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How do you organize your raw and edited video?
Our current media organizational process is in desperate need of an overhaul. We currently burn all of our video to DVD's and store it by date. I am in the process of revamping how we do this and I wanted to see if there were any other ideas out there before I began the process.
In the next budget cycle I will be adding a SAN to store working projects. I was also planning to organize our Raw footage by event then by date and do the same thing for our edited videos. The issue I have with this is what if I need all the messages on a given topic? Another issue I have is DVD storage solutions are sooo expensive. I've found a small cabinet for about $600 but it will only hold about 500 disks. Anything larger than that and the prices I'm finding jump to over $1500. Does anyone else have any other storage solutions that work?
I have had bad experiences with old burned DVDs. At another job of mine we are trying to copy 18,000 files off of 500+ old burned DVDs, and a large number of the DVDs are corrupt so we are missing thousands of files. On top of that, it takes time to burn them, and you have to organize them and keep them in storage. Could you not use an external hard drive to store them?
Also, how often do you access your old media? If the answer is "not very often", then you can compress the video, allowing you to save on space. You can compress an amazing amount of space while still not losing much quality.
As for how we keep our video: We rarely (read: never) use our past raw video, but I still keep it lying around. Our unedited video falls into one of two categories, and I store them as such:
Sometimes we shoot to mini-DV tape. We do this for videos, sermon illustrations, or any event that doesn't happen in the main sanctuary. For this I keep all of our mini-DV tapes organized in a cabinet, like this one. I never use a mini-DV tape more than once. This makes it more expensive, but we don't use mini-DV tapes very often, and we have all of our old video within easy reach.
All other unedited video falls into the category "services", if it be a Sunday morning service, a wedding or funeral, a VBS service, anything going on in the sanctuary. For this we have the camera on a tripod and we hook it to our iMac which records the video in iMovie. We keep these files on the internal HD for a few weeks, then we compress them and put them on a 1 TB external HD. It takes about one year to fill the HD (it is also used as a backup for the computer), so each year we just buy a new HD (about $100) and we can keep all of our video forever. Again, not the cheapest solution, but it sure beats having hundreds of DVDs laying around!
I developed a archival routine that started with a super-basic database on Lotus 1-2-3 (On an IBM PC/XT!) That was almost (mumbling "twenty") FIVE years ago! :~)
I still maintain a database in Excel. Archival for me at work is still tape-based. Every DVCPro remote shoot reel gets a unique number; DR-217, for example. The "DR" indicates "digital remote". This separates it from the old analog remote reels, which just have an "R" (and are all now back in a storage closet, awaiting their turn to be recycled).
Fields include the client, of course, shoot date, audio track info, talent and comments. Same thing with DVCPro master reels which are compilation masters; that is, a master reel will have dozens of different spots on it. They have fields for client, spot title, length, time code, music/fx tracks, and comments.
Remote and master reels all live in cabinets in my office. I can locate any spot we produced in the last 15 years in less than a minute.
As for the actual digital media, I use a system that folds in well with the Avid system at work. It's a little different at the church, where we are on Adobe Premiere. I make sure each Premiere project is in a unique folder, stored on removable external 1TB hard drives mounted in an Icy Dock. All creative elements - Photoshop files, audio clips, Encore files etc. are saved into that Premiere project folder. When the drives are full, they go on the shelf, held in archive. For services and drama/other video projects, we use about four drives per year. Each drive gets a unique name for the database (again, simple thing in Excel). These are HD01, HD02, etc. I database what is on each drive by project/service.
A simple search locates pretty much anything I need very quickly. I can reload the hard drive and I am off and running!
You are wise not to re-use miniDV tapes. You can, of course, but it gets to be a bit of a gamble. I have found that a few miniDV's, even stored in proper conditions, exhibit some artifacts after they've been on the shelf for a bit. I try to shoot almost everything via Firewire onto our Laird CapDiv now, and just transfer AVI files that load right into Premiere. The CapDiv is old news now, of course, but it works great.
So as much as I can, I am taking tape out of the production and archive loop now. We do roll unedited DVD's on services so we have a complete record of every service (including content we cannot distribute). Those go into paper sleeves, organized by date. Then they go into plastic tubs and are tucked away. I am guessing they will almost never see the light of day. It's a "belt and suspenders" thing, so to speak.
I am new to the forum, but a ministry tech for years. Tapes and DVD's can often become ruined and all is lost. In the digital age there are cloud servers and at times I have even used my web host to store video. It is backed up and roverable with a phone call should anything happen.
I shoot HD video with a Cannon HF200 and use Adobe premiere elements to edit. So for about $65 in software and a $6 a month or $60 annual fee for remote hosting I am all set and don't have to worry as much about back ups and safe keeping. Wasting money on storage bins etc is a waste of church funds I think.
I also purchased a great server for about $500. Anyone can have a server of their own and for about $99 you can get an xp system used and run open source server software, depending on your technical knowledge.
If anyone has any questions or you just want to share ideas I am open to any discussion that furthers the spreading of the Lords word.
Categorizing your videos by date isn't always practical because in the process of production and editing, you will end up creating non-dated material.
For instance, if you have a promo video that you give out to the new members and visitors, it wouldn't matter if it was produced on March 16, 2009 because if you ever needed to retrieve the original, you are less likely to remember the exact date and more likely to remember the specific topic.
Also consider that when editing, some projects can take a few weeks to complete and it may consist of bits and pieces of footage that is weeks and sometimes years old. So it would make more sense to categorize your church's anniversary compilation video under "Special Video Presentations" vs. having it labeled as "March 11, April 4, June 21, & August 5"
For storage, we use the book-sized CD wallet cases. They are the 12x12 zipper cases that hold 8 discs per page and hold roughly 200+ discs. We categorize everything according to the type of video it is (e.g. announcement videos, sermons, special events, weddings, projects, etc.)
We generate roughly 15 to 20 discs to be archived on any given month so even after 5 years of going straight to DVD, we have been able to store and organize all of our discs relatively cheaply without using up a whole lot of space on the shelves.
AVOID VIDEO THEFT! Convert over to Betamax!
I usually don't keep raw files. I always keep final products stored away under a folder for the year and in that folder in a folder for the month and then the project gets either a descriptive name or a date.
I figure if it's not good enough to end up in the final product then i don't want it. Since i shoot for edit then i usually don't end up with a bunch of footage in post. If the footage is recorded just for prosperity, like at functions then that footage is archived.
Excel file is your friend. I've tried Access files in the past but hardly anyone has access to Access.
I use Mediafire to store and catalogue all of the footage. We're a mobile church, so we don't have a facility or resources for a SAN. We also don't use anything with a tape at the moment. It's all shot on SD or CF. It keeps it from cluttering my hard drive(s), its easily accessible, its $7 a month or less if you get in on a special. Its also really easy to share specific files of any size with other ministries, clients, staff, or congregation. Obviously its password protected, and individual sections within the interface can be restricted as well.
I personally organize my tapes by labeling them. I label the top and long side of the tape.It doesn’t matter whether you fill out your labels and then attach them to the tape, or attach them first and then fill them out. Just make it easy for yourself and keep your labeling simple and clear.
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Aside from the hardware issues discussed above, I keep a flat file database with (off the top of my head) the following fields
Series (if applicable)
Title (e.g., sermon title)
Key words (usually provided by speaker or producer
Other production personnel
A Roll or B roll
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