For all of us living in the digital age storing media often can be a huge challenge. We can literally wipe out an entire day of shooting with a push of a button or two which is potentially a dangerous situation that should be treated very carefully and with an extra precaution. These days everything is shot on some type of media card whether it’s an SD card, Solid State Drive or Compact Flash.
It turns out that we no longer have a Master, at least not in the conventional way that generations of filmmakers before us used to have and take for granted. Media managing nowadays has become a paramount aspect of the creative process, especially for the bigger projects where the value and responsibility for the captured footage are even higher. The following video covers some essential tips and tricks that can help us to improve our media managing workflow, thus ensuring a better protection for our work.
Whether you are shooting with a camera that provides a dual slot recording system such as the Canon C100, C300 or Canon 5D Mark III, or you have an external device that captures the video feed out of your camera simultaneously, it’s always recommended to make at least two digital masters of your footage whenever you can.
This is tremendously practical and helpful in a variety of situations where, for instance, you don’t have an extra time to dump a hard drive and copy the captured footage while being on set, or you need to handle the raw footage right away at the end of the shooting day, but you still want to keep a copy for yourself. Most importantly, if one of the media cards eventually becomes corrupted you still will have a backup copy of your files.
I still remember a case when a local production lost all of their master footage after the vehicle that was carrying the film cans got involved in a car accident on the way to the film laboratory, and everything burned out, the van included. Fortunately, there were no casualties and the studio eventually managed to release the movie using the ProRes backup files captured on the external recorders.
When managing your footage, it’s also a good practice to use a standard folder template set up for every project when managing your media. Initially, you need to organise the footage as neatly and logically as possible, thus making it a lot easier for you or anyone else working with the material to find the bits and pieces quickly and efficiently.
As -a-rule-of-thumb you should set up a Master Project Folder and then create subfolders whether it’s for a particular camera, or media card, оr a scene, or any other element of the project you are going to need later in post production. The great thing is that you need to create this empty folder structure only once, and then you can quickly copy it for various projects.
At last, but not least, be extremely cautious with your media cards and always carry them in a storage case. Use only a top-rated name-brand media cards, utilise the write protect tab as soon as you eject the card (in case you have this as an available option) and make sure that also your media is appropriately labeled.