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James Culbertson
Camera archive internal management
on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:59:32 am

Is there an app that would allow me to delete redundant video clips from Camera Archive folders so I am not backing up a lot of data unnecessarily? For instance, if I am separating each camera archive by day, and a camera person forgets to clear the card from the day before. I know this could be done in camera one by one, but that is not always possible or practical.


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Joe Marler
Re: Camera archive internal management
on Aug 18, 2018 at 2:25:55 pm

My documentary team frequently has this problem, and it's one reason we don't use camera archives. I've never tried it, but I think the archive is just a file bundle and you could probably open it and delete the file. However it's a bigger problem than whether to use camera archives.

If you have a lot of camera offloading from various operators, the dilemma is how to handle duplicates from non-cleared cards. The cards might have several days of material, when the expectation is they should be new cards each day. This often happens with "special" cameras like drones or time lapse.

If you only offload the current day, you risk losing material. If you offload all material from each card and they aren't cleared each day, that causes duplicates. That's an immediate problem for backup, storage size, and offloading time. Later it becomes a post production problem of de-duplicating the files.

For us this was only solved when we began using an on-set data wrangler who was empowered to enforce the policy of clean cards every day. She uses a checklist or spreadsheet to verify each operator offloads their cards each day. If they don't hand in their cards, she tracks them down. If she receives non-cleared cards, she follows up to prevent that.

Yet there is a risk to immediately reformatting the cards, since they serve as a last-ditch backup. This risk is magnified by cameras with two card slots, some of which will silently auto-switch to the other card if the camera is just powered up with one card inserted. This can create confusion about which card was used, making it possible the operator could hand in a blank card, then reformat the other in-camera card which had good material on it, and only then be told "the card you handed in is blank".

Our solution is each operator has enough cards to shoot for 2-3 days, so we have an approx. two-day buffer in case of a processing error. We currently only use a single card in two-card cameras to prevent confusion. Yes each operator should know their own camera perfectly but that doesn't always happen.


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James Culbertson
Re: Camera archive internal management
on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:31:48 pm

Makes sense. There is no budget for a dedicated data wrangler on this shoot. Though I try to enforce, but the shooters are in the field and don't always remember my texts. I'm a little afraid to muck with the camera archives contents by opening packages so I'll probably just leave things as is this time around.


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