9: Keep your shit organized
Many people falsely believe that I have some sort of crazy memory for clips and movies. Not really. I just keep everything organized. I’m an editor; this was beaten into me.
For “Vancouver Never Plays Itself” we used footage from 85 different films, but there were actually over 200 films in the project file. Keeping everything organized and annotated was the only way I could find anything.
Every Frame a Painting was edited entirely in Final Cut Pro X for one reason: keywords.
The first time I watch something, I watch it with a notebook. The second time I watch it, I use FCPX and keyword anything that interests me.
Keywords group everything in a really simple, visual way. This is how I figured out to cut from West Side Story to Transformers. From Godzilla to I, Robot. From Jackie Chan to Marvel films. On my screen, all of these clips are side-by-side because they share the same keyword.
Organization is not just some anal-retentive habit; it is literally the best way to make connections that would not happen otherwise.