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Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers

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David JonesTapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Dec 31, 2007 at 5:20:01 pm

As a freelance cameraman who is looking to go tapeless, I was looking for some advice on how to "hand off" footage for a tapeless shoot. In the past, a field producer would just show up with a case of tapes to shoot on. After the shoot, I would hand the tapes back or bill them if I provided the tape stock. But in the world of cards, that can be a little pricy! Is there a system set up to handle this type of situation or is it just to new? Anyone out there dealing with this already?



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Emre TufekciRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Dec 31, 2007 at 10:34:38 pm

For XDCAM, you hand off the cartridge.

For P2 a few options:

P2 store can be lent to very dependable clients but that is soon becoming redundant as P2 store is 60GB and 32 GB cards are out.

I download the material on the spot to P2 Store or Laptop on location and transfer to clients hard drive right there.

You can take the material home and either FTP server it or burn disc/copy to another hard drive.

I have never handed my P2 cards to a client as if they get lost, even if they replace them, I am out of business for the time being.Sometimes clients will bring a fs-100 or rent cards for me.

XDCAM EX: Should provide similar workflows as the P2

Ikegami: I have a friend who's company invested in ikegami's and they are as sorry as they can be. They have no solutions. They hate the systems.

Hope this helps.


Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avidexpress HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Steadicam OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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David JonesRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:28:51 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm still considering which way to go, P2 or EX, but it sounds like workflow issues would be the same ether way. I guess I would be concerned with downloading on a clients laptop because, wouldn't they need to have clip software already installed? I also wonder if they would want to wait around while the footage downloads. I guess I'm just use to working with producers from tv shows that always seem to be in to big of a hurry for anything!

That's interesting about the Ikigami system. I was looking at it a while ago, but could never get much info on it at the time.


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Zane BarkerRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 1, 2008 at 12:28:56 am

[David Jones] "I guess I'm just use to working with producers from tv shows that always seem to be in to big of a hurry for anything! "

Then have them provide the P2 cards!

Happy Editing To You!!


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Emre TufekciRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 1, 2008 at 4:26:30 pm

I also wonder if they would want to wait around while the footage downloads. I guess I'm just use to working with producers from tv shows that always seem to be in to big of a hurry for anything!

For people that are in that much of a rush "can" generally afford to rent the cards. Speed, cost, quality...they get to pick 2 only.

I guess I would be concerned with downloading on a clients laptop because, wouldn't they need to have clip software already installed?

Panasonic has a free P2 viewer software available for PC.There are also a plethora of choices availible from commercial sources your clients should have if they want to go tapeless.

I'm still considering which way to go, P2 or EX, but it sounds like workflow issues would be the same ether way.

If you are looking to choose between P2 or EX the workflow is similar but the technology is completely different. Long GOP vs. I frame, 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 full raster vs pixel shifting. With P2 AVC-I full raster differance has actually gone away.

I chose to go P2 because I do a lot of effects/Green screen and compositing work.Panasonic has been at the solid state media business longer so the have a lead. At the time of my purchase (2 years ago) there were no tapeless 4:2:2 options. And I dont think there still is.

PS; I think it's the first time I used the word "plethora" in a sentence. :P

Cheers,


Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avidexpress HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Steadicam OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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David JonesRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 1, 2008 at 7:47:25 pm

In situations like the one I described, I think you're right the field producer will just show up with a "case" of cards to shoot on. There is still the question of what format to go with; I really like the full-size P2 cameras but, I'm having visions of the M-II debacle. I kind of feel like we're already headed down that path (I know...I just started something with that statement...lol).


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Randall RaymondRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 1, 2008 at 9:10:23 pm

[David Jones] "In situations like the one I described, I think you're right the field producer will just show up with a "case" of cards to shoot on."

Probably, and more likely, he'll show up with a $70 hard-drive (250gig) - cheaper than tape or cards - or decks or card readers back at the studio. I think that scenario will pan out for either brand of cameras. The beauty of a digit is it's ubiquitousness - the 'media' becomes anywhere it resides.



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Kyle SelfRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 1, 2008 at 11:28:31 pm

"There is still the question of what format to go with; I really like the full-size P2 cameras but, I'm having visions of the M-II debacle. I kind of feel like we're already headed down that path"

Your still thinking in terms of tape formats. Neither is a format, they are storage devices. Granted they are storage devices that are company specific, but they are still only storage devices.

You can record to either card in a format that is easily used by most places. It is not like needing to worry over whether the place you go has the correct VTR to play your tape. It is a computer file that is pretty easily handled.

The best part? Both the P2 and the SxS cards will handle new formats, they are after all only computer storage devices. Unlike a tape deck you will be good to go with a new format change. Well at least until the new recording format requires more bandwidth than the card can provide.

Talk to your clients and get their thoughts on how they want to handle the footage.

K


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David JonesRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 3:18:47 am

My only point compairing M2 with P2 is that not enough companies have adopted it (yet anyway), and that the (p2) format is already becoming outdated. Now before everyone starts screaming "bloody murder", I understand that you can get a $100 adapter. That's fine for now, but if the newer format (sxs) becomes dominant, or even Sony's disk cams, will Panasonic bail on P2 for another format (like they did with M2)? All that being said, I am still considering the P2, but the cards really need to come down in price.


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Steve WargoRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 3:42:24 am

David

Have you been to the P2 forum. We just discussed this very thing last month. My prediction is that producers will someday carry 250Gb solid state storage drives that plug into the cameras. But that is in the way distant future, like 24 months from now.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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David JonesRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 4:37:03 am

I just now checked out the P2 forum. I think you're right about 250Gb storage drives. And, that the whole workflow thing with tapeless cameras will be more "in place" in about 48 months. But that's so long from now! lol.


