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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old October 19th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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SxS Card/Client File Management Procedures

Greetings all,

I've been running all-digital using the SxS Card system for over a year, now, and I've developed a pattern/habitual process of managing files for clients in a number of interesting ways. I'm curious to see how others are managing pre-, production, and post-production storage of their SxS Cards, working files, etc. for clients and projects. I will include my procedure (feel free to comment) to get things started. Hopefully, we'll all learn something from this.

I categorize my system into three folders; RAW (the BPAV copies), Working (The XDCAM Transfer Files), and Project (transcripts/important documents, attached graphics files, etc.; anything not native to a FCS2 program). After/during filming, I drop the BPAV files into labeled "card" folders that are saved on a RAID 1 configured array. During a project's editing phase, both the RAW and Working files are saved on the RAID array.

Once the client and I have locked a project beyond the rough phase, I transfer the RAW folder to a non-RAID drive. I keep the working files on the RAID drive until 3 months after submission of the project, then transfer those files to the same drive as the RAW's. By contract, I keep the compressed files for 1-year (after which files are stored on an archival DVD for the duration of its life expectancy).

I'm transitioning to build individual HDD's into each project, so that the client keeps responsibility for maintaining files after completion (too much storage space for me!) excluding rendered files.

I typically work with 5-10 hours of footage per project, and the big issue I'm running into is what to do regarding the working files vs. RAW card structure. The way that XDCAM and FCP6 work in tandem makes it frustrating to clear the working files without the hassle of relinking, etc.

Thoughts? Thanks for participating in this thread!
Jon Michael Ryan [tangent mind llc]
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Old October 19th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Great question. Its been on my mind recently as well. Here are my thoughts about it.

1. The first workflow was to convert everything to Prores (intensive graphics and CC work).
That meant using Sony transfer to rewrap the raw XDCAM EX files (BPAV folder). Then, using MPEG Streamclip or Compressor, converting the QT rewraps to Prores 422. This meant I had the Originals, The QT wrapped and the Prores to consider for archiving.

2. The second workflow resulted when I just used FCP log and transfer to accesss the original BPAV files and bring them into FCP as native XDCAM EX clips. I used them with Motion and Colorista and the renders on my 8 core Mac Pro were reasonable. Heree I only had to deal with the original BPAV file when archiving.

Thats not accounting for project files, but archiving them seems pretty straight forward.
Its the footage that Im still pondering,
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