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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:27 PM   #1
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How do you guys use up your tapes efficiently?

I was wondering if it would be better, if you have say a 60 minute DV tape, use up that for raw footage. Then put the newly edited footage back onto a NEW tape. But this means, I would have to film raw footage of at least 55+ minutes to "use up" the tape wisely. How do you guys approach this? I guess planning and timing is the key issue.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #2
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Also, I'm wondering if folks archive both raw
footage and finished works back onto tape?
Or DVD? Or something else? Or maybe
just the finished work? Comments?

Dennis Vogel
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:03 PM   #3
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Also, is it just best to REWIND all your tapes via the camcorder or deck, right after the final stage? Like after you're done recording and have done using the tapes, and you want to store them, best to rewind first or what?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 07:22 PM   #4
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What was the first question? Yes, rewind them.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #5
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David, tapes are cheap and as Jeff said in your other post it's not a good idea to store your raw footage and final cut on the same tape. If you lose your final cut or it gets chewed up then you have nothing to come back to. Believe me this happens, it's happened to me and I was stoked that I still had the raw footage.

Dennis, I use tape as I don't have a DVD burner but either medium is fine. DVD is probably the best at the moment as tape degrades over time, a fairly long time, but it does degrade. As tape gets older the chance of drop-outs increases. That being said I've got miniDV tapes that are 5 years old and don't show any problems but as miniDV is still a fairly young format it's still not clear exactly how long miniDV tapes last. With the speed that technology changes there will be something available long before your miniDV tapes start to degrade. When the technology is available you can transfer to that. So basically for now either miniDV tape or DVD is fine.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 09:34 PM   #6
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Also David, if you don't think you're going to fill up a 60 minute cassette with 60 minutes of raw video, and you don't feel like "wasting" all that tape, just buy the 30 minute DV casettes. They're not really any less expensive than 60 minute tapes, but they might make you feel better about wanting to use all the tape you've got. Adrian said it best... tape is the least expensive step in the production chain. Don't worry about leaving 10 or 20 minutes of it unrecorded.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 11:23 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, Chris. Forgot about the 30 minute tapes. I am currently using the DVM63MQs, but I don't believe Panasonic makes 30 minute MQ series.... Btw, I thought mixing 30 minutes and 60 minutes and 90 minutes tapes were bad? Or does that only apply to brand/model?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 11:43 PM   #8
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David, mixing tapes lengths is not a problem at all provided you stay with one brand. What Chris meant was if your worried about not using all of your tape then use 30 minute tapes. The thing with 30 minute tapes though is that they are not that much cheaper, maybe only a few cents, than the 60 minute tapes so you really don't save that much. Actually, if you buy tapes in bulk the 60 minute tapes are cheaper than the 30 minute ones. Panasonic tapes can be bought in boxes of 50 which helps you save.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:04 PM   #9
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Alright. Thanks, I just checked ...there is only a 33 minute PQ series, but no MQ series. :-(
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:28 PM   #10
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If you have a 60 and only use 20 minutes of it for some shoot, you can always keep a hand-written catalog with your tapes and make a log of how much open time is left. Then come back some other time and use it up. Although this method can really make it difficult to keep track of projects spread across the short ends of various casettes. Ultimately your best bet is to simply not sweat too much about the unused leftovers, because as we've mentioned several times now that even the most expensive tape is still the least expensive part of the production process. Don't trouble yourself over it too much. Hope this helps,
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Old March 10th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #11
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David, as Chris suggested, don't worry about it. If you buy your tapes by the box, they'll cost less per tape. I have several tapes with plenty of "space" left over. I never even think about it.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #12
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Yeah at $4.00 a tape (give or take average) I really don't care if I have 40 minutes left. I used to spend more than that for a pack of cigarettes. The job uses whatever tape it requires and if there's tape left, so what. I also NEVER put an edited master on to a tape of raw footage no matter what. Tape is too cheap to worry about it. I've got other more important things to concern myself with.
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