If you are one of those who has watched and followed STAR TREK, you would have heard this phrase very often:  “ Captain log, Star Ship Enterprise, July 7, ……”.  The idea of logging there was to record day by day events that happen during the journey of Star Ship Enterprise. 

The idea of logging in television is to note down what is available at a given part of the tape.   In professional video recorders a separate track on the tape notes the length of time the tape has been recorded.  This is called time-code.  This will never change irrespective of from where you play the tape or in which machine.   So for every frame there is a specific Time-Code popularly called TC.

Based on this TC one can note at what time, what footage is available.  An example of logging is given below:


00.01.30 – Shots of college

00.02.30 – CU Bhelpuriwala

00.03.00 – I/V Student

00.03.25 – Talks about the taste

00.03.55- Talks about hygiene (Good bite)

00.04.20- Talks about style (NG)

Logging is very useful both during scripting and editing of the story.  Never script without logging as a crucial shot you thought your cameraman took was never taken or if the angle missed the impact of the event.

Labelling Tapes:  As soon as a tape is recorded, do not forget to label the tape and lock the record tab.  This is done to avoid accidental erasure.

Logging while shooting:  The time-code of an important event shot can be noted at the time of the recording itself…from the Camcorder.   In the breaking news scenario such a noting helps a lot as one can send back the tape with the time code mentioned for immediate retrieval by the production team in the studio.   This can save crucial seconds for being the first with the news.