Do you keep raw footage?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Pngwyn, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Pngwyn macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    Just wondering what everyone's take on raw footage is after you have finished the project you are working on.

    Being the OCD person I am, I like to store my raw files so I can go back to working on the project if I ever decide to do