RESEARCH – Sessions: Structuring Saves

[GR1 + PER1]

A solidly dull topic for a research blog this but pretty useful to the general cause of managing five post on five films.

We should receive picture lock for our final three films by the end of this week, and we’ve been working post on the two we already have rough cuts for a couple of weeks prior to this. With multiple people now working simultaneously in different environments, we’re just getting to the point where things can potentially get complicated in terms of versioning and data management, which I thought was worthy of a look over to see if our process can be made fitter.

At present, the only nod towards sensible data management we operate (I say we, really I operate it and people tend to follow my lead in the matter because I tend to get in first and set the basic sessions up) is a basic versioning of session files and semi-regular backups of our work in two places. This isn’t very effective, and our semester A project’s main folder ended up looking like this –

Shot of George File FolderShot of George File Folder

It’s pretty straightforward though, V15 is four versions later than v11, and I add extra detail where appropriate like ‘SC3 Foley Work’ for example. This is just about workable when we’re a small group working largely on one system with the only external work being that of importing occasional files like comped music tracks into the pre-existing session, but is going to need improving as we’re now working on multiple assets for the same film simultaneously in different places.

A quick google search brings up some advice on simple changes that can be made, which is actually aimed at software app makers but is applicable here –

WEB - FIlenaming

My current system definitely means files suffers from being indistinguishable from one another, especially since I tend to put the V number at the end of the filename, where it’s always helpfully cut off by the Mac finder dialogue in load screens which leaves me reliant on the system’s date ordering and the presumption the top file is latest in the list.

“…Strong naming conventions are essential in order to maintain an efficient pipeline,” (Production Pipeline Fundamentals for Film and Games, 193)

Digging a little deeper into more specific literature for audio project management (actually referring to the even more data-complex games industry) I found the following key concepts to help me hit some of the aims above, demonstrated on George version 1.1 below.

  • Seperation of name elements – So, georgev11foleyfinal becomes george_v11_foley_final
  • Consistent use of capitals – george_v11_foley_final becomes George_V11_Foley_FINAL
  • Better structuring of sections for listing purposes – George_V11_Foley_FINAL becomes V11_George_Foley_FINAL
  • Better use of the numerics (add 0’s) – V11_George_Foley_FINAL becomes 01-1_George_Foley_FINAL
  • More consistent and specific descriptives – 01-1_George_Foley_FINAL becomes 01-1_George_Foley_COMPLETE

I will be adopting this regimen for Descent as it’s post-production begins, and all our groups’ films should have a designated central machine upon which all the audio and session data is regularly consolidated which would sensibly be the machine upon which the film is going to be mixed. it will then be up to the mixer and supervisor to manage any incoming data from anybody working on the film elsewhere such as music files and sessions or editing sessions, and I would suggest the regimen here is augmented with something like an x01-1_George_Dialogue_EDIT_GB filename to differentiate work that is taking place elsewhere from the ‘master’ files.

This thinking about process will also naturally lead on to discussion of our system of backups, and I think it’s prudent and will be suggesting that supervisors for each film get into the habit of backing up the main version of their work at least every couple of days when post-work is in regular progress. [GR1 + PER1]

—– 650Words



Research into more sensible file-naming regimen and better data management – Research.


  • [GR1] To professionally operate as a small to medium size  company (or other recognisable business entity) in the audio production / post-production field might.
  • [PER1]  To develop a better understanding of the pros and cons of business structures, processes and agreements which might enable film audio producers to collaborate on multiple projects

Project Overview, individual film synopses and Learning Outcomes

Semester B – Audio Project 2 Group Members

Alice Asbury –

Gareth Bailey –

Anthony Belcher –

Rory Hunter –

Matthew Jones –


Project Overview

The students will collaborate to provide audio services ranging from location recording, post-production sound design / mixing and music composition to five films as a research exercise focussed on managing and completing multiple projects in an appropriate way.

The five films consist of two 15 – 20 minute short films, one 10 – 12 minute short film, one 4 – 6 minute short film and one 3 – 4 minute animation. The films are detailed below along with the relevant group member designated as it’s project manager. This person will act as main point of contact for their designated director / producer, will direct the overall sound design of the piece, and will manage the allocation of resources to the project.

The entire group are jointly responsible for the final quality (with reference to individual and collaborative contributions to the soundtrack of the films) and delivery (with reference to individual and collective contributions to the day to day running of the Omni-Gaffer Productions ‘business’) of all five films as one artifact.


Film Synopsis and Details

Remember – Garden Gnome Films

Dilpret Rall – Director/Producer/Editor

Olivia Thompson – Camera/Producer/Editor

Client Sound Requirements: location sound recording, music composition, post-production sound design/mixing.

