Storing and transferring data from a shoot is an important, yet often overlooked detail when it comes to on-location projects. When juggling multiple cameras, each with multiple cards, it becomes critically imperative to be 100 percent sure that all of your photos and videos are accounted for. In this video, Jay P. Morgan shares his workflow for wrangling data and making backups.
When tackling any sort of project that brings together different people, places, and gear, the easiest way ensure you've covered your butt is to take the time to download, check, and backup the media. Before you even put your first light stand or tripod on the ground, you should have a good idea of what your solution is for managing data. On a lot of jobs that I've been on, there is typically a PA or someone who's responsible for just that. They manage folders on a hard drive and check files on both masters and backups.
There are a number of software solutions that exist for creating backups, but in my opinion there's still nothing better than having a living, breathing person actually checking files as often as possible. This isn't mentioned in the video above, so I'd add to Morgan's tips that actually looking at a few of your media files is hugely important. Sometimes files are corrupt, or a setting was wrong and the operator didn't realize it. Find it before you leave and get it right! Morgan mentions in the video that he lost some files and had to fly back to Dallas for just two or three images that he absolutely needed, and had he managed his data properly, that would have been avoided. In a horror story of my own, I had shot nearly three days worth of behind-the-scenes content on a 10-day job in San Francisco, before I realized that audio hadn't been recording. Audio meters displayed on the LCD, but when viewing our downloads, we never stopped to double check that the audio was there. A failing Atomos Ninja was the culprit. So had I checked the audio on those files on the first day, it would have saved me from having to re-do several interviews. Live and learn!
[via The Slanted Lens]