Cue Naming Conventions and File Organization

There are many ways to name your cues and files. Here are a few tips on how to keep your project organized and how to take advantage of some of CueDB's features.

  1. It is recommended to keep your cue #'s unique and to avoid changing them, even if they switch order in terms of timecode. If cue #'s are already established, try to stick with them, instead of renumbering all of your cues and files when a new cut is received or a cue is added or omitted.
  2. Some people like to number their cues 1m1, others 1m01 and on projects with over 100 cues even 1m001. 1m01 is a popular choice since it will order and align titles and file names on projects with under 100 cues.
  3. Another thing some people like to do when not working with reels is to skip the first digit and use m01, m02, etc. We prefer 1m01 out of old habit.
  4. Always step up the cue #. Instead of creating 1m01 and 2m01 for a new reel, make the last number increment: 1m08 followed by 2m09. That way, the last number is all that is needed to determine which cue it is, and if a cue switches reels, you won't end up with two cues named the same. This is also crucial if you import markers into CueDB, since the cue # is what is used as reference to map the correct cues.
  5. If you're working on a TV series it's common, but personal preference, to include episode number in the cue #. Example: 101m01 for Season 1, Episode 1.
  6. Another common thing is to either include an "s" at the end of the cue # or to switch out the infix "m" to an "s" for licensed cues. Example: 1m01s or 1s01
  7. If a cue is added between two already established cue #'s, it's common to add a letter at the end of the new cue #. Ex. 1m04a.
  8. Include all of the suggestions above along with project ID and picture version in file names:

Example: TW312 1m01 v3.2 c0917 Main Title

  • TW = A 2-4 letter code for project name. In this case "The Wire"
  • 312 = Season 3, Episode 12
  • 1m01 = Reel 1, score cue and cue number 1
  • v3.2 = cue version number. Again a personal preference, but commonly the first number is version sent to production and the decimal number is your own version tracking of the cue. In this case, the third version presented to the director and the third sequencer file saved of that version.
  • c0917 = what picture version the cue is written to. Common conventions are "c" or "ct" as prefixes for "cut", followed by the month and day of when the cut was exported/received or "LOCK" for Picture Lock. Some people prefer to combine cue and picture version. Ex. v3.2c0917

This way you make sure that every file name is unique and it's easy to trace changes and keep your files in chronological order. This particular order is also handy because you can change or add cue title at a later point without altering the order.

  1. Include timecode at the end of audio file names for delivery:

Example: TW312 1m01 v3.2 c0917 Main Title

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