Synopsis (15 – 20 minutes):

Remember is a film that tells the story of a man’s life told by his family and friends. Arthur is a strong and caring man who is tragically put into a coma after an accident. In hospital he is visited by his friends and family, they share stories around the bed and paint a vivid picture of his amazing life.

Audio Project Manager: Anthony Belcher –
Feel Good – Big Blue Bear Productions

Fiona Shaw – Producer

Thomas Love – Director/Writer

David Devine – Writer/Location Sound

Kane Brookes – Cinematographer

Client Sound Requirements: music composition, post-production sound design/mixing.

Synopsis (15 – 20 minutes):

Feel Good is set in a near future where a ground breaking discovery has made it possible to bottle and market emotions.

Audio Project Manager: Alice Asbury


Descent – Extant Films

Shaun Standring – Producer/Writer

Angelin Selvanathan – Director

Charlotte Hughes – Art Director

Client Sound Requirements: location sound recording, music composition, post-production sound design/mixing.

Synopsis (10 – 12 minutes):

A short psychological drama which mainly follows one character as he goes about his life inconspicuously, however, it soon turns out he has underlying issues that come to the surface as the plot thickens.

Audio Project Manager: Gareth Bailey


Immort – dir. Jacob Redfern

Holly Oakes – Producer

Jacob Redfern – Director/Writer/Editor

Nicholas Thornthwaite – Cinematographer

Samantha Dos Santos – VFX Artist

Lyon Owen – VFX Artist

James Smillie – VFX Artist

Client Sound Requirements: location sound recording, music composition, post-production sound design/mixing.

Synopsis (4 – 6 minutes):

Immort, is a sci-fi short film with the dystopian theme of humanity being immortal due to the public distribution of nanobots. The protagonist Sici is dissatisfied with how little control she has over her fully automated life. Through technological experimentation, Sici makes an attempt to end her life. The film questions the purpose of living when you can never die. 

Audio Project Manager: Matthew Jones


Catastrophe/Sour Puss – Team Cipher

Esther Langan – Animator

Holly Burch – Animator

Jameela Howard – Animator

Konstantinos Zacharakis – Animator

Natalie O’Connell – Animator

Client Sound Requirements: music composition, sound design/mixing.

Synopsis (3 – 4 minute animation):

Starts with a shot of a cat waking up to the sound of a doorbell. It watches its owner walk to the door, receive a package, then walk into the kitchen. The cat follows her in; where there is a bowl bad tasting cat food is waiting for him. He looks dissatisfied and watches as his owner opens a cupboard and stretches for something at the back of the top shelf. A bowling ball (that is on the top shelf) with a little paw print on it starts to roll down and hits the owner on the head, knocking her out. As she lies on the floor, the cat stares at her stoically. It cuts to the cat washing his paws, then walking upstairs, to the owner’s bedroom. He dresses up as his owner and essentially takes her place.

Audio Project Manager: Rory Hunter

Group Aim

To manage the process of creating the above soundtracks collectively, and to deliver these soundtracks to a good standard and to the client’s specifications.

Group Objectives

  • [GR1] To professionally operate as a small to medium size company (or other recognisable business entity) in the audio production / post-production field might.
  • [GR2] To organise and fulfil an operating strategy and schedule which deals with multiple productions simultaneously, and which maximises efficiency and minimises issues or risks to delivery.
  • [GR3] To provide a professional standard of service in respect to location sound recording and post-sound design / mixing.
  • [GR4] To conceive, compose, source and / or produce music to client specifications that synergistically supports the other components of their films.
  • [GR5] To produce soundtracks comprising of foley, SFX, dialogue, music and atmospheres to client specifications that synergistically support the other components of their films.

Outcomes and Learning in the context of Moving Picture Industry roles

  • [IN1] To successfully manage the provision of service by the business for the film Descent with regard the assignment of resources, specialisms and working time, liason with the director, editor and producer on a practical and creative level, and communication of information on their needs and requirements for the piece, in order to appraise the efficacy of the collaborative approach to working on the piece – (Supervisor and Company Officer)
  • [IN2] To develop a better understanding of the craft and industry of a Dubbing Mixer, and to contribute to the dub mixing required for presentation of the artifact – (Dubbing Mixer)
  • [IN3] To better my understanding of sound design with at least some reference to the science fiction genre – (Sound Effects Editor)

Personal Learning Outcomes

  • [PER1]  To develop a better understanding of the pros and cons of business structures, processes, regulations and agreements which might enable film audio producers to collaborate on multiple projects.
  • [PER2] To develop a better understanding of the wording and content of contracts, rates and rate cards offered in the film audio field.
  •  [PER3] To expand my knowledge of the theory of and audio techniques deployed in films similar to or influential upon those we will deliver.
  • [PER4] To contribute extensively to multiple film productions.