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Andrew Johnstone
FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 22, 2013 at 3:26:47 pm

In am interested in finding out about people's workflows for archiving old FCP projects.

Do you keep rushes on you scratch disks indefinitely or do you archive old projects from time to time? I have a dual raid for rushes (full and needs to be upgraded) and a 3TB working project/scratch disk (which should also be backed up to a USB disk).

The issue is that the archives just keep growing and if your out shooting every week, growing fast! What are the best solutions for archiving old projects? I have never had much success in FCP with the media manager which does in theory allow you to archive only those elements of a project that you have used, so my solution to date has been to duplicate/export the entire project to another storage raid (also now full).

It seems that the only solution thus far is to keep buying more disks for storage, but a) this is expensive and b) they may fail c) I only have so much shelf space. An *TB raid here in the UK is about £500 or $750 - gulp.

I am tempted to find a local data specialist near my office, but then accessing old stock images when I need them could be a pain. Should I just invest in a load of cheap USB drives and hope they don't ever fail? Access to cloud storage (ie something like AFrame here in the UK) is expensive and requires super fast broadband upload, so it is not really an option. What are other people doing to manage their growing digital archives, short of hiring a whole IT unit...?

Andy Johnstone
Wild Dog Limited
film & multimedia production
http://www.wilddogworld.com


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 22, 2013 at 8:08:52 pm

I tend to archive the camera masters..full card backups or tapes. And then when the project wraps, I use the Media Manager to archive only the sequence, with handles. I archive this onto a cheap USB drive, or bare SATA drive, and shelf it. I also archive the projects on flash drives, my computer hard drive, and the backup drive.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Andrew Johnstone
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 23, 2013 at 11:27:14 am

The issue as I see it is that depending on what you shoot on, there are two sets of data to archive a) the Raw camera files from the shoot (in my case P2) and b) the Quicktime files generated by FCP.

If I have to re-cut any sequences I prefer to have the ingested ProRes Quicktime files as I am never sure that re-ingesting from the shot masters (in this case my P2 footage) is a secure workflow. I could be wrong as I have never had to do this yet.

Perhaps the solution is to buy two cheap USB disks and archive to these. But then again trusting my content to cheap media also seems like a dumb thing to do.

The bottom line is that for a small production company storage is major and on-going expense!

Still keen to hear about better ideas!

Andy Johnstone
Wild Dog Limited
film & multimedia production
http://www.wilddogworld.com


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Jerry Alto
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 23, 2013 at 6:13:31 am

I use a second DVD (blu-ray) burner to archive projects. Less than $1 for 25 gigs of storage.

MacPro 2.93 Quad
FCP7
Sony Z-1
GV-HD700


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 23, 2013 at 6:15:39 am

That will hold small projects...maybe a :30 second spot. My projects are typically between 44 min and 90 min...and take between 230GB and 400GB to archive.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jerry Alto
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 23, 2013 at 6:27:43 am

On large projects I use Toast and spread it over multiple blu-rays. I know that starts to get risky.... but we also know that drives die, too.

MacPro 2.93 Quad
FCP7
Sony Z-1
GV-HD700


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Andrew Johnstone
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Oct 2, 2013 at 1:43:55 pm

But a blu-ray holds what 25GB? That's only about half a small project. I'd need a wardrobe full of disks to archive what I want to!

Andy Johnstone
Wild Dog Limited
film & multimedia production
http://www.wilddogworld.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Sep 23, 2013 at 5:58:29 pm

At the moment cards copied to 2 external drives kept on separate shelves, plus a copy on my working drive.

It's quite expensive and drives will probably last 5 to 8 years, depending on use.

I've been wondering about LTO tape for a while, the hardware is pricey but the tapes aren't too bad and should last 20 or 30 years, assuming you can still get the drives to play them back (and you can always re-archive to whatever the current format of choice is in a few years if it looks like that one is being lost).

It would be a couple of grand to get into LTO-5 at the moment though (based on having a PC dedicated to it - plugging an external LTO drive into one of my existing macs doesn't seem to be very much cheaper at the moment, at least at UK prices and availability), even more for LTO-6, which is why I've been prevaricating...


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Andrew Johnstone
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:45:29 pm

The other question I suppose is 'is there any need to keep the P2 master files if all content is ingested into FCP as Pro Res"?

If both my scratch disk and rushes archive are backed up, then I effectively have 4 copies of the material...

I have always assumed that retaining master (ie original format files - in my case P2) was 'best practice".

Andy Johnstone
Wild Dog Limited
film & multimedia production
http://www.wilddogworld.com


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP Archiving & Data storage
on Oct 3, 2013 at 3:29:07 pm

[Andrew Johnstone] "The other question I suppose is 'is there any need to keep the P2 master files if all content is ingested into FCP as Pro Res"?"

Yes. Those are the "master tapes." The camera masters. Did you capture your tape footage and then toss the tapes? I hope not. Those are what you archive....those are what you save. In terms of the tapeless media, first off, it takes up less space than the converted ProRes files, so you don't need as many hard drives to store them. Second, who knows what NLE you might be using in the future, and if it is compatible with QT media.

[Andrew Johnstone] "If both my scratch disk and rushes archive are backed up, then I effectively have 4 copies of the material..."

Good. First off, have your camera masters on two drives...as drives do die, it's just a matter of time. But then you have your MEDIA drive that you use to edit. Now, you won't keep your footage on there forever, you erase it when you are done with that project to make way for the next one. So it's good to have the camera masters backed up. I wouldn't back up the media drive...have two copies of that. But I do Media Manage the final cut to a drive, so I have the project and final sequence with only the media used in that sequence.

[Andrew Johnstone] "I have always assumed that retaining master (ie original format files - in my case P2) was 'best practice"."

It is.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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