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What does a logger do?

If you were about to edit an hour-long unscripted TV show, you might find yourself faced with hours and hours of footage and wonder where on earth to start. Loggers watch all the rushes (raw footage) and create a detailed document describing what footage is on which tape. They ‘log’ the timecodes as they go, sometimes using specific software to do this. This enables editors to find what they need to cut together a programme.

Loggers make notes of the best footage, key themes and story arcs, sometimes transcribing parts of interviews. They note tone, as well as which bits of footage are usable and which are not.

They can work in production or post-production. During production, loggers record action as it happens. They might use a phone or tablet or take notes using pen and paper. In post-production, loggers work using footage that has already been recorded, often in an edit suite. Loggers sometimes also act as archivists, hunting out existing footage that the programme needs. They deliver these to the post-production team.

Loggers are often employed as freelancers.

What’s a logger good at?

  • Writing: be able to type quickly (50-100 words per minute) using good spelling and grammar
  • Storytelling: know what makes a good story and use strong journalistic skills to find and present them
  • Attention to detail: be meticulous in your work and accurate when presenting information, even when dealing with large amounts of data; be able to meet tight post-production deadlines
  • Editing: have a strong understanding of editing and knowledge of multiple programs, have knowledge of a variety of media formats and computer types
  • Learning by watching and asking: observe what’s happening, take initiative, ask questions at the appropriate time

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