Why Redundancy is a Good Thing in the Digital AgeJanuary 13th, 2010 By Jennifer Isenhart Boise Video Production, Idaho Video Production | Comments 2
As digital production moves away from video tape, post production work-flow and backup procedures become more important than ever.
It seems like it happened in the blink of an eye. Tape is gone. Gone with it is a “hold it in your hand” assurance that all the work that went into planning, lighting, directing and shooting your project is safe.
Enter: the completely digital production, from field acquisition to final delivery. Ones and Zeros all the way. While shooting directly to hard drive has many benefits, including a streamlined work flow that cuts down hours (and costs) in the edit suite, it also lays open your project to the potentially devastating loss of all that digital data.
I know someone who recently suffered through one such disaster. The local producer/editor had just finished up a video project for a business client and was kicking back with the satisfied feeling of a job well done when– this is no joke– his DOG jumped up on the table and knocked over his media drive, sending it crashing to the floor. The small, firewire hard drive held the only copies of his digital media. And since his project was shot with a digital HD camera, there were no shoot tapes for backup. His client’s entire project laid there, lifeless on the floor. When he tried to fire up the drive again all he got was a sickening clicking sound, the worst sound ever known to man (at least to that man in that particular situation).
How to prevent this kind of disaster? Redundant media storage. The solution can be as simple as copying all your media onto a second hard drive that sits on the shelf, just in case. Or, you can spend some money and integrate what is widely considered the safest solution: a RAID level 5 system. A RAID (redundant array of independent discs) distributes data across multiple hard drives, but the array is seen by the computer as one single disk. In a RAID5 if any single drive fails, the user simply removes the bad drive, replaces it with a new one and the RAID will rebuild itself, restoring all media that existed on that drive to its original state. Voila. One of the best side benefits: producers and editors can sleep at night knowing their digital footage is safe from loss.
Our friend with the dog found out the hard way how painful it can be to lose digital media. He had to go back to the very beginning and re-shoot footage for his project.
Constantly repeating yourself in social settings may not be cool. But redundancy in digital production is critical (did I say that before?). Redundant storage protects your project from loss. If you’re planning to produce any kind of movie– from a YouTube sizzle reel to a major motion picture– you’ll need to know that your production company has it. Redundant media storage systems like the ones we have in place here at Wide Eye Productions offer peace of mind to our staff and our clients. And our meticulous archiving system ensures the posterity of every completed project.
So next time you gather bids from a variety of production companies, make sure you ask what methods they use to backup and archive their digital media projects. Ask them if they have a redundant media storage system, then ask them again.