When editing, I tend to back up a few things. I have my project files on my main hard drive, and I back them up nightly to my media drive and to a thumb drive. But that isn’t the only thing I back up. I also have all my media backed up as well. I have a main raid that I use as my media drives…what I edit from. Then I have a few firewire drives, and a cheap Raid (the one I built) that I use to back up my media.

Why do this, you ask? Well, I didn’t used to. I used to always say “hey, if you have the tapes, and the project file…and the P2 MXF files…you can always recapture and reimport and reconnect. That is a lot of re-ing. But then something happened that changed my mind. I lost a Raid with 78 hours of footage on it. BUT…I was lucky…I had it all backed up. I was reviewing the S2VR Duo for CalDigit…so I copied all the footage I captured on my Dark Tower raid onto the Duo and used it for a few months. When I was done with my review, I moved back to my Dark Tower Raid (to continue to test it, as I JUST built it). SO here I was, happily editing along when…I lost the raid. It simply vanished from my desktop. All that footage gone. I determined that I had a bad drive (it happens) and replaced it, and recreated the Raid. But now, I still had the Duo sitting here…with all my footage backed up. Whew! A few hours later and all the footage was back on the Tower.


Now…if I DIDN’T have this footage backed up, I’d be looking at a week of recapturing and reimporting and reconnecting the footage. Again…all those REs. Let’s look at that in terms of money. I’d be looking at Deck rental for 5 days (weekend included in the 5th day)…I have sixty-four 40-min tapes to capture. Then I have 104 4GB P2 cards to re-import. All of this takes time…so you have my rate for the week, then my bay rental for a week. Which means that we are pushing the show a week. All that adds up…to a pretty penny.

Now, a couple 1TB firewire drives with all the footage backed up to them would be a good solution. No need for the really good ones I use for editing. A LaCie or Seagate or OWC firewire drive will do. Or a few 320GB drives…what ever runs cheaper and is considered reliable…will do. The cost of these drives is small compared to what you can lose in time and deck rental. AND…they are a renewable resource…you can use them from project to project. A buddy of mine, Walter Biscardi, does this as well. He uses 1Tb and 2TB LaCies. And yes, he has had to resort to them on more than one occasion. Luckily, I have only had to resort to my backups once.

You just have to ask yourself, “how much is my time worth?”