Request for Organizational Tips on Creating Video Catalog

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    • #39670

      I’m new to this site, but not new to shooting video. However I have a problem I imagine is very common. Boxes of tapes shot through the years with few notes other than month, year, and occasional significant events. They are all Hi8 or Digital 8. I’m about to begin going through these using Apple’s iMovie, to create some DVDs and perhaps put some up on YouTube or other sites.

      Ideally I would love to digitize all of these, or at least the good parts, but it’s just way way too much data. My guess is I will import some, make some movies, and rely on the original source tapes if I want to re-edit or recycle the same footage down the road. Is there a software program you like? A simple Word doc or Excel sheet you use? Something else?

      Getting started is the big roadblock. I would love to hear suggestions on how people organize their original sources with notes, tags, etc. so they can find parts they want on command. I guess the ideal thing would be to do it the way sports teams do now — tag all plays according to player, situation, etc. so they can create custom movies and tapes on the fly. But I just don’t have that much time to work with. It would take weeks just to view all of this footage… this will be a long-term project.

      Thanks in advance, and please point me to other threads or sites as necessary.

    • #171204


      I hear you! Doubt if this will be helpful, but since you can never predict these things

      I am into one of the least effective approaches to this problem: procrastination.

      Actually, Ive always put dates/location/and who or what on the label, so if I can remember that I shot something, I can eventually find the tape(s) in one of the treasure boxes, if I have a need to get to it.

      Several colleagues of my brother in law note that he started getting careless about labels about a year before his stroke and death. He had a large wedding video business. Some of those brides were unhappy for over two years until things got straightened out. Not labeling tapes is not good for the health or the brides!!!

      So far, stuff I shot from the mid ’90s (Hi8, later Digital8) is holding up very well.

      Dont get rid of your old tapes. Future historians may be interested in video diaries of these times. Ken Burns may be interested some day.

      What do you mean by digitize. Your D8 is already digital and basically the same configuration as stuff shot on miniDV tape (not sure about HD). Id say within 5 years, hard drive memory will be so cheap and miniaturized that (wild guess) you will be able to put 500 hours of tape onto $250 worth of hard drive.

      Do you have many thousands of hours of tape. Short of that, not sure your collection is complicated enough to warrant the creation of an Excel data base or something of that sort; unless you want to do this to master this task then get jobs as a consultant on the subject. The tapes themselves can be your organization system, if labeled decently and lined up like dominoes.

      Have noticed that Chinese medicine cabinets with their numerous little drawers can hold hundreds of tapes in original plastic cases (mini and Digital8) size. Talking here about 200, 400, 600, or more tapes. These are very cool pieces of furniture (if into Asian stuff) that definitely take up some space. Can be found often in abundance at Chinese antique shops in a wide variety of prices based upon size and condition; never cheap however.

      Pre video footnote. My 35 mm slides (more than 10,000 shot overseas in the 70s 80s) appear to be in perfect condition. They are inserted, each in its own pocket, in slide pages pressed almost to a vacuum, in binders marked India, Hong Kong, Africa, Middle East etc. Prints from this era meanwhile have gone wacko in their condition. Have got some good info on this forum on equip I need to turn the slides into videos; will not be economizing on this project; plan to go max quality for possible presentation on large cinemaplex screens. Acknowledge that the original slides may have some historic value but likely no other value. Perhaps in video form, may be of interest to students somewhere; India has gained 500,000,000 in population since then; Hong Kong is no longer British.

      Good luck organizing your video legacy.

      REGARDS TOM 8)

    • #171205

      I’m a mac user and am experimenting with this:
      Addin a brief naration onto a short clip (extracted from the imovie video project) in garageband and saved as a podcast. loading those into iphoto and adding keywords and comments for searching later. Each clip is referenced to a dated dv tape.
      I don’t use iphoto much anymore since aperture, so this makes sense for me!

    • #171206

      Thanks guys. Tom, you are right on many counts. The project is not THAT big. Less than 100 tapes, but more than 50. It’s not insurmountable. I just know that at some point I’d like to do comps through the years, focusing on a family member, etc., and would love to be able to tag all sorts of good parts. But I think I just need to dig in and figure it out as I go.

      Re: your procrastination method — that’s what I’ve been relying on for years!!! πŸ˜€

      It’s all D8, and no I do not plan on getting rid of the tapes. Maybe in 5-10 yrs as you say it will be cost effective enough to transfer it all to hard drives.

      Any other suggestions, let me know…

    • #171207

      If you think you might do more of this stuff in the futute, maybe you should just invest in one or two large hard drives. After trashing the bad footage, you should have plenty of space for the good from that many tapes.

    • #171208

      Hi D,

      You know if you worked on this 2-3 hours per week for 6 months, you would be done.

      Usually reserved for my most precious tapes, but you might consider making firewire dubs to miniDV tapes of all of your original tapes since there are only 50 to 100 tapes. Simultaneously with making the firewire dubs, do what the interns do at MTV, log your material, except you can do it in one or two notebooks rather than into a computer database; your prerogative either way. Of course you are not logging all your scenes, only the nuggets that still glow after the passage of time. Legibly scribble brief description of content, using some key words, and indicating location by tape/minute/sec/frame/duration. This could be committed to a Word or Excel document later if you wanted it to look sharp, beyond being just functional. This process should make it easy to pull out the 5, 10, or 20 tapes with any content relevant to a particular subject, when the time comes to assemble the rough cut of your compilation doc. This process will also help you identify tapes you may want to lose!

      As another memory jogger, you could pull stills off of the tapes using Sony’s memory stick feature, thus creating some preliminary storyboards to ponder. The "fine" setting produces good results; if you have a super fine setting, such as on some Sony miniDV cams, so much the better.

      I find the hard part about reviewing old tapes is getting excited about images rediscovered, at the expense of progress

      REGARDS TOM 8)

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