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Getting Into Data Managing


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#1 Steve Woronko

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:35 AM

I've been editing solidly for the past 3 1/2yrs and am trying to get back into working on set. I have some experience as an AC but with DIT/Data Managing on the
rise a few AC's I know are getting more work with that and said it's an avenue I should look into,which I have. In fact I am doing that on a feature. Here's the issue
that I have now come across. Being that I am just getting back into the production side, I have no built up my equipment yet. And on this shoot,when they're on location and
having a low budget/time restraint that those days I am not needed to cut back on cost/hassle,which means the next day I'm already behind because I have to dump the cards they shot. Other than a generator, is there alternative power source setups other than
investing in a vehicle, to do the job on location where there are power issues?

thanks in advance,
Stussey
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:58 AM

Your set lighting dept. should really be providing you with power.

If not, most systems will run fine off of a put-put or camera truck generator cleaned up by your UPS, which should always be larger and more robust than you think you need.


As for the show cutting you some days, that's just plain foolish. Personally, I would handle that by stating your concerns clearly and simply and then not going out of your way to rush to catch up. Do your thing completely and methodically. If you're hopelessly behind and mistakes happen because of it, you can be the first and loudest to say "I told you so."
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 05:25 AM

In my experience this is a hopelessly undervalued position. Not that it's particularly hard to do - what you're really doing is copying files, which is hardly rocket science, and perhaps running a few test and verification passes. It's not the end of the world from a technology point of view.

The problem - and my experience is now getting perhaps a bit out of date - is that because it is basically just file management, albeit a lot of file management, people tend to look on it in the same way they looked on a clapper loader.

Devaluing that enormously responsible position was always a mistake then too, but I would hazard the opinion that data management is considerably more complicated and less consistent from job to job, and has much more potential to introduce errors that are very easy to miss but very hard to solve. And, while a lot of people on a film set probably understood the loader's role pretty thoroughly, it is still, even now, extremely common to be working under people who know next to nothing about the intricacies of data management but still feel, as first assistants or DPs, that it's their responsibility to be in charge and dish out the orders.

All of which is why I very quickly stopped seeking that sort of work.

If you're hopelessly behind and mistakes happen because of it, you can be the first and loudest to say "I told you so."




...just like that, eh?


Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Alert! Warning!


P
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#4 Steve Woronko

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:52 PM

I survived the shoot. The DP wanted to use his computer and they had 2 8TB GRaids and 1 4TB GDrive. I would say it went smooth but it didn't. We quickly found out the room I was doing the data managing in was on the same circuit as the kitchen and pantry and no matter
how many times we said to not plug anything in or tape over outlets, the director would plug in stuff and pop the circuit. I had 2 of the drives get to the point where I was unable to write to them. After reading on some message boards I found out these drives have that issue.
But I persevered. Didn't lose any footage and now it's off to post.

By the end of the shoot due to it lasting longer than scheduled I ended up being 2nd AC so all is good.

Onward to the next job.

thanks for the replies.
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:14 PM

no matter how many times we said to not plug anything in or tape over outlets, the director would plug in stuff and pop the circuit.


Buy a UPS, like the Xantrex Backup PowerSource. Guaranteed, your power will become disconnected, no matter what the situation is. It tends to happen whether I'm working on a corporate job in an office or in a proper camera truck. Somebody eventually pulls my power without asking. Having backup power gives me a piece of mind, and always makes everyone else happy because they're not waiting on me to finish downloading and they can pack up the genny or do whatever they need to get out of here.
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#6 Douglas Johnson

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:41 AM

I'm doing my first all digital asset job at the moment and I'll admit that I'm a little bit overwhelmed.

I used to do a lot of film loading, but with that you had a camera note with each mag you received so you always had an idea of what was on the roll, with digital you sort of a get a bucket of clips with a letter or number on the bucket.

The media is coming in from 5 locations and four b-roll crews and no one is taking any detailed notes and all the media have random naming of the files, some of them repeated. I worked about 18 hours yesterday just ingesting everything and now I'm trying to figure out what's what before the next storm of drop offs occur.

At the moment I'm separating it out by date/venue/drive(card)#+recordname {ISO,PGM,ect})and then going in and naming the clips according to venueinitial-drive-recordname-#.

Is there any more I should be doing? Any suggestions on how to best organize everything better?
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:36 PM

The media is coming in from 5 locations and four b-roll crews and no one is taking any detailed notes and all the media have random naming of the files, some of them repeated. I worked about 18 hours yesterday just ingesting everything and now I'm trying to figure out what's what before the next storm of drop offs occur.

At the moment I'm separating it out by date/venue/drive(card)#+recordname {ISO,PGM,ect})and then going in and naming the clips according to venueinitial-drive-recordname-#.


Were you instructed by production or editorial to rename the clips? If you're just data managing, that's really beyond your responsibilities. My main focus is to just make sure the data's organized, safe, and I scrub it to make sure it's all there. If you're getting swamped in doing anything else to accomodate an Assistant Editor, I would bring it up to production. It'll save you a lot of headache and you'll get a much better night's sleep.

What are they shooting on? Do you have to ingest to FCP and transcode as well?
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:51 PM

Most productions will understand that too much on your plate means the footage is compromised, so communicate your concerns.

Down the line, editorial is going to rename clips and organize them to their own liking anyway.
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#9 Douglas Johnson

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:25 AM

Were you instructed by production or editorial to rename the clips? If you're just data managing, that's really beyond your responsibilities. My main focus is to just make sure the data's organized, safe, and I scrub it to make sure it's all there. If you're getting swamped in doing anything else to accomodate an Assistant Editor, I would bring it up to production. It'll save you a lot of headache and you'll get a much better night's sleep.

What are they shooting on? Do you have to ingest to FCP and transcode as well?


Yes, I was instructed to rename the clips, since I am one of the editors who will be dealing with the media in the future. It's being shot on KiPros and going straight onto external drives. Some of the deck ops have been good at naming stuff, others have not. So I have several clips all with the same name and because of how it's acquired there's no metadata. That's why I chose the folder structure and then some sort of identifying clip name.

I am also getting footage from a RED Scarlet and a camera with SXS cards, I don't rename either of these since I'm aware that the folder structure shouldn't be compromised.

This is the first time we've done an entire show recorded to a digital medium and no one really knew how long things would take in the transfer and back up. So far I haven't worked less than a 14 hour day. The drive names are all 001, the sub folders all named aja, and as I said many of the clips are just getting random internal names perhaps still set from some previous show.

Figure the more I organize on site the easier the post process will be, especially since I know I'll be one of the people who has to scour through all this footage in the future.

This is one of my concerns with the company I am currently employed for. I'm often asked to perform multiple tasks which eventually eats up much of my time. So, regarding data management, I'm understanding that my job is simply to transfer the media into an organized folder system for the assistant editor to log later and make sure that the there's no problems with the records?

Thanks for the advice.
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