Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Things..." episode 001.

001: Back up early, back up often.

Contrary to popular belief, film is not dead. At this point, I'm thinking it might outlive videotape. Even though I like to shoot on film, my footage gets turned into computer data soon after the negative is developed. In the past, this meant dealing with videotape. But we've gone tapeless for Interplanetary, and it's great. Instead of dealing with high-end hardware, expensive videotape cassettes, and long tape-to-computer transfer times, I just plug up a disk drive to my editing machine and copy files.

Tape does have a reliability advantage -- unlike a hard disk, a videocassette won't crash. But USB and FireWire disk drives are so inexpensive these days, why not just back up everything twice? It's kind of like a poor man's RAID.

For Interplanetary, I purchased two USB LaCie drives from OnSale.com. I paid less than $120 for each 500 GB drive. Assuming we don't go too crazy with our shooting, I should be able to back up all the raw video files for the flick twice -- once on each drive.

I hear that hard disks are more likely to die if they sit unused for long periods of time. Even if you have redundant backup drives, it's probably a good idea to spin 'em up every month or two.


Karl said...
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Karl said...

I assume that the lab does this for you? Does it also provide syncing for you? or do you do that yourself?

Congrat's on getting it in the can. Now the fun begins

Chance Shirley said...

The lab transfers the negative straight to DVCPro HD files on a disk drive I send them. They would sync sound, but that costs extra, so I just do it at home.

It's not ALL in the can. Still probably 45% of the script left to shoot. But it's nice having at least half done.

Andrew Bellware said...

Oh -- tape is dead all right. We're shooting on P2 cards, going right to data on the Panasonic HVX200 as DVCPro. And the thing about the P2 is that they're more indestructible and heartier than tape.

The transfer to other hard drives is much less than real time - and there isn't any additional data lost with transfers. And avoiding DigiBeta or (shudder) HD tapes saves a LOT of money!

Yeah, putting all the data on drives is a bit scary. We just bought two 500GB drives for remote storage in Brooklyn. I have another couple drives in New Jersey for additional off-site storage. We'll have two more 500GB drives for editing. Plus other drives to do effects work and sound on... Still, cheaper and less annoying than videotape!