I have a shoebox full of minidv tapes and I need to start capturing and logging them. Of course I want to get it right from the start. How should I log the footage? I'm talking more about technique and strategy as opposed to technical equipment. (I"m planning on using my Sony HDR A1e to capture the footage onto my PC with Adobe Premiere). But I want to capture the story and events at the same time into a paper log.

2 Answers 2


There isn't an easy answer here. It depends on a lot of factors. If you have constant timecode on each tape then you can batch log. Batch logging allows you to go through abs document clips prior to capture and the run captures simply by running tapes.

If you don't have consistent time code then that option goes out the window as batch capture gets confused on broken timecode.
At that point you will want to just capture the tapes manually and possibly use scene detection if your log tool provides it.

Even when manually logging, you can record details in the file meta data. Make sure to record the tape number or name and which piece of time code it is from.

  • Bear in mind, I'm a beginner. And I'm pretty sure that the timecode will be messed up somewhere, because we were amateurs when we filmed. So manual logging process tips would be appreciate.d Nov 23, 2014 at 16:47
  • Just to clarify. I will sit and watch the footage and write down what happens at what time. What infomration do I need to capture? Nov 23, 2014 at 16:50
  • I don't understand what 'batch logging' is Dec 1, 2014 at 22:50
  • 1
    It is a feature in most professional editing packages. It let's you setup start and stop times for clips you want to capture and then goes through them in a semi automated manner. It prompts you for the tape and then takes care of seeking, recording and stopping the clips on the tape for you. Then it prompts for the next tape.
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 1, 2014 at 23:01

I think the best tool for manual logging is Adobe Prelude. I'm not to deep into Prelude. But I guess as it is also integrated with Premiere you might capture your footage directly to Prelude and add keywords and marks there. Prelude is build to work completely with the keyboard, so you can go through the footage very fast. I guess this might be the best way to log your footage and add tags and information to it. You than can also easily import the footage to Premiere.

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