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Fay Gartenberg
Trying to determine effective and affordable storage setup for short film
on Nov 25, 2018 at 5:18:53 pm

Hey, I am editing a graduate school thesis film and I'm trying to figure out the most reliable, yet affordable storage setup that I can request for line producer to purchase. Can anyone give me further advice on storage setup based on these calculations?

The film is an action thriller and there is a fight scene that takes place in an underground boxing ring.

The storage number I came up with was 12TB (doubled to 24TB for backups). I'll explain how I came to that number below, but I also found a few interesting things along the way.

The first was whether shooting on RED vs Sony F55 vs Alexa, the data rates were all about the same. So independent of what camera the DP chooses, the main questions were these: resolution size, how much flexibility with coloring, and the quality of image in slow motion compared to the amount of memory. The differences between shooting in slow motion and 24 frames per second were negligible when in terms of the amount of storage needed — because of that I estimated all the footage at the same data rate.

Because I estimated that the cameras were more or less the same when calculating the cost of storage, I used the RED Weapon Helium 8K which is the graduate school's thesis camera. The numbers below reflect that camera's memory/storage needs.

6 days (2 days with 2 cameras) = 8 days of footage

12 setups per day (for first 4 days)
5 takes per setup (for first 4 days)
2.5 minutes per take (for first 4 days)
total footage = 600 minutes (for first 4 days)

12 setups per day (for last 2 days, and times two cameras)
4 takes per setup (for last 2 days, and times two cameras)
1 minutes per take (for last 2 days, and times two cameras)
total footage = 96 minutes (for 2 cameras, 48 minutes per camera for last 2 days)

at 5:1 R3DCODE
700 minutes approx. = 21 cards (512 GB rounded up) = 10.752 TB = 13.44 TB (with 20% space left in drive, recommended for drive functionality and for contingency)

at 7:1 R3DCODE
700 minutes approx. = 14.89 cards (512 GB rounded up) = 7.63 TB = 9.54 TB (with 20% space left in drive, recommended for drive functionality and for contingency)

I recommended using a more memory intensive compression for fight scenes, especially those in the boxing ring (for example, 5:1 R3DCODE). Conversely, I recommended using less memory intensive compression for slower, dialogue scenes (for example, 7:1 or even 8:1 R3DCODE).

The 12 TB (24TB with backup) that I arrived at is an average that takes into account using compression rates based on the needs of each individual scene.

These calculations are also excluding the option in RED cameras to shoot in-camera ProRes proxies since I will be cutting in AVID Media Composer, however, this affects the speed at which DIT is able to prepare footage for director to review each day. We unfortunately don't have a full-scale video village setup available so it will take longer on the system we have to transcode the raw footage to DNxHD. I'm being told that 24TBs is over budget for post-production on this film, but I'm not sure how to go lower.

Thanks!


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Steve Grappone
Re: Trying to determine effective and affordable storage setup for short film
on Nov 25, 2018 at 6:35:03 pm

For this type of question in today’s world of storage. It’s not how much space you need rather how fast you can access it. For space you could probably use two 12TB drives be eh ok.

If you want to playback DPX frames and you want spinning drives to gather 24+ files a second you’re going to be very disappointed.

So, if you want people to edit with RAW and you want people to work collaboratively then you need to have a 10Gig network because 1Gig has a total throughput of 110 MB/sec and your bitrate would probably be twice that. Lucky 10 Gig network is pretty affordable these days.

Next would be the server. You can purchase your own (bare metal) and install mas software, you could purchase a affordable qnap, or you could rent a creative.space system and return it when done.

All are fine options. Hope this helps.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Trying to determine effective and affordable storage setup for short film
on Nov 25, 2018 at 7:25:54 pm

Hi Fay -
I have nothing constructive to say here -
1) you are shooting with a RED camera - and I assume with RED lenses. Doesn't that cost a fortune of money ?
2) you are using AVID Media Composer - isn't this the most expensive of all the editing systems ?
3) you have not stated if this is going to be used for shared storage, or a single edit station.

A single 4 TB Seagate Ironwolf drive is $120. Eight drives x 120 = $960 for 32 TB of storage for an eight bay RAID array that will become 24 TB after RAID 6.

You mention the most expensive cameras - Arri Alexa, RED and Sony F55, and you mention media composer.
You also mention that you are in graduate school - exactly how much do you, or your parents spend for tuition to go get your graduate degree ? I think a little more than $960 to complete your film.

Let me give you some advice, that you will not appreciate. Lets say you get a top grade for this film, and your professors say this is the best thing that they ever saw. Your grade, and your professors opinions mean absolutely nothing. Getting your graduate degree will mean absolutely nothing to any employer, or any movie studio. The ONLY thing that will matter is the quality of your film. I don't know if you are the producer, or the editor, or what - perhaps all of them. but in the REAL WORLD, no one gives a crap about your degree and your school - even if it's UCLA, or AFI, or NYU. All that matters is your film, and how good it is - and how good your editing, DP ability, etc is.

Forget your school. Buy the storage that you need. It's the only thing that is going to be important moving forward. You can do with your degree exactly what I did with my degree - wipe my you know what with it. No one will care - ever. Not unless you are applying for a university job, or a government job.

And while you are steaming - download the free AJA Data Calc on your smart phone - this will show you exactly how much storage you need. And how many minutes (or hours) based on your compression codec.

How do you go lower on the amount of storage that you need ? Be more selective when someone says "lets try it again". Rehearse your actors. This is not a reality show. I am shocked when I see how much footage comes back from a multi camera reality shoot. How do you speed up your transcodes - well that costs money too. Some of the big boys use the expensive CineDeck, which will record multiple codecs at one time, but most people - even pro's can't afford to do this. Finding efficient transcode programs (like Divergent Media Edit Ready) will increase your transcode time for the proxies, but it's no miracle. This all takes time.


Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Fay Gartenberg
Re: Trying to determine effective and affordable storage setup for short film
on Nov 25, 2018 at 8:10:31 pm

I should have clarified it's a single edit station. I'm just the picture editor on this.

I had made these calculations for the producer of the film. The calculations I made are based on information the DP gave me. I think they undershot the post budget in terms of storage. The school is providing the editing station and media composer software. It's just the storage drives that they need to purchase separately.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Trying to determine effective and affordable storage setup for short film
on Nov 26, 2018 at 1:51:38 pm

you state -
"Because I estimated that the cameras were more or less the same when calculating the cost of storage, I used the RED Weapon Helium 8K which is the graduate school's thesis camera. The numbers below reflect that camera's memory/storage needs."

so you need 24 TB of storage, and you will be shooting in 8K. This ain't gonna happen with a single drive.
You are also a single user. I have no idea if your Media Composer system is a Mac or a PC, and if it's a Mac, is it Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 -

as a rough estimate - you need a minimum of this - The Promise R6
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1331249-REG/promise_technology_p3r6h...

and here is the G-Speed shuttle with 24 TB -
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1381752-REG/g_technology_0g10072_g_s...
but it's only 4 drives, so you are better off with the Promise for pretty much identical price.

and here is a 6 bay OWC - it ain't gonna get cheaper than this -
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/thunderbay-6/thunderbolt-3

Now if you say "wow - these are all over $1500, isn't there anything that I can use for about $500" -
the lesson here is that it costs money to be in business, and it cost money to make an indie film.
As a matter of fact - everything costs money. The amount you will pay for storage is cheaper than one months
rent in NY or LA, and you will use this storage for years. You tell me - which is a better investment.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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