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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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Backup/Archive Philosophy?

I'm just getting to the archive stage for some of my first wedding projects - and trying to decide on a good strategy. Considering that each piece of a final DVD has been edited and carefully chosen, once the DVD has been delivered and the client has literally signed off on it - does it make sense to hold onto every single bit of footage, used or not?

I am leaning toward the idea that if I save master files of each fully edited piece of the final DVD in the highest possible quality (In my case ProRes422) I really think that's probably all I would ever need in order to deliver future copies in whatever the delivery format of the week is (i.e. the "Blu Ray" of the future).

What is your philosophy on this? Archiving is critical, but how much and what to archive are tough questions given that good backup/archiving solutions cost good time and money. What do you do?
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #2
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wedding Raw footage: store in Back up drive for 1 year after delivery then delete after we edit a new show reel.
Master Output: store in Back up forever, keep the good one in computer for demo
DVD Image: Store in back up forever
Wedding Venue Stock footage: keep it in computer, use it from time to time

currently archived about 3.2TG files in 4 different back up hard disk
S.O.D.E Wedding Video(NZ):
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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We shoot in HDV, so I'm sure the work flow will be different for those that shoot in some kind of disk media.

We save all the raw tapes. Forever. It's HDV, and I would never re-use and HDV tape anyway. We save a master DVD and output the edit to and HDV master. We back up the project on a data CD. That way we can recreate the project again in no time at all.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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At present we retain the original tapes, the master DVD and HDV masters of the completed, composite programmes (we edit all programmes in sections then combine the edited sections into "composite" programmes) on two separate hard disks. The latter are the weak link and as part of our update of cameras we're looking to move these to permanent storage on unauthored Blu ray disks.

Because we're planning to move from Z1s to EX1s the retention of the original material becomes a new issue. My instinct is to use unauthored Blu Rays although the cost might become a factor.

I know I'll be tempted to use HDD for economy but will try to resist. The fact is that HDDs will fail eventually and thus can't be called archive.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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I simply provide the client with their own folder on my current external drive and when it's getting close to full I simply buy another (cheaper than any other storage!!)

I retain all the original MTS files from the camera, all transcoded SD files, edit projects, stills and DVD Lab project and finally a direct copy of their DVD.

That way I can jump "backwards" into any client's wedding and redo anything easily, from a simple copy of their DVD to a specific edit of part of the wedding. I'm not sure if it will ever happen here but someone, one day, might just ask for an HD version of their wedding so it's worth keeping the original MTS files as well!

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Old October 19th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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after about a year I take pretty much everything off my HDD. I do keep the MPG/AC3 just in case I DO need to make another DVD but frankly I've only had a couple of requests past 6 or 8 months. If there was going to be any kind of work done to the job it would have happened long before a year. The tapes are kept for 1 year. Then they get pitched. Recently I got rid of 20 years of tapes up to 2001. This winter they'll go as well up to 2008. I have no reason to keep stuff that old anymore.

I'm only talking about weddings. Corporate stuff stays around pretty much till I die.

Hell, I done the wedding of children from some of the first weddings I did and even a couple of 2nd weddings of couples who's weddings I did early on. I just don't those tapes anymore. They take up to much room.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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I back up to Blu Ray.

I take the project files, graphics, music, and HDV files and drag them all into Toast. I start burning, put a new disc in when the software asks me to, and we're done.

I do make two identical copies of Blu Ray discs so one can be stored at home, and one can be stored off site in case of fire, flood, etc. I end up needing 3 or 4 25gb BR-D discs per wedding, so it probably is more expensive than hard drives, but it just feels simpler to me to mail a copy of the discs to my parent's house and have them keep an extra set then drive over and pick up an external hard drive when I want to add a new project.

I can't sleep unless I have two sets of everything, and they are in different spots.

I should also note that my contract states that footage is dumped after 30 days of delivery, though I will always keep a copy of both their DVD and Blu Ray disc image around in case they want more copies. The backups are done because I like to play things super safe.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, his thread has been a treasure chest of information so far! I hope others will add their methods too - please keep this thread going, the information (especially for newbies) is extremely valuable.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #9
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I used to keep backups on tape and harddrive but stopped doing that, for weddings once I handed over the dvd's I also give the couple Mpeg2 files at the highest resolution if they want to go to Blu-ray later and I provide them with an iso if they want to make their own copies. After that I keep the raw footage about 3-4 months max on my internal drives and then I delete everything. I work with a hvr-dr60 and also use tapes as backup during recording, also these tapes are being re-used after a while.
The only thing I keep for myself is the 5 minute highlights that are placed on my site, I render a high res file for backup because once a year I make a new demo for my site and then I have all the highlights of every wedding to choose footage from.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #10
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With HD working good these days, backup solutions are becoming more space-consuming. Since we are still recording on tape, we always keep them somewhere (although now, I am not really sure it's worth it). Also we backup our DVD images to hard drives and also on DVD discs as perfect copies. BD is another issue. Every final product takes 25GB on hard drive and you also have to back it up on BD-R to keep it safe. That means more expensive media (cheapest BD-R costs 7 Euros), larger hard drives and also lengthy backups (my LG BD recorder needs 1,5 hours to burn at 2X). But I hope prices of fast burners and media will change when or if Bluray becomes the standard.
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