Blog, business, post production for film and video

Testing the waters; discussing data storage for Hearken Creative

As a hyphenated company (graphic design-post production-corporate video), it becomes difficult to know where to start. So, we’ll just jump in wherever I feel like jumping in, and data storage is of high concern to me right now.

So let’s take a run-of-the-mill video project — a simple corporate video. Five minutes running time, which might equal 2-4 hours of tape. I keep all my captures, because that video might/will be useful for future projects. Each hour of SD video capture to Quicktime DV is approximately 13 gigabytes, making captured video top out at 52 gigabytes. I figure I will add another 2 gigs of custom audio, stock audio, stock video (frames, stingers, backgrounds, transitions) before finishing the project. So, a 5-minute corporate video has now turned into 40-60 gigabytes of data. A single-sided DVD holds 4.5 gigabytes; I could spend days archiving a simple 5-minute corporate video (and a dozen DVD discs). What happens when I have a feature, with over 60 hours of capture? Let’s see, 60 x 13 gb = 780 gigabytes. And that’s just capture, nothing else.
For live projects, I can take a 1-terabyte drive for work, and a second 1-terabyte drive for backup. Easy. But when the project is over, where do I put the data? I can’t leave it on the drive, because 1) I need the drive for the next project, and 2) everyone tells me that hard drives are not a viable archiving solution.

Enter the Blu-ray Disc (BD). On a dual-layer disc, I could get up to 50 gigabytes on one disc! And they would last! The problem: only one external BD burner is available for Mac so far: the LaCie d2. I hate LaCie products — I have at least 5 dead LaCie hard drives in my office. And I”m not hearing good things about the customer support on this new one.

So, I’m holding my breath, waiting for more Blu-ray products to come to market so I can start archiving my projects. Until then, I just keep buying more 1-terabyte hard drives…