don't know what is, if you can't see how this man is one hell of a great filmmaker from the footage he shows in his videos...

I mean he did at himself A to Z, in the mountains and all, drones and multi-cameras, editing and grading and lighting and scripting etc...

THIS is independent filmmaking. Today, most of us in the industry are independent filmmakers (or videographers should you prefer that term because I employ film in a more generic way than just to mean "feature film").

Videography or filmmaking today, encompass everything from top-tier vlogging with cinematic-quality B-roll, to documentaries, to feature films, series, top-tier music videos, promotional videos, commercials, etc - the vast majority of the content being produced for Internet.

Look up Netflix if you never got into it seriously. Because I was more traditionalist myself and I brushed it off... recently got into two of their series (Sherlock Holmes and Altered Carbon) and my OH my...!!!

We're talking about the Golden age of series here. The quality AND quantity of their cinematography is as-to-ni-shing. Real content with real meaning as well - not like Hollywood.

So with Internet we have to specialize less and be more versatile, be ready to tackle up any challenge as a one-man crew. That's the adaption to do should you want to survivre and thrive in the industry today, unless you are lucky enough to be hired full-time - *salary does exist in the industry... for some*

Mark Holtze's picture

I gave you guys both an upvote. We all have bad days, remember despite what we know, there are many people who don’t and that’s where this kind of info is good.

YouTubers are filmmakers 16mm, better learn to accept that now. Don’t bother with titles.

Free google is fine, but I wouldn’t depend on it for my professional workflow/file sharing. Review cuts cute but there is an upload limit and better paid options out there for sure.