File Management Part 2
This continues our campaign to squash file mis-management once and for all. In this part 2, we cover file management for the small video production crew. As long as there’s been digital acquisition on the film and video sets, there’s been the need to ensure that digital content makes it back safe and sound to the edit room. One time of losing a camera card is one time too many. For Part 1, click here.
Small Video Production Crew
Okay, so first let’s define what we mean by a “small crew” for video production. Sometimes, one person goes out with a camera and shoots all he or she can for the client. Then maybe a second person is there to help carry the gear. For interviews, a third person might be added to cover sound. Or back to one person who does it all. A small crew is one to three people. So maybe you’re a one man band, or you’re the grip slash PA, but here’s our system for file management.
When you place the card into the camera, tear off a piece of paper tape that you keep with the camera bag, and with a sharpie, mark the camera letter and the card number. The first one would be A zero one. Place this tape over the card bay on the camera. When you’re ready to pull the card, take the tape off, wrap the card contacts with the tape, and set the card aside in a safe place. A card with the contacts taped means that card has NOT been transferred. The new card gets placed in the slot with a new piece of tape on the outside of the camera, over the card bay.
Then, when you get to the computer, take the card that has the tape covering the contacts out and insert into the computer.. Open Hedge and copy the card over to your two sources (we’ll explain Hedge in a future chapter). If you’re not using Hedge, then use file manager or whatever software you’re using to copy over to your hard drives. Once the card is transferred, and the footage is confirmed on the hard drive, remove the card. Place the card backwards in the card wallet—it’s best practice to not use the card again on this shoot, unless you absolutely need it. Stack the piece of tape on the card reader or computer. As you go through cards, keep stacking the tape—you never know when you might need to go back through and see which cards got transferred and in which order.
The paper tape is a great way to keep everything straight. Buy a couple of different rolls and keep them in the camera bag with a sharpie. It should become part of your kit. Think this is overkill? You’ll wish you’d spent a few dollars on tape and markers the first time you accidentally delete footage.
Look for part 3 soon!