question of the week is back and we would love to hear from you. feel free to use the field at the top of the blog, the discussion section or even a simple email to get in touch to send us your questions and thoughts. we like to think we’re pretty cool but not cool enough to read your mind so let’s hear it :)
for this week Anna and Kevin had a great question about archiving:
As you well know, videos take up an incredible amount of storage space and we do have a RAID setup in our office. However, now that it’s come time to swap out drives, we’re wondering how many copies of our work to keep. Do we keep just one copy and swap out one drive in the array? Or do we swap both out, buy two new drives and start clean?
Also, do you have any recommendations on how to store the used hard drives? We’re currently just thinking of sticking them in anti-static bags and putting them in a fireproof and waterproof safe, but were wondering if you had a more elegant solution.
Thanks again for all of the amazing work your team does! We look forward to seeing more both on the commercial and wedding sides! And thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give!
which is also pretty similar to Braden’s question:
how do you handle storage and backing up? the final size for most of my DSLR weddings ends up being roughly 200gb. do you keep all of the original files, and do you back up on more than one hard drive? is there a hard drive brand you prefer? thanks so much!
Paul is our post-production guru and he has some great points to share about our archival system.
thanks for the great question guys. we definitely understand your challenge with managing crazy amounts of media, and we weren’t always as organized as we are now. it’s taken a fair amount of trial and error (and financial investment in hard drives) to get to the system that we use today. so far, it’s proven to be a very cost effective and efficient solution.
it’s easy to get overly paranoid about deleting files or even entire project folders that can easily use up all your hard drive space. what we’ve found to be the most efficient use of our space is once a project is completed, delivered, and signed off on, we use the Media Manager tool in Final Cut 7. this is an extremely powerful tool. what it does is takes everything that is on your timeline, and put’s it into a new project file with it’s own corresponding media folder. this will make it completely self contained without all of the extra footage or files that you’ve brought into your editing project.
you can find this by going to: FILE >> Media Manager. the equivalent in Adobe Premiere CS5 is called Project Manager, and you can find this by clicking: Project >> Project Manager.
the main thing you will notice is how much it will drastically decrease the size of your project and thus making it much more efficient for storage. we use this tool for all film projects, whether it be commercial, wedding, narrative or documentary related. for example, when a wedding film is completed, we would have a media managed folder for the main feature, highlights, and same day edit.
once we’ve media managed all of our films, would archive all the original audio sources, as well as the final exports of the films (whether it be dvd, blu-ray, or high res .mov’s). that way if you ever get a call from someone wanting more copies of a film, you’ll save a lot of time not having to re-export everything for them. using this method can easily turn a 200+GB project into less than 50 GBs.
when our media managed project is finished, we archive the master folder to our server under the corresponding year that it was produced. we then backup the same master folder to a separate hard drive that is stored offsite. now that our project is officially archived, we can delete all the other copies including the raw footage, and recycle the drives that were being used. in general we wait until 2 months after delivery before archiving in case there are any last minute revisions.