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Old December 13th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #1
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Advice on BD for video storage

ok, I just got a call from some friends, who are in a band. They are leaving at the end of December, to go spend the next 3 months in the Caribbean, playing clubs. While they are there, they are going to try and film a reality show. I don't have a clue what equipment they are using for filming. Any how, I don't have much info about much, only they mentioned having to get a bunch of hard drives for 3 months of footage. I recommended getting an external BD burner, and just take the footage, put on their 1TB hard drive, organize into folders (date and locations, and so forth), then burn over to BD disk, and store for transport back. Then when they return, we will go through and pull out what we need for rough cut, and start piecing things back together.

Is this a good option? They seemed to get the idea that if they were going to shoot 8 hours a day, for 3 months, they would end up with 35TB of footage. And they didn't have the money to go out and buy that many drives. Plus, imo, hauling around that many drives, would risk corrupting the drives, and end up in total loss of footage, where if they burn to BD, they could store, or even ship back, and I can start to organize and put things together.

Any other suggestions? Also, and suggestions or links to a decent external BD player?

Thanks for the help,
Jeff
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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ok, I just got a call from some friends, who are in a band. They are leaving at the end of December, to go spend the next 3 months in the Caribbean, playing clubs. While they are there, they are going to try and film a reality show. I don't have a clue what equipment they are using for filming. Any how, I don't have much info about much, only they mentioned having to get a bunch of hard drives for 3 months of footage. I recommended getting an external BD burner, and just take the footage, put on their 1TB hard drive, organize into folders (date and locations, and so forth), then burn over to BD disk, and store for transport back. Then when they return, we will go through and pull out what we need for rough cut, and start piecing things back together.

Is this a good option? They seemed to get the idea that if they were going to shoot 8 hours a day, for 3 months, they would end up with 35TB of footage. And they didn't have the money to go out and buy that many drives. Plus, imo, hauling around that many drives, would risk corrupting the drives, and end up in total loss of footage, where if they burn to BD, they could store, or even ship back, and I can start to organize and put things together.

Any other suggestions? Also, and suggestions or links to a decent external BD player?

Thanks for the help,
Jeff
Jeff,

They would essentially be trading one problem for another, in this case. It would take a whopping 80 single-layer BD-Rs just to equal the storage space of one single 2TB hard drive. And given the current pricing of non-LTH BD-Rs, 35TB worth of BD-Rs with any storage or handling protection at all whatsoever would actually cost substantially more money than 35TB worth of hard drives. Plus, 80 BD-Rs (or even 40 BD-R DL discs) would take up much more space and weigh much more than a single 2TB hard drive. And that's not to mention that the optical disks are relatively easy to get scratched up enough to render them "unreadable". And BD-REs are even more expensive per GB than write-once BD-Rs.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:15 PM   #3
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You do realize that 35TB of footage will fill up about 1,400 Blu-Ray disks, at a minimum of $2 each? Whereas that amount of space would not quite fill 18 2TB Hard drives at about $100 each. So if they don't have $1,800 for 18 drives, then they certainly don't have $2,800 for 1,400 BD-Rs, plus another few hundred for the burner.

They could just ship each drive to you as they filled it up. Admittedly risky, though.

Edit: D'oh! Randall beat me to it on the math....

More fun math: A single BD-R in a jewel case weighs about 4 ounces. So 1,400 of them would weigh 350 pounds, plus packing and shipping material. Imagine the postage on that, mailed a few at a a time, or in the alternative lugging them around for three months....

The best alternative might be setting up an FTP server where they could upload nightly.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #4
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Thanks, that's the info I needed to know. I don't know anything about BD, Saw a lot of mention here, about people using BD to back up.

I've give them a rough procedure (their taking a cameraman/ assistant director with them), but they will be responsible for everything once it leaves the camera. Also they are using 4 other cameras (more hand held personal type thing (he mention 1080, and $200 each, so not sure what they are using, said mainly for B roll)). I gave them a rough set of instructions, to make sure they organize everything into files, by date and shot location. Other wise, they will be lost in a sea of footage, and will take as much time to organize, then it will to cut together.

Another reason why this is such a great place to learn, Thanks for all the help.

Jeff
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
More fun math: A single BD-R in a jewel case weighs about 4 ounces. So 1,400 of them would weigh 350 pounds, plus packing and shipping material. Imagine the postage on that, mailed a few at a a time, or in the alternative lugging them around for three months....
Compare that to a little over 20 pounds for 18 2TB hard drives.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #6
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it's going to take about 40 BluRay disks to hold a TB of video. Maybe a bit more depending. Sounds like buying a few hard drives would be a better idea.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #7
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Is there a way, without compromising the footage, to compress, and allow more footage on each drive. I passed on the above info, and they keep coming back asking for alternatives. They, apparently, didn't think this out, and don't have the money to do this right. They had asked me to come along (months ago), but I knew it would be a cluster@#%^, on a no budget, with all the wrong equipment, so I kind of just avoided becoming a part of it.

I've been lurking throughout these forums off and on for years. Recently my interest has peaked, and I'm working on getting something together for myself (more for hobby, but who knows). I did a couple music videos for them, years ago (definitely nothing I would put on a reel), but its become an obsession ever since. I told them, that in 3 1/2 months, when they return, I might be in a position, to help them edit this together, and help them make something out of it. I think its going to end up as a reality type thing for their website, and promotion. I can't imagine they think it will somehow make it to tv (If that was the case, I wouldn't be talking to me about it..lol...but I think at this point, I could handle something for their website).

Thanks again guys,
Jeff
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Old December 14th, 2010, 01:09 AM   #8
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I don't think there's any significant compression to be had without killing your resolution. I mean, you could always shoot at crappy cell-phone web resolution, like 360 x 240 (VHS Quality) and those files would be a lot smaller, but if they're chanting about 1080 they don't want that. And there's no possible distribution path at that point.

Let's see... didn't think this out... don't have the money to do this right.. a cluster@#%^, on a no budget, with all the wrong equipment...

I'd run away as fast as possible. It might sound fun, and parts of it might be, but having been down a similar road myself I can tell you, suicide will look like an attractive option before you know it.

If they really insist some compromise must be made available, ask them if they can leave 3/4 of their equipment at home, and take half of the strings off their guitars and half the keys off their keyboards, and still play their music.

It is what it is. Are you really prepared to go through 3,000 hours of footage of them BSing around and eating lunch?
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Old December 14th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #9
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Not to mention that when it comes time to edit all this mess, you will still need 35TB of drive space on your computer plus the time it takes to transfer all that footage!
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Old December 15th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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The fact that they think they can, or NEED to shoot or 8 hours a day for three months just shows how insane they are. Even based on a thirteen episode half hour series that's ver nearly a 100:1 shooting ratio! And that's assuming that it's 8 hours a day across all four cameras. If they are think 8 hours per camera that's closer to 400:1! That means they would be going through about 5 hours of just watching he footage to find 1 minute that ends up in the cut!

So to find selects for each episode you'd be looking at between 24 to 100 hours, so you'd need a minimum of three assistant editors/story editors employed full time for between 3 and 13 weeks just to log the footage!
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Old December 20th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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What makes anyone think that all these hard drives are going to survive being dragged around without special packing - or even WITH special packing.

And what makes anyone think that even if by magic they could physically drag the BD disks around they wouldn't also have huge dropouts.

And what makes anyone think that an el cheapo burner will survive burning that many disks to say nothing of surviving the rough handling it's sure to get. Oh yeah - the time it takes to burn them...

I think they're nuts!
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the information. I was invited into a production meeting for this, today. I gave them my 2 cents, and tried to convey some helpful information. The project is kind of a "travel Channel" sort of thing. Their a band, doing everything on their own, and touring the Virgin Islands, US and British (Jan, Feb, Mar), and its going to be about them going to all the local places, and experiencing what the different places have to offer. Apparently, someone from the particular channel (it wasn't the travel channel, but some knockoff of the travel channel) gave them a green light. If they can film it, edit it together, and create an interesting 30 min program, they would pick it up. They had already booked the tour, and I guess the "reality travel" show came along at the last min, and they are trying to pull it off without proper funding. I met the camera man, who is going with them. Good guy, seems to know what he's doing. He and I sat and talked a long while. (Me from a post production point of view) about what needed to happen with all this footage. I can't say there was any definitive plan put in motion. Just to note, these are friends, that I've been involved with in one way or another for the past 10 years. I did pyro technics, for their live shows, for a while. Shot a crappy promotional video (what sparked my interest in video, and sent me studying in the background of forums like this for the past 6 years). I've offered an interest in taking what footage they don't use for the tv show, and put something together for promotional/behind the scenes stuff, to be used on their website. I thought it might be a no pressure, fun thing to mess around with.

To add, I think they've realized shooting for 8 hours a day, is, as was noted above, "insane". I suggested they need to look at what was interesting in the spots they will be in, and go shoot. Not just walk around town with cameras in hand, and hope something interesting comes of it. Since Its "travel based", should make it easier to focus their attention in the right places.They already have hotels donating rooms, and restaurants donating meals, so they can get on the show. I made it clear they needed to log and file everything, and keep a notebook of each location. I think its going to come down to 1 main camera, its a JVC, don't remember the model. They really need someone, besides the cameraman, to kind of direct things as they go along. I haven't yet figured out who was in charge of putting the footage together into a show. They have a director that has done some music videos for them, and hes supplying the camera, and some equipment. I was under the impression he would be sitting along side who ever was editing, directing. But, I've found out that isn't the case. They've asked me to work on things, but I have a pretty good "theoretical knowledge" of things, my actual working skill level isn't up to par. Why I felt it would be fun to tinker with the web page/ behind the scenes stuff.

Thanks again everyone for the input. It pretty much back up what I already felt about the situation. Their my friends, and I'm always happy to throw my opinion in, especially when I have a great community of people like everyone here, to get advice and guidance from.

Jeff
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