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Use Show Codes In Your Emails

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: That VFX Shot :/

What's the Problem?

Assistant editors are usually only on one show at a time. However, AEs are responsible for communicating with many different departments. Departments like visual effects, online teams, sound teams, music supervisors, and more, often work on multiple shows at a time.

What is a Show Code?

The show code is the three or four-letter representation of the title of the show. It is used in file names, emails, and as a shorthand in communications. Ask your post supervisor or coordinator for the code at the beginning of the show.


The name of the show is This Fake Television Show.

The show code could be "TFTS" or "FTS" or "TFS." When I asked the post team, they let me know that the official code is TFS.

*IMPORTANT TIP: If you're on a high-security show (like a Marvel show), ask if you're allowed to use the real show code, or if they have fake code that you should use to protect communications.

Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Imagine yourself in one of the previously mentioned departments. If you're working on multiple shows, you need to prioritize. Every show you're working on is important, but sometimes a show with a deadline today at 5 pm must come before a show that has a deadline next Friday. You need a quick way to scan your email for updates from your priority show.

It Takes Two to Tango

Is someone else's inbox your concern? Sort of! If your email has a subject line that seems like spam, a personal communication, or a low priority, you will not get a reply in a timely manner, or worse, you won't get a reply at all. Making your email clearly work-related helps to guarantee a response.

Use It All The Time

You might look at this and say, "Well, if only outside departments need the code then why should I use it all the time?"

Because otherwise, you won't remember. Let's be honest, AEs are busy. Why add something to your plate? If you use the code for every email then you don't need to stop and analyze who you're sending an email to. It can be automatic, and therefore, never forgotten.

Compare These Subject Lines

  1. Subject: That Spaceship Shot

  2. Subject: TFS - VFX Needs Quick Tweak - Shot TFS_01_020

If you were on the visual effects team, which email would you answer first?


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