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Steve WargoRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 4:41:35 am

24 months

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Emre TufekciRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 1:10:06 pm

I think this is also a good place to discuss business investments as it is Business and marketing. I personally have not seen any effects to P2 becoming outdated (in fact I thinks Panasonic is making more and more modifications and improvements as it introduces new systems like the hvx-3000).

But like any venture I buy what I need, when I need it. I dont buy it for the future or I dont wait for the future to arrive. If my clients stop asking for beta sp masters, my uvw-1400 will go out the door next day. If P2 cameras are replaced by holographic discs, adios.

Everything I bought has either paid for itself or got ejected right away. There will always be "the next thing". My $3000 dual hard drive, 4 gb ram, hd-dvd recording, sentient laptop I bought 6 months ago is 2 generations behind already...lol

Cheers,




Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avidexpress HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Steadicam OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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Ron LindeboomRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 1:26:18 pm

Steve Wargo believes 24 months and I hate to disagree with him but having watched the P2 forum closely since it went online as but a scrawny calf on trembling legs, I think it's more 12 to 18 months. (This, based on the rate of growth and the way that it's accelerated as development and adoption have become more pronounced.)

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

Would you like to be in Creative COW Magazine with your story or contributi...

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Steve WargoRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 8:55:35 pm

Panasonic has bet the bank on P2. Technology is moving on.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Ron LindeboomRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 2, 2008 at 9:04:08 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Panasonic has bet the bank on P2. Technology is moving on."

Yes, they have and their sales and market incursion have been at record levels with P2. Also, if some other form of tapeless media proves to be the hands-down winner and there is a marked advantage for both the end-user and Panasonic, they wouldn't have a hard time switching.

My point is that Panasonic's sales started taking off radically with the AG-DVX100 series and the P2 cameras have sold very well and they are not having any problem selling them.

I am sure that the new "Baby CineAlta" EX1 is a direct result of how well the P2 sales have been.

Will EX1 sales affect the sales of P2? Quite likely and I think even Panasonic would admit that. But Panasonic has been proving quite markedly that they can take part of a market that was once mostly Sony-only.

The Varicam series and the P2 series have done for Panasonic what they never achieved before. I wouldn't write them off so easily, Steve.

I am glad to hear you are healing up following your disastrous accident. Both Kathlyn and I wish you all the best in 2008 and hope that you grow even stronger in the days ahead.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

Would you like to be in Creative COW Magazine with your story or contributi...

Do you have your complimentary subscription to Creative COW Magazine yet?



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Steve WargoRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 3, 2008 at 3:39:26 am

I'm not saying that P-2 isn't going to stay. What I am saying is that it's impossible to place any time frame on any current technology. With P2, SxS, BluRay, Compact Flash, and who knows, halographic discs???? The Firestore folks figured that small, video specific hard drives would go for quite a while but now what? You can get 100 Gb for about 2 grand and the P2 & SxS cards are way more expensive than that.

Back in '98, I took out a $5000 loan to purchase the second 32 Gigs of SCSI for my D-Vision. SCSI was king then but we could only dream about the future and new technology. The way technology increases today, I wouldn't want to be that industry. Look what's happened to technology and prices in only the last 10 years. the next 10 will be a real circus. There is a lot of money hanging in the balance.

And thanks for the kind words on my recovery, Ron. I've had a lot of continuing support from my friends and co-workers. A number of friends from the COW sent their support.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Mike CohenRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 5, 2008 at 5:00:09 am

I think Steve is right. Like most new technologies, they are expensive for the first few years. Flash media gets cheaper by the day.
You can buy an 8gig USB thumb drive for what you used to pay for a 1 gig.
The first SCSI 9gig drive I bought cost $3000, the last Ultra SCSI 2 32 gig drive I bought on ebay for $50.
In a couple of years there will be flash media in the hundreds of gigs, and then suddenly the next technology will come along and we will start all over again.
Flash forward to 2015 - Sony's new SuperDuperHD 4K camera takes 2TB flash media - their proprietary media costs $1200. Everyone complains. Five years later it will be cheap because the next technology will be out, yadda..yadda..yadda.

Now if we could just avoid the total collapse of the world Copper supply we will be all set...!

Mike


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Craig SeemanRe: Tapeless Workflow For Freelancers
by on Jan 4, 2008 at 2:52:41 am

[Emre Tufekci] "XDCAM EX: Should provide similar workflows as the P2 "

I'm surprised no one mentioned the EX1 SxS field workflow options.

EX1 with SxS is a different beast than P2 (and the codecs on them). Bring a laptop with Express slot to the shoot.

SxS offload can be 10x real time. Copy 50 minutes of video from a 16GB card in 5 minutes give or take.

Burn burn clips on to DVD-DL along with Sony's free Clip Browser and any client with a reasonable computer can playback the master clips. No deck or special playback device needed. BTW I've found that VLC, a free player that works on Mac Windows and many forms of Unix
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Can playback the files too. This is leagues ahead of dealing with tape/deck/variant compatibility issue.

Change the .mp4 extension of the file to .ts and burn right on to a Blu-ray disc and the client can playback those clips on their Blu-ray player or PS3 to their HDTV. $300-$400 Blu-ray player to HDTV rather than an expensive deck or NLE with the correct codec. You'll need to bring an external Blu-ray burner to the shoot though.

On location 10x ingest than burn to optical disc. With an assistant the client can walk away with the disc after that last disc is burned. Even without an assistant, depending on the logistics, you can ingest and start the burn and get right back to shooting.

Oh and buy the way the client walks with the disc and you have another copy on your hard drive . . . or burn another set of discs as protections.


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