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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #1
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Best practices in media management

Looking for tips regarding how to best manage EX clips, files, folders, media, etc. I'm mostly interested in file management but let this run the gamut...

This is a broad topic that can cover:

management before shooting
management during shooting, either run-n-gun or controlled production environment
management after shooting during download
management during post production
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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One thing I'm curious about is Clip Naming.
Some will rename Clips in ClipBrowser
Some will rename Clips in XDCAM Transfer (on Mac)
Some will rename Clips in Final Cut Pro (or NLE of choice)

I'm wondering what nightmare may happen if one has to reconstitute a project in which the media (mov files) have been taken offline (BPAV is backed up of course).

I wonder if FCP (or other NLEs) use the UMID
Unique Material Identifier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The UMID doesn't change even if the file name does so if the NLE uses that, name changes should be a problem if one reimports the BPAV.
If UMID is not used then it can be a real nightmare if the names in the NLE don't match the names in the ClipBrowser.

I'm curious if anybody has tested this.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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My "normal" workflow:

Avoid copying in the field
These days I avoid copying clips in the field. I bring enough cards.

On Hard Drive, create destination folder with project name inside a folder called XDCAM Camera Masters.
Copy card using ClipBrowser with CRC On to destination folder.
Use ClipBrowser to split folders to back up to DVD-DL (Blu-ray to replace that soon).
Create Destination Folder for MOV clips with project name inside a folder called XDCAM MOV
Open all Camera Master folders in XDCAM Transfer
Rewrap all to MOV to MOV Destination Folder
Backup Camera Master folders to DVD-DL inkjet printable and name disk with contents and date of shoot.
At that point the BPAV exists on both Hard Drive and DVD-DL and I can erase the cards.

I don't rename clips.
After editing, client approval and delivery I wait about 1 month and take the MOV files offline (I don't back those up) as well as Camera Masters on Hard Drive as my current workflow allows me to reconstitute from BPAV stored on DVD-DL.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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This is about the studio media management, these days I usually have enough media to record for a whole day, so I transfer at night or when back in the studio, on multi day shoots I back up to 3 Lacie Ruggeds in the evening:

I use a Database I wrote in FMP.

I make Blurays or if files fit DS DVD's, of each project. I also back up on multiple FW800 drives kept in different buildings.

I leave all names of files as they are recorded (indexed with my own sequential prefixes). These days I shoot in QT with NanoFlash for a lot of jobs, they go in a subfolder with the SxS files.

The DB has still clips to help me remember the shoot, and lots of searchable keyword and description. It states on what BU drives the files exist, and the name of the folder they are in, as well as the DVD/DVDs that are part of this set.

I also make a FMP project with all those files in it and keep the project in the same folder.

When I need to use the files. I search the DB and mount the drive open the FMP project decide on the clips I need and transfer those to one of my working RAIDs. Then I usually drop all the clips into M100 transcoding to ProResHQ. And go to work. M100 just rocks, way faster than FCP and no rendering.

I also keep copies of my M100 projects on clients BU discs (stored here), often including media.

Drives are really cheap these days. I probably have over 30 currently just for BU storage.

Screenshots below of my DB.
Attached Thumbnails
Best practices in media management-xddatabase.png   Best practices in media management-xddb2.png  

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Old January 24th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
I don't rename clips.
After editing, client approval and delivery I wait about 1 month and take the MOV files offline (I don't back those up) as well as Camera Masters on Hard Drive as my current workflow allows me to reconstitute from BPAV stored on DVD-DL.
Craig, I like your workflow and do something quite similar, but I add one major step at the end.

I always use FCP's Media Manager to crunch the whole project down to just the clips (trimmed with 1 sec. handles) I actually used in my project -- plus all my graphics, animations, music, etc. into a new folder. This takes just a few minutes and reduces the storage space by 50-80% depending on the type of project. Also, if I've pulled any shots from my stock footage drives or anyplace else it brings everything to one location. There's no transcoding or re-compressing.

I then copy that folder to it's own WD Passport Drive and set it aside for storage. I make another copy to another Passport that has as many projects on it as I can fit until it is full. If I ever need to do anything with that project again, all I have to do is click on the FCP project file and everything is rebuilt and ready to go in about 20 seconds. Of course I also still have all my raw footage backed up in two places, but this is the best way to archive the whole project. That is more important to me than my raw footage. Chances are if a clip didn't get used in the final production, I'll never need it again anyway.

This method also makes it safer to remove a completed project from my editing drives sooner.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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I should mention I backup all media and elements not coming from EX as well.

Doug, just to be clear, you're backing up the project with the EX MOV clips that actually are used in the time lines.

My question is, on the long shot chance that the hard drive backups of the project and media fail, how do you/would you reconstitute a project from the source BPAV? Would FCP be able to connect the now truncated clips with the original clips?
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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Craig,

Since I have two backups of the final project, including MOV files, I can't imagine a scenario where I'd ever have to go back all the way to the BPAV files to rebuild a project.
But, if I did, I'm 100% confident I could convert the MP4 clips to MOV again and reconnect without any problem. That's one reason why I never rename clips after the camera has named them.
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