If we’re preaching to the converted with this, then feel free to move on, but for those content creators or producers who aren’t keeping a shoot log (or metadata sheet) then you’re a fool! Honestly, just this simple doc will save you hours of time, make sure your content goes on as many platforms as you’re on, reduces mistakes and lets you find ‘stuff’ in a jiffy.
So, what IS a shoot log?
Nothing complicated. Something -anybody- can and should be able to set up and maintain within minutes. We’re talking about a simple Google sheet; you can use Excel if you’re a Microsoft user, of course. We like to use a google sheet because you can call it up whenever you’ve got internet access (and in fact, you can work on them offline, even on your phone)
Google sheets are a spreadsheet tool, which sounds awfully technical, but is actually just a grid. You then add ‘stuff’ to that grid, paint and decorate it as you like, but the important thing is that grid will contain your info that you’ll refer back to again and again.
Well, think about it. As a content creator, you’ve no doubt shot dozens, maybe hundreds of scenes. How do you refer to them? Or catalogue them? Do you know what niches or categories each scene fits? Do you know which of them you’ve added to Onlyfans, or Manyvids, or your own website?
A shoot log is simply a document you maintain which keeps all that info in one place for you to refer to. Here’s an example of mine so you can see what we’re talking about;
This is quick grab from my one – yours might well need to be different and there’s ‘stuff’ I want to do to mine to make things a bit easier to work with, but I’ll come onto that. In the areas marked above
(A) This is an index. Give every scene you make an ID. Then when you keep your folders of content, pics, release paperwork etc, keep them in a folder named with the same ID number. (see below)
(B) This area shows who was in the scenes. (In hindsight, there’s a better way to keep this info – I’ll cover that later in this post)
(C) These columns show which platforms that I’ve posted those scenes on to. Without keeping track of this, its impossible to know what has gone where, and its easy to get lost.
(D) This column shows which scenes we’ve published on DVD and the title of those DVDs. Without keeping a track of this, we’d always run the risk of adding the same scenes to later DVDs, irritating buyers who then wouldnt buy our titles in future.
(E) Aaah now, the other thing you can do is highlight if you’ve got anything which is broken and shouldn’t be used. In the case of the highlighted video above, some idiot forgot to turn on his shotgun mic when he was shooting, so got a lovely silent film. Sadly the days of Charlie Chaplain and Harold Lloyd have long since gone by and folks are actually used to hearing audio with their videos these days!
Oh, forgot to mark it but it’s also worth noting with my shoot log, is I’ve also kept a record of WHEN those scenes were shot. Platforms such as Faphouse (previously known as XhamsterPremium) ask you for when scenes were produced, so this is good info to have to hand.
Filtering to show only what you need
In addition to the detail listing above, Google docs (and equivalents) all have facilities to set up filters. These are ways to hide data that you don’t want to see, and leave shown specific data that you DO want to see.
For example, lets say one of your customers wants more content you’ve shot that features a particular model that they’re into (Eg. Alexxavice). See the example below;
In the above;
(A) Shows an example of a google sheet (Shoot ID, year, date shot, content type, models)
(B) Once you’ve set up filters on the columns of your sheet, you can click on a filter. In this case, we’ve clicked the ‘model’ filter which now shows you the models listed from the column, and you can then tick or clear models you do or don’t want to see. In our case, lets say we want to only show content featuring Alexxavice. So, you click Alexxavice then click OK.
(C) Google Sheets (or equivalent) would then hide everything else apart from Alexxavice.
So, in our fantasy example, you can now filter through your hundreds of scenes and filter down to just show you scenes featuring Alexxavice, or just scenes which satisfy a niche, or just with any particular outfit, or whatever.
Filters are powerful and just means you can get access to your info quickly. Once you set your Shoot log up, keep it maintained every time you make new content and you’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes invaluable.