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


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Old May 31st, 2015, 04:56 AM   #1
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Offsite Backups

Hi all - After each wedding I copy the footage onto my editing PC and then onto 2 drives, one which I have to collect from my sister's house and then return once I have copied the files. Now I do like to visit my sister but when I'm doing one ore more weddings every single week for the rest of the season it's a royal pain as I have little time to do this

I do however wonder what I would do if my house burned down or was burgled and somehow the burglers stole my external drives, at least I would be able to retrieve all my raw footage that was safely offsite. (Premiere project files are backed up on Google Drive) - am I going over the top?

BTW at an average 130GB for each wedding, a cloud based solution is not really an option.

Pete
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Old May 31st, 2015, 06:13 AM   #2
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Re: Offsite Backups

With one extra drive you could at least save on one journey to your sister's place by delivering the drive for the current week when you collect the drive from the previous week.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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Re: Offsite Backups

Gosh Pete

you are more careful than I am!! I keep the footage on the cards and on one external drive as I edit the same week ..then I re-use the cards. In the last 15 years I have had one bride come back to me 2 years later saying the dog ate her DVD set and could she have another.

Would a fireproof safe at home be easier?? I know the odds are a million to one but both houses could technically burn down so a safe at home would also save you doing a trip you don't want to and visits could be social! You could even put a safe in the garden shed!!


Does your contract say that you will safely store footage for "X" years?? If not I really wouldn't go to so much trouble OR the other method is to give the couple a backup thumb drive ..then it's their baby!

Seems an overkill to me ... what other types of business keeps backups for clients in multiple locations?
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Old May 31st, 2015, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: Offsite Backups

This is a dilemma I ponder on from time to time - as I see it there are a number of possibilities :

robbery - computers, drives taken
fire - computer, drives destroyed

with both I lose all the data I'm currently working on which could be 6 weddings at various stages of completion plus commercial jobs and films I might be putting together

I guess the result is essentially the same - a disaster. Uploading is not feasible but I have been thinking about a raid 5 box housed apart from the main house, say in a shed. it's a matter of running some network cable and an overnight backup.

Certainly if the shed burns down I'm in trouble but it certainly gives me another level of security

** while looking for enclosures I came across this

https://iosafe.com/products

not cheap but fireproof & waterproof enclosures - interesting

most large companies have redundant offsite backup of critical data - you don't have to be a large company - if the data is critical, it's worth considering
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Old May 31st, 2015, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Offsite Backups

I really think that at wedding level you are worrying about nothing. Peter, are you seriously saying that after each wedding, you drive home from the wedding, then copy down onto 2 drives, then on the same night you drive over to your Sister's house with them? If the answer is yes, then your Sister must hate you, if the answer is that you take them over the next day, then you are just as likely to have your house burn down the night of the wedding.

You could just as easily leave the second drive in your car, where it will be just as safe as anywhere else, or you could worry that your car is stolen by the same person that burns your house down. Unless you guarantee to archive all the original footage in your contract, then it should be up to the client to store an extra safe copy, not you. If you do guarantee it in your contract, then you should make an annual storage charge just as a commercial storage company would charge you.

I keep a backup copy of every wedding we supply in the same format that they receive, but only out of goodwill. If the house burns down and they get destroyed I am not going to be sued because I haven't guaranteed anything. I would be more worried about losing my house than someone's wedding copy that they will never come back for. What happens if you drop dead and no one knows how to access you archive files? It's a bit like insurance, you can worry about everything in life that is not covered and go broke making the insurance companies richer, or worry yourself to an early grave.

I like to make a backup of files that I am working on in case of a drive failure, but once finished and accepted my contract is completed.

Roger
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Old May 31st, 2015, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Offsite Backups

Thanks guys - food for thought.

All I keep long term are the ISO files in case clients want extra copies. I take 8-12 weeks to turn around a wedding and usually have 6 or 7 weddings on the go at any one time. The data I worry about is for the ongoing projects. Once two weeks have elapsed after delivering the DVDs then contractually I'm off the hook but in reality I like to keep it a little longer.

The garden shed is something I had not considered, though having kept guitar amps in the garage and finding that the atmospheric conditions lead to noisy pots gives me pause for thought, heating up and cooling down may cause issues whereas in a house the temperature is a little more constant - surely over winter the drives would literally freeze! unless I look into a raid 5 box maybe?

Pete
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Old May 31st, 2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: Offsite Backups

If you're really worried, get an online backup service like Carbonite or Amazon. A 2nd drive offsite backup like what you're doing at your sister's works fine, but is really for occassional up dates and you still have the failure risk of a hard drive.

I store both DVD and mp4 finished files long term, by the way. Multiple formats so that if they only want it on their computer, its easy.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 11:45 AM   #8
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Re: Offsite Backups

Peter, I found a company called CrashPlan which will let you upload your data to their cloud and then they will mail you a 3.5TB drive in the case that you have an accident. Here's their website:

Online Business Backup - Secure Cloud Backup - CrashPlan PRO

I did find out that if you have more than 3.5TB then you will have to download all the data which would probably take a few months to do and is not ideal if you need to finish up several weddings. But if you have under 3.5TB to back up then this is a pretty good option.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 01:54 PM   #9
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Re: Offsite Backups

I shoot more stills than video but for the last 6 or 7 years I have had two backups. One is kept in the house for instant access and the other is kept in the car. Mine are internal drives that I keep in adapted vhs tape boxes. I am never more than a days work out of date on the backup. I actually have about the last 4 years work running around in the car with me. Its only an estate car, nothing massive. My advice would be just leave it in the car in a suitable case and cut out the drive to your sister, nice though I'm sure she is!
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Old May 31st, 2015, 10:40 PM   #10
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Re: Offsite Backups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverman View Post
Peter, I found a company called CrashPlan which will let you upload your data to their cloud and then they will mail you a 3.5TB drive in the case that you have an accident. Here's their website:

Online Business Backup - Secure Cloud Backup - CrashPlan PRO

I did find out that if you have more than 3.5TB then you will have to download all the data which would probably take a few months to do and is not ideal if you need to finish up several weddings. But if you have under 3.5TB to back up then this is a pretty good option.
That's who I use! I'd recommend as well!
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Old June 1st, 2015, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Offsite Backups

I use Crashplan as well - they are in the event of a catastrophe only as you couldn't rely on them as a backup due to the lenghth of time it would take for a failed drive to be restored.

I have a 2TB "working" HDD which is my main storage drive. This is then backed up to a NAS in RAID5 thats in the attic. The 2TB drive is for work in 2015 and i have another one for 2014. All prior years are stored on the NAS and shouldn't really need to be accessed but if for some reason someone wants something from previous years then I have it. You can't really work from the NAS so thats why I use the 2TB working drives. 6 months after delivery of each wedding all the original footage is deleted and I keep the delivered footage only. At the end of 2015 all the footage on the 2014 HDD is deleted and renamed 2016 and away we go again!!

Everything on the NAS is automatically backed up to Crashplan. This is only in the event of something like both the working drive and 2 NAS drives (3 drives total) fail at the same time or my house burns down with all the drives in it!!

Sounds complicated but once setup the reality is its simple. Just run synctoy with the working drive and the NAS after every wedding and the rest is automated.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 05:02 PM   #12
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Re: Offsite Backups

Another thing is if you are backing up a NAS then the HOME option with Crashplan is fine and you dont need the bells and whistles of the business option and it works out at $5 a month or less!
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Old June 1st, 2015, 05:55 PM   #13
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Re: Offsite Backups

I searched their website (somewhat nonchalalenty) and couldn't find a price in the UK?

My current set up is a 4TB RAID with ongoing weddings, backed up to a 20TB NAS Server in a RAID 5 configuration with a battery attached in the event of a black out.

As soon as every project is completed, it's backed up. I do everything manually, but have a process to ensure that every file is backed up.

I'm looking at buying a huge RAID eventually, as shooting 4K in ProRes takes file sizes to extraordinary places. That way, I can run multiple projects from the RAID. Seems worth it to me...

Then I'll consider offsite back ups... as it stands, in the event of a fire, I would lose all films that are unedited... but as soon as a file is finished, it's added to my Vimeo account.

As I've only shot four weddings, I think for my early customers, this is more than enough for the minute, but if I ever become established, then I'll definitely invest further...

Weddings are already a massive expense... having any back up solution seems great... for such moments, it's hard not to have several back ups in order to sleep... at least it shows how much we care as a business... and probably why the people here prosper.
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