Data wrangling is the single point of connexion between production and post-production for content to transit. Setting a strong link at this point can be beneficial to the production’s workflow and budget. But I can appreciate that some productions shoot so little that it may be unnecessary to hire a person at every shoot, or also because of budget restrictions. However, there should always be a set flow to handle the produced content and it will certainly have its benefits: safer rig, continuity, fewer mistakes, easier to troubleshoot, the possibility to claim insurance if something goes wrong (and that it hasn’t arisen from an operational mistake). At the end of the day, once set, people in your team will be familiar with the workflow and just get on with it.
In most scenarios, here’s the process that should get you to find the best outcome (though, note that each project is different and may require different steps):
I – Rig/shoot capacity analysis
Consult the shooters, the line producer/production manager and the post-production facilities to evaluate;
- the deliverables,
- the recording (compression) settings capacity & setup,
- the number of shoot days,
- the content’s handing over process (which drives go to where, how and when).
II – Data estimations
Estimate the amount of data that A/V recorders will shoot & store on a daily basis and for the entire shoot.
III – Evaluate the full backup solution vs. budget
- Which backup structure will make sense (how many drives, what the purpose of each is, where will they be located)?
- Copy devices (hardware, transfer software), available connexions and transfer speeds.
- Storage drives’ make and model, their connexions and speeds (e.g. Server/HDD/SSD vs. Ethernet/Thunderbolt/USB).
- Back-up solution in case of failure (anticipate where a failure can occur).
- Project roll naming convention.
IV – Backup solution deployment and operation
- Test the flow and inform the team of the validated process.
- Review content and its metadata, data logging.
- Operate transfers, dispatch content and send handovers of your work (if/when necessary) to relay changes, mistakes, general information.
- Monitor your log’s reports and compare to initial estimations (if you need to make workflow changes and purchases, as well as understanding errors in predictions, do better next time).
This log will give you the benefit of practically setting up your flow with this method. It’s free, take advantage of it, it can only help going forward.
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Table of Contents
Sheet 1 – Help Index
Sheet 2 – Naming Convention Setup
Sheet 3 – Deliverables Specs
Sheet 4 – Recording Specs
Sheet 5 – Drives Inventory
Sheet 6 – Media Inventory
Sheet 7 – Camera
Sheet 8 – Alt Media
Sheet 9 – Sound
Sheet 10 – SR: Simple
Sheet 11 – SR: Detailed
Sheet 12 – (Hidden) SR: Detailed