Casey Neistat’s Archiving System to Keep Track of His Footage

Casey Neistat’s Archiving System to Keep Track of His Footage 


Storing footage and finding an efficient archiving system to keep track of what is where and use it back over years can feel overwhelming and challenging.

Casey Neistat has been filming his life and making stories on videos for a solid decade. In the past two years, things have accelerated when Neistat started to daily vlog, recording from first a Canon point-and-shoot and slowly expanding to DSLRs, iPhone, GoPro, Drones etc.


If you’ve ever downloaded video footage, imagine how much data Neistat stores daily. I actually have the answer: as of October 2016, 20 to 60 Go daily when he shoots in HD, multiplied by 2 because Neistat is a cautious storyteller and he backs up everything, and up to 300Go daily when he soots in 4K. (whaaaat…)

So of course, we won’t debate about the budget that involves, but just storing everything, even once, isn’t enough. What’s always fascinated me is Neistat’s ability to find and use archives in his current videos.

How does he do that?

Like many top performers, once Neistat identifies a repetitive need, he implements a system. His second talent is implement clean and simple systems.

Your first reaction might be: organise into themes (family, new york, running, boosted boards, my kids, the office…) The problem is that those themes often overlap, and then within those themes it might become chaos. I don’t know if Neistat uses tags, but those would be at best a way to use them.

What he does instead is archive his footage following our universal timeline: YEAR > MONTH > DAY > MEDIUM:

That’s it. It seems simple, and yet, simple is sometimes the less obvious path. It turns out that that’s exactly the system I used while doing my 100 Days of Videos creative challenge last Spring, but until that point, I was organising my footage in what seemed like a more detailed way and really ended up being a counter-intuitive research tool.

You always remember kind of when you did this or that thing, but you don’t always remember if you decided it was more of a family topic, or travel topic.

If you’d like to see the full video from Casey Neistat, check it below. A big thanks to the subreddit dedicated to Neistat and particularly jeixo for replying quickly with the right video (Adversely, Neistat’s vlog is a challenge for your memory. Finding a 30 seconds sequence can be challenging)

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