Use Project Identifiers
internal or external work
client company and sometimes division or department
project: film, show, series, campaign,
Sub-project: TV episode, spot or reel number.
I worked for one company that was very particular about the importance of separating client work by name. Their clientele included several major production studios, with highly sensitive work covered by very tough non-disclosure agreements. Files for each client were carefully secured and access limited to assigned artists. All files had to start with the abbreviation of the client studio name to help prevent accidental exposure of one client's work to another.
The first case is you are asked to pull together samples of work from the last year's project. You go and select the best shots from seven shows and copy them to your sample collection folder. However, some of them have the same name. You are forced to come up with a system on the spot. Another artist, given the same task, comes up with their system. The editor, who has done this in the past, has files named and organized a third way. Confusion.
The second case is your company uses an approval pipeline that involves delivering files into folders to be processed. When each artist completes a take, they send a copy to their supervisor's review folder. He then either approves it, moving it to his supervisor's folder, or rejects it moving it to the folder, GiveNotes/. The coordinator looks in the VFX supervisor's folder and tells him there are 20 shots to review (from multiple projects) and the VFX Supervisor either forwards it to the coordinator for delivery to the editor or sends it back to the under-supervisor, logging notes in a spreadsheet. Approved files are moved to an approved takes folder. Because these moves are all on one file system, the overhead is essentially zero, but the collection of files into folders and movement to advance or revise them provides a convenient approval control system for this company. The caveat is that a project identifier is needed for each shot.
Asset Management 101 – part 7: Ten Essential Rules of File Naming 10 - Include Extra Data