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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Good workflow/storage for weddings (ideas needed)

Ok, so now that I am starting to book clients, I need to step up my professionalism. One of the areas of concern is workflow and saving files. Ideas for storage would be appreciated. External hard drives don't scare me as long as files aren't a pain to access and work with. I have 2 USB's open in the back, 2 more in the front, 2 Firewire ports front/rear, and an esata port on the back.

Forgive me for being partially computer illiterate, but I believe I have enough spots in my tower (Dell XPS 420) for 3 more drives. One is a quick release with the plastic clips, and two more up top with the screw down style. (feel free to correct my lack of proper terminology). With the power connections, if the end of a connection is used and there is another connector down the same line, is that the "slave"? Also, if I see several empty sata connections on the MB can I just attach anything to them? (burners, drives, etc) Does the computer just recognize everything?

So after we discuss all of that, how do you use those drives for the various files from your wedding day? Does it go like this:

D1-OS
D2-Raw files
D3-Project files
D4-Render files

Thanks for any help and setting me straight. I'm here to gain knowledge in every aspect of this. I've been playing with fire so far only operating off of one drive and backing up to an external. (can you tell this is a family pc?) Everyone has to start somewhere.

Oh...yeah...I'm on a tight budget too, so keep that in mind.

Take care,
-Brad

Last edited by Brad Cook; March 25th, 2009 at 07:58 PM. Reason: extra info
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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1 internal drive for OS + apps. 1 Internal drive for video project + media. 1 external drive of the same size used for mirrored backup of the media drive.

I see no benefit of using multiple drives for RAW, rendered, and project files.

This is my first year of shooting HD, so it's possible that the setup I have now will not be fast enough, if that's the case, I'll go to a stripped + mirrored RAID setup.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 02:23 AM   #3
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I solved this exact issue last year when I realized I was goign to generate 1TB of footage a year. So I purchased dual sata drives and two sata drive USB based docking stations.

I now have 2x 500GB sata drives and 2x1TB sata drives.

I archive footage to the sata drives till they are full. Then I just put then in storage. If I ever need the footage, I can pull the drive out and copy it locally for work.

After I copy anythign to one of the sata drives, I plug its twin into the other hot swap external device and mirror the data (in case of a HDD failure).

Now I have an expandable storage solution for much much less than a Drobo (google for it... a very sexy storage solution... but very expensive).
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Old March 26th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #4
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We edit on multiple PC's so need to share storage. Also backups are vital. Ive seen too many drive failures in my lifetime and know it can easily happen and you loose everything.

PC's each have 2x 320GB drives as RAID0 for speed. Nothing is held on these drives which isnt held elsewhere or is replaceable as I know I just need to loose one disk and "poof!", its all gone.

Raw footage, project files and rendered files are held on a 2TB RAID5 Buffalo TeraStation on the network. RAID5 isnt ideal backups but protects against a drive failure.

a 1TB LinkStation holds all our music, pictures, 5.1 sound files and more. This backs itself up to an attached 1TB drive each night.

I know its doubling your spending but your taking a gamble without it and many have gone years without a problem. But the moment it happens to you once your heart will sink and the regret sets it (happend to me but luckily just days after setting up my backups)

THe only thing we dont backup is the archived stuff.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #5
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I should also have a back up off site in case my studio goes up in flames..
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Old March 26th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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Funny you mention that, a client asked us about that the other day so had a look at online backup solutions and for the volume we need it was a bit too much.

So now looking at offsiting the original tapes after capture and using humyo to store the Vegas project files and photos as its free. That covers us off and once a month save any ISO images of the DVD's to a portable disk and also offsite them.
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