Whenever I start a new production as a Line Producer or UPM I think about the mounds and mounds of possible paperwork that will most likely invade my desk the minute that crew and cast begin their assignments. Over the years I have found that the easiest way to make sense of all this paperwork is to create a digital workflow where every single document has a home and thus knows where to go. Once the paperwork is scanned into its appropriate folder it is then put into a physical bin with a similar physical folder structure.

You can download my FREE Low Budget Film Folder Structure HERE

Example below…

Here are a few tips to using this folder structure:

  1. Consider using it with dropbox or google drive. The thing I DO like about google drive vs dropbox is that you have the ability to share or un-share certain folders within the main folder. Example…. say you decide to share this folder structure with all department heads with the exception of certain folders such as Accounting etc…
  2. When using the system its much easier and faster to use the desktop version so that you can drag and drop files without having to login etc.
  3. Every project is slightly different so while there are certain folders that may work you may need more or less prep folders in your payroll section. Customize it to fit your needs.
  4. Take some time with your office staff, ad dept to explain the folder structure. Don’t assume that because you have shared a folder system with them…that everyone will instantly use it the way you would like them to.
  5. Make a habit of getting invoices, quotes, receipts into these bins the instant they hit your email. Do you really want to track these down when wrapping the show weeks or months later?
  6. If you are using a MAC I tend to color folders RED for missing docs and GREEN for completed docs. Sometimes if a document is in process I will color the document YELLOW. Using colors and this stoplight system help you and your team to figure out what is missing. Example is when you might be missing a W9 from an actor etc…