Posts Tagged ‘Hard disk drive’

The Value of a DIT in Today’s Digital Workflow

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Composite image of flash memory cards, showing...

Image via Wikipedia

File-based work flows in video production have presented an incredible amount of benefits to the overall production process, but they have also demanded that video producers/directors reshape the way they move from production into post-production, and finally, to delivery. One of the key members of a tapeless video crew is the DIT, or Digital Imaging Technician. This individual, depending on the size of the shoot, is responsible for many things, but in my opinion, the most important function of the DIT is managing all of the assets while on location. This means taking the memory cards from the DP or camera assistant and transferring them over to hard drives. Once on the hard drives, a DIT will usually back up those files to a redundant drive and ensure that everything transferred correctly before re-formatting the cards for use again on the set. In addition, a DIT will prep each file for use in post-production and will prepare dailies for the director and the client to review.
For projects with smaller budgets, it may be tempting to forego the services of a DIT and simply let the director, DP, or a production assistant handle the duties of a DIT. Although this approach works, consider the side effects of this approach:

  • Using the director and/or DP to handle this job could slow down the pace of the shoot considerably. Once the cards are full, the director or DP must stop work, start transferring footage, wait for that footage to be transferred, confirm the transfer, reformat the cards, then return to the set. A DIT can handle all of this while the director and/or DP continue their work of shooting, setting up for the next shot, or working with the client and/or talent. This maintains a good work flow throughout the day and ensures that everything stays on schedule.
  • Using a production assistant as a DIT means assigning a less experienced person to do the job. An experienced DIT knows the equipment, knows exactly what he/she is doing, and can properly communicate with the director/DP.

So, even for those shoots that have smaller crews, a good DIT is a valuable asset to the team. However, with the ever-increasing capacity of memory cards, and the ever-decreasing cost of those memory cards, it will become easier for small ENG crews to spend an entire day shooting to memory cards, without ever having the need to transfer and reformat. All of the cards can simply be stored until the end of the day, then transferred at night, and used again the following day. But if the production turn-around is extremely tight, it may be in the producer’s best interest to hire a DIT and allow him/her to transfer all the footage during the course of the day, start prepping for post, and begin work on a rough edit. This will save a lot of time and will allow the producer to get the final video out to the client much quicker.

Ultimately, the use of the DIT depends on the situation, but don’t underestimate the value of that position in the ever-increasing world of tapeless video production.

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Ease Your Cross-Platform Workflow with MacDrive

Monday, January 17th, 2011

If you are a video editor, whether amateur or professional, no doubt you have encountered projects containing a wide variety of video assets. Sometimes these assets can come to you on PC-formatted hard drives or Mac-formatted hard drives. It’s your job, as the editor, to pull all of this material together into a cohesive whole. If you work on a PC and find yourself having to work with files stored on a Mac-formatted hard drive, might I suggest MacDrive from Media Four. After purchasing and installing the software, you will be able to view files on your PC from any Mac disc and/or drive. You can also partition and format for the Mac directly on your PC. And if you run Windows on your Mac, this software allows you to access the Windows files from within the Mac OS. It certainly makes workflow much easier if you have to work between platforms on a consistent basis.

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Finding the Right System for Video Editing

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Adobe Premiere Pro Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I came across the following question recently pertaining to the specs needed to run Premiere Pro CS4 and Photoshop CS4 efficiently:

Need a cheap laptop for adobe premiere pro cs4. will this one be okay? what specs will be best?
have been looking at a few on ebay. here is the specs for one of them.
Will it be powerful enough to use premiere and photoshop? thank you!

Dell Latitude D620
Intel Core2 CPU
T2700 @ 2.0Ghz
2.00 Ghz, 2.00 GB of RAM
100GB HD

If you are thinking about diving into video editing by purchasing a computer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want your system to run at peak performance. One – video files take up a lot of hard drive space, especially if you are working with HD files. Depending on the format of your raw footage, HD video files can take up as much space as 1GB per minute. So, you will need a computer with a lot of hard drive space. Most laptops in the $1500 and below price range usually come pre-installed with a 250GB hard drive. That may seem like a lot, but remember that you aren’t getting that full 250GB to use for media storage. Your OS, pre-installed software, and the software you choose to install will all eat up some of that 250GB. And if you plan on using this computer for more than just video editing, you will also need your hard drive for music, photos, documents, etc. My desktop system has four internal hard drives: one 300GB boot-up drive where I install all software and applications, one 150GB drive for all of my project files and scratch disks, and two 500GB drives for all media assets.

Second, video editing software like Premiere Pro CS4 require a lot of memory to run efficiently. If you read the system specs on the PremiereProCS4 box, the minimum memory requirements are 2GB, but if you plan on…

  1. editing a lot of HD footage
  2. running multiple applications at once
  3. working on long projects

you will need extra memory. My system has 16GB of memory.

Third, the processing speed of your computer will determine how quickly your system can access files it needs for editing. Think of your entire computer as a very large filing cabinet. Processing speed determines how quickly your computer can sort through everything in that filing cabinet and pull out exactly what you need, when you need it. A dual, or quad core processor will make a huge difference in system performance. Additional processors allow the computer to divide up the workload, so your system doesn’t get choked. It’s like having a team of people combing through that virtual filing cabinet, each one assigned to a particular task.

Maxing out a computer with hard drive, memory, and processing speed will not be cheap, so the decision depends on how you ultimately plan on using the computer. What type of videos do you need to edit? What format will you be working in? What is the purpose of the videos you plan on editing? I have a pretty hefty system, but that’s because I edit professionally for corporate clients. Like any house-hold job or construction project, knowing the scope of the work will help you decide what tools you need. Each tool is different. Each has its purpose and each has its limitations. You just have to find the right tool for the right job.

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