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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:53 AM   #1
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Whats the best way to catalog tape?

When it comes to cataloging and filing tapes is there any special way to do so? Should I use one tape for an interview even if it there is more room on the tape for other stuff? Should I use each tape to its max capacity? When do other people do? I am making a documentary of my deployment in Afghanistan and was looking for the best way to do this. I have no problem purchasing tapes by the case, thats by far the cheapest part of this project but I want to know the best, most effective and easiest way to use them to make life easier now and when it comes to post?

Chris
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:57 AM   #2
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I don't really have an answer for you as every assignment is different, but just think in 4 years time, when you want ot find the tape with *that* sequence on it, how are you gonna locate it?

With my corporate filming, I start a new tape for each client, but that's obvious.. isn't it? :-)

If it's of any interest to you, I spoke to a guy who'd done a similar thing to you.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/7005126.stm

If you were really keen and it would help, I maybe could get in touch with him for you?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:45 AM   #3
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How you use the tape is up to you. Given where you'll be it probably makes more sense to use the tape completely as you'll have less tape to deal with in the end.

More important is immediately dating, numbering and putting a brief description on each tape so when you return home it will be easier to log the footage.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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Chris, That would be GREAT. I would love and welcome the chance to speak to him since we share a common bond. I figured that this would be a "simple" question with simple answers but one never knows. I was going to just shoot each interview on it's own tape, and each scene on its own tape also. I do not have a story line or a script, that is being written each day so I am writing this as I go along. I have in my head though an idea of what I want to show the world.

Should I even be concerned about making it "easier" to transfer from tape to an editing machine when I come home or just stay focused on getting the footage? Thats why I suggested about using one tape for one thing and not many. Maybe my priorities are backwards!

Chris
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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I find it's easier to remember where something is if you always move forward with tape. I NEVER go back and start "filling in" blank space on shot tapes, you'll sit there saying "but RIGHT after that interview, I shot this B-roll so it SHOULD be at the beginning of this next tape".

I ALWAYS start an interview on new tape, unless I'm 1 - 5 minutes in on a 40 or 60 minute load. I change tape after interviews unless I'm shooting B-roll of the same person I just interviewed.

I increment my timecode in 2 hour increments for 1 hour (64 minute) tapes and 1 hour for 40 minute loads, so that I should NEVER have two tapes with the same timecode. I pre-stripe bars and tone with the appropriate timecode on the beginning of all my field tapes and then run regen timecode to pick up the TC on tape.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #6
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Shaun, you lost me after pre stripe and tone... I have a "Home made" slate with no digital features. I am following you about marking the tapes. Well I guess unless I will only be using a tape for 5 min or so then keep one tape for one scene. Lets just say I decide to shoot some basic footage on the base of things like the recreation facility, dining facility, playing baseball etc should I use one tape for each event even if there might only be 20 min or so? Should I use some tapes just to record sound onto for post?

Chris
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #7
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Chris,

It would be in your best interest take a some sort of video production class. From your comments it's pretty clear that you don't know what you don't know. You'll end up wasting a lot of time and money if you don't get some professional instruction before you deploy. Your local community college or arts council will have info about video production classes. Good shooting.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #8
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Sorry if I confused you.

What I do is:
-At the beginning of every tape I expect to shoot over a day, week, whatever I
1. Set my camera to record Timecode starting with 01:00:00:00 for the first tape. Then I record 30 seconds of bars and tone from the in-camera generator.
2. Remove that tape.
3. Set my camera to record Timecode starting with 02:00:00:00 for the second tape. Then I record 30 seconds of bars and tone from the in-camera generator.
4. Repeat until I'm happy that I've got enough tapes for what I plan to shoot.
5. Remove tape from camera.
6. Set camera timecode to Regen (Regenerate timecode from TC found on tape)
7. Insert my first tape. The camera will now "pick up" timecode from tape and allow me to continue shooting with continuous timecode from that point.
8. When I eject that tape and insert the next tape, the camera will "pick up" it's timecode, in our example above starting at around 02:00:30:00 because I have 30 seconds of bars and tone.

The reason I do things this way is so that I know that tape 1 IS in fact Tape 1 because TC on tape is in the 01:00:000:00 range. 02:00:00:00 range for tape 2 etc.

This only works if your camera allows you to set timecode. For consumer cameras, this probably won't work, although you could pre-record bars and tone in a pro camera first...

Hope this helps...

PS. If your tape allows for more than 60 minutes of recording, you may have overlap of timecodes. For example: after shooting 63 minutes on Tape 1, your end timecode will be 02:03:00:00, even though you are on tape one, due to the hour "roll-over" after 60 minutes.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
What I do is:
-At the beginning of every tape I expect to shoot over a day, week, whatever I
1. Set my camera to record Timecode starting with 01:00:00:00 for the first tape. Then I record 30 seconds of bars and tone from the in-camera generator.
2. Remove that tape.
3. Set my camera to record Timecode starting with 02:00:00:00 for the second tape. Then I record 30 seconds of bars and tone from the in-camera generator.
4. Repeat until I'm happy that I've got enough tapes for what I plan to shoot.
5. Remove tape from camera.
6. Set camera timecode to Regen (Regenerate timecode from TC found on tape)
7. Insert my first tape. The camera will now "pick up" timecode from tape and allow me to continue shooting with continuous timecode from that point.
8. When I eject that tape and insert the next tape, the camera will "pick up" it's timecode, in our example above starting at around 02:00:30:00 because I have 30 seconds of bars and tone.
Excelent. I'd do this for future recordings. Add to this:

- I label all tapes. You can find whatever system you like, till now I have had just rolling numbers, but with the above I think I will change to use Project-Tape#

- I keep a book where I take notes on the recording, for each tape I create a page with the tape label and meta data: date, place, people, offset on the tape for each part.

These allow me to find the desired recording without having to review everything first.

Tape is cheap so I prefer to waste and not have non related stuff on the same tape. It also comes handy if you record for different people so you don't mix things up.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
PS. If your tape allows for more than 60 minutes of recording, you may have overlap of timecodes. For example: after shooting 63 minutes on Tape 1, your end timecode will be 02:03:00:00, even though you are on tape one, due to the hour "roll-over" after 60 minutes.
Of course if your cam can utilize TC user bits this wouldn't be a problem
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Old April 5th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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Rick, I am already in Afghanistan so community college is going to have to wait. I have ordered some books on lighting, audio, etc but in the mean time I figured I would get a head start on learning. Mail here can take about a month to get here so it's not like UPS will be here in 3 days. However, I also feel that users on this website offer “Real world” ideas, solutions and suggestions and since I might not have the opportunity to read books left and right this is the next best thing. Besides, I am learning a lot here thanks to people who care to share their experiences.

Erik and Shaun, it makes sense now. In fact it seems too easy. I am looking at the PD170 or the DVX100B I’m not sure if they do that but Ill look into it. Just so I have a clear understanding, I can “Pre time code” as many tapes as I want or does the coding stop at so many tapes? Do either of those cameras have the bars and tone and in-camera generator?

Ill just make sure I only use 60 minute tapes, that’s all.

Chris
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Old April 5th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #12
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I can speak for the PD 170 and say it records bars (not tone) but more importantly you can change timecode and use the regen(erate TC) function.

TC, because it is based on a 24 hour clock, runs to 23:59:59:29 before "rolling over" again to 00:00:00:00
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