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  1. #1
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    Archiving Digital Projects

    I'm interested in peoples' techinques on how they're archiving digital (DV / MiniDV) projects after the job is complete. Here's what I do:

    - Keep the all the original reels (ten 60-minute tapes for my last project) and put them into my archival cabinet.
    - Take the final, uncompressed AVI or DV master, the project files, and all the supporting files (documents, stills, titles, etc.) and compress them into spanning WinRAR files (4.6GB each). I don't RAR the original captures, since they're on the reels still.
    - Move each spanned RAR file onto a data DVD.
    - Delete the project from my hard drives.

    The big problem with this is that it takes forever to RAR the files down, then takes a bunch of time to burn them to DVD.

    I'm looking to this solution: http://www.cristalink.com/fs/

    Any thoughts or ideas out there?

  2. #2
    Member Libor's Avatar
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    I also keep-archive the original tapes.
    After making the final video, I just record it on a miniDV tape
    and name the tape MASTAR xx, where xx is # of the tape.

    Then erase all the stuff left from your computer.
    That's it.

    Or, you need to archive the whole project in digital form
    to make some changes later?

  3. #3
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    I'm definately interested in leaving it all digital so I can come back to it at a later date for editing purposes. That's why I've been archiving the data to DVDs.

  4. #4
    Member Libor's Avatar
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    What about this:
    1. Record your final on a MASTER tape (a tape for final videos)
    2. Compress all the files exluding the final AVI

    The project files, titles, documents and so on should be
    tiny in comparrision to final video.
    When you need to make any changes in the final, just make them
    and render the final again.
    The only time consuming thing is to retrieve your source clips
    from tape.

  5. #5
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    This is what I'm doing, however I'm curious what everyone else is doing out there and are they archiving the final project files to DVD, or to tape backup, or to hard disk, or maybe something else I'm not aware of? Do big production houses keep their projects in a digital, editable format after they're done with the client, or do they wipe everything out and just output the master to tape/optical disc?

  6. #6
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    The TV channel I work for deletes all the project files after editing, only keeping the edited version on a central server as well as tape.

    Personally I prefer to keep all project files. Here's what I do at home (using Premiere):

    Once the project is complete, I usually create a trimmed version of the project to minimize storage space. In some cases I save it to DVD but in most cases it won't fit. Instead, I have a stack of external 500GB hard drives which stores my projects. I have different drives for different purposes, e.g. two drives for home video, one drive for mediacollege.com projects, several drives for client work, etc.

    When hi-def DVD is available, whole projects will be a lot easier to store, at least in standard definition. Once we're shooting everything in HD then we'll have the same problem again
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    Thanks Dave. That sounds like a pretty good solution. Are those external 500GB drives simply the off-the-shelf Maxtor or Seagate USB drives, or are you using some sort of mass storage controller like RAID-5 or something? I'm curious how "difficult" it is for you to retreive the data off those drive if you want to open a project up again...

  8. #8
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    They are off-the-shelf Seagate Firewire drives. Most of the time they are turned off - I only turn them on when I want to access an old project. The only hassle I have is that they are daisy-chained so I sometimes need to turn on several hard drives to get the one I want. On the whole though it's a great, simple cost-effective solution.

    In the future I intend buying a network hard drive enclosure which will be easier to access from any computer on my network. It will be a raid and I'll use it for more current projects. I can't tell you much more about that option yet but my computer adviser tells me it will be very useful.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  9. #9
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    Re: Archiving Digital Projects

    Excellent info, Dave. Thanks! I think I may lean towards an external drive system myself.

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