5 Ways to Edit More Efficiently + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, C. Fitz

5 Ways to Edit More Efficiently

To edit a documentary can be a tricky, sometimes frustrating business, even for the more seasoned veterans. But for the less experienced, the edit can just be a downright intimidating, or worse, even project-ending phase.


We, of course, do not want this to happen to any of you. So for the opening salvo of this week’s episode, we’ve put together a list of suggestions that will not only help ease your editing pain, but it should get you to be able to edit in a more efficient manner!


Podcast Conversation

In our conversation this week, we spoke with television & marketing vet, commercial and documentary filmmaker, C. Fitz, who while finishing up on her first doc (ShowGirls, Provincetown, MA), came across instant inspiration for her latest documentary, Jewel’s Catch One, in the form of her awe-inspiring and charismatic subject, Jewel Thais-Williams.


Topics Discussed

  • can documentary films truly create change?
  • how can our documentary subjects sometimes inspire us as people?
  • how her reality tv experience informed her documentary work
  • how social media is now critical to a documentary filmmaker


Related Resources

As mentioned in our opening segment on 5 Ways to Edit More Efficiently, number four was Create a Drive Infrastructure. As promised, I’ve taken a screenshot of the drive infrastructure that I always use on projects. Feel free to use yourself. Play around with it, see what works for you, what doesn’t, add or subtract folders as you see fit. And by all means, share with us some of your drive infrastructure ideas, by leaving a comment below!


Film Trailer

Watch the trailer for Jewel’s Catch One


Help Jewel

Please consider helping get C. Fitz and Jewel Thais-Williams get Jewel’s Catch One out and into the world by making a contribution of any size to their GoFundMe campaign.



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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.


  1. Julie on 11/06/2017 at 4:14 AM

    Ironically, while setting up a refreshed version of my editing command center this evening, I was delighted to hear one of your tips was about how to keep one’s computer desk. I smiled when you mentioned that too much clutter and decor can be distracting and that helped seal the deal on a few items I’d be thinking about hanging in front of my desk. 🙂

    I also appreciate you sharing your Drive Infrastructure. Your format looks simple and logical enough. Thanks for sharing that.

    • thedocu5 on 11/06/2017 at 12:15 PM

      Hi Julie, yeah its funny how sometimes what seems to be a simple suggestion actually turns out to be just the thing we need to hear. That happens a lot for me! 😉

      Are there any things that you have found successful that you might impart to us?


      • Julie on 11/06/2017 at 9:55 PM

        I sit so that the window is to my right and right next to me. I’m not always looking out there but it is nice to remember this strange thing they call the outdoors when in the middle of a 12+ hour editing binge. Keeps me from going stir crazy.

        • thedocu5 on 11/06/2017 at 10:21 PM

          Ah, yes. Windows to my left. (Just not directly in front!)

  2. Brina on 06/18/2018 at 4:53 PM

    Hi Chris!

    Thanks for sharing that screenshot. I am currently transcribing and organizing footage for my own doc, but I’m wondering how you organize your footage specifically? I’ve been doing it by day and then by theme/activity within the day – but then I get confused as to whether it’s more efficient to have all of the sound bites in their own separate folder or keep them in the folder of the activity. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


    • Chris on 06/20/2018 at 7:31 PM

      Hi Brina,

      I generally will organise by day, by camera, then by card. After this, I’ll start pulling soundbytes that I might use later and put these in a bin called Pulls. (In the Pull Bins I have different sequences labeled with subject matter of various soundbytes.)

      Does that answer your question?

      What kind of a doc project are you currently working on? Thanks for listening to TDL, Brina!

      If you ever have any other thoughts, suggestions, or questions, feel free to email me directly at Chris@barangfilms.com .

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