A plan is only as good as its execution. One of the things on set that you need to know is when and how you ingest your media. What are some other questions you need to answer early on before the shoot happens? In this video, Richard Harrington brings up some important questions that you'll need to answer so you can create an ingest plan.
- A plan is only as good as its execution. And one of the things that's going to matter on set is when you ingest and how you do it. A little later we're going to set up a station for capturing the video, but there are a few questions that you need to answer early on before the shoot happens. For example, when are we going to capture footage? Is it going to be throughout the shoot? Is it a live capture, and we're going to be writing files to disk? Maybe using a hard disk recorder? Or are we going to be shooting to memory cards? Well what happens when those cards get full? A lot of times, on a busy set, camera operators have spare cards in their hands.
But what I've seen happen is that they're not sure which card has been written to and which one is new. So, who's in charge of cards? When the card is full, does the camera operator need to ask for a new memory card? Ideally, if you have someone on set managing data, they're the ones that hand out new cards and check them in. Now a lot of times things get a little crazy and there's a lot of running around, so something like a card wallet is a good idea. In fact, I typically use two card wallets on set. I'll have one card wallet that has fresh cards in it.
And I put that one in my right pocket. Then, using a completely different case, something like this where we can actually write on and we'll talk more about this later. I'll take the used cards, and if they have a tab to pop, I'll even pop that to prevent them being recorded on again, but I'll put them in a new case, label it and put it in my left pocket. Now you might be wondering, why the right and the left? Well, simple, the cards in the right pocket are the right ones to shoot to, and the ones in the left pocket should be left alone. Now, this may seem rudimentary but I'll tell you this much, if you go into a surgery operating room, people follow check list, people follow simple procedures.
The more complex you make something, the more likely there is a mistake. So when you're on set, who's in charge of cards? Is it the person who's managing data? Is it the director? Is it an assistant? Or is it everybody? Ideally, you'll centralize that power. Put it in one persons hands, and if it's your job to maintain the integrity of the data, you might want to maintain the integrity of the cards, checking out new cards that have been wiped, erased, and you know are clean and ready to use, and then taking in the cards as they get full.
Now when does the back up occur? Well you might decide to back up as you go or maybe if you have multiple responsibilities on set, maybe you're the director, or maybe you're managing cameras and equipment and are going to do the archiving while the crew is striking the set. But it's important that you know, if you're going to be doing something like archiving footage, and you have another responsibility, well that's potentially dangerous, you don't want to be distracted from what you're doing by trying to do too many jobs simultaneously. Of course, this might become necessary.
On some camera formats, they can burn through cards very quickly, using a lot of data up, and you're going to run out of cards. It's important that you really know the lay of the land. So, let's break that down. First off, how many memory cards do you have? Second, who's going to be checking them in and out? Third, how quickly do you expect those cards to fill up? And fourth, when does back up happen? Now these are easy things, but if you don't have a plan ahead of time, it could lead to a lot of stress. Remember, no matter how fast your card reader endrives, it does take some time to transfer footage.
And the last thing you want to do is be standing around on set while people are yelling for a clean memory card and you don't have any to offer. Make sure you take the time to figure out the plan ahead of time, and you understand how many cards you have, how quickly they're going to be used up, and when the archiving is going to occur.
Follow Rich Harrington as he takes you through a practical workflow, explaining how to set up and organize your cameras on set, as well as how to set up a data transfer station on set to ensure that your data has a place to go. He also covers software tools, from using your computer's operating system to transfer data, to organizing your material using dedicated software solutions like Adobe Prelude. Plus, Rich goes into backup strategies, card management, and how to successfully hand off your data to post-production.
- The benefits of on-set asset management
- Challenges to look out for when managing data on set
- Confirming record options and acquisition format
- Building an ingest plan
- Creating a chain of command
- Managing data using a laptop, mobile workstation, or tablet
- Using your operating system to transfer data
- Building a data transfer station
- Logging, transferring, cloning, and transcoding data
- Reviewing backup strategies
- Handling incoming cards
- Erasing or reformatting media