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First time RED Epic DIT

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Quick question for the brain trust.
I'm a newbie to the board but not to the biz. Main background is in HD broadcast and TV (20 years), but I also teach film/video production at a small college. Been ASC member in the past.


Working the next few weekends with 1st AC as DIT and responsible for file management for the shoot.

Have a Macbook Pro and several 1TB Firewire800 / Lightning drives.


For those used to working RED, wondering what the best backup workflow is for pulling 5K R3D's from Mini-Mags via a Red Station in the field? How many TBs storage should I plan for over a 48 hour shooting schedule?


We've got a limited number of Mini-Mags and will have to recycle often during the weekend.


Thanks for any tips to make the experience smooth with no data loss. Excited to work with RED for the first time.




- David

Edited by David Mulford
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I think you should first get an estimate of how much footage they expect to shoot. And what resolution, frame rate and compression settings the DP wants to use since this will all affect how much data you will generate. Also, how many cameras they will use. Then use an app like Red Tools to figure out how much storage you actually need. Normally, you would do a minimum of two simultaneous backups with a third backup done offsite for extra security.


Ideally, you want to only use USB3, Thunderbolt, or eSATA for fast transfers. FireWire800 is really very slow and will bog you down. If you can, get a computer system, hard drives, and reader that can all do USB3 or Thunderbolt, it should be 2-3x faster. I would usually never start a multi-day Red project with less than 2TB of storage per drive. You never want to fill the drives completely since they tend to slow way down once they get filled past 50% of capacity. When in doubt, ask production to order more.


Also, download the free Redcine-X and Davinci Resolve Lite applications and get familiar with them so that you can view the downloaded footage.






You'll also want to download an app for downloading with checksums if you're not computer savvy and able to generate checksums yourself. I recommend Shotput Pro since it's relatively cheap and works for all kinds of media.




* The MD5 checksums would be standard, although if you really get bogged down then the down and dirty method to speed things up is to just do drag and drop and avoid checksums all together. This brings up all sorts of liability issues since at least with a checksum you have a piece of paper that you can wave around when something goes wrong. But really, that should never happen since you'll be expected to not only report immediately any copy errors reported by the software, but also to visually verify all the shots yourself in Redcine or Resolve and report any errors that the software didn't catch.

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Thanks Satsuki - Great advice.
I have a 20TB lightning RAID5 setup I may use as a primary download device. It's heavy, big, but pretty reliable.
Going to stock up on a bunch of 2GB drives as well for secondary backups per your advice.

I'm also planning on setting up a DIT cart with UPS for the RAID and for viewing footage on our HD monitor.
Luckily our locations all have decent power, so no Gennies needed (we hope).

Mac Mini may come in handy as well possibly.



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What I have done on remote shoots is to have a RAID 5 (G Speed Q) with me and then I am daily sending shuttle drives(LaCie orange) to post who have a clone of my RAID 5. This would be the minimum set up. I never considered anything truly safe until it was backed up three times. I have used Shot Put Pro to back up over 4000 hours of C300 footage on a single season and never had a problem. USB 3 or faster is essential.

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Hopefully, production is paying for those drives, not you! Otherwise, you'll spend more than you end up making on this job :(

Yes sir - Production is bringing the drives, but the 20TB RAID is mine. Have to spread the $$$ around as this is a mostly pro-bono shoot of a student's indy script involving 2 production companies and two pro DP's. Some is paid for with a grant, while the rest is volunteer blood sweat and tears :) Have one college Alum who is former King of the Hill and Simpsons producer. Another alum runs Red Velocity in town. Should be a fun learning experience for all. http://brackety-ack.pages.roanoke.edu/2016/02/02/interview-with-roanoke-student-for-film-creation/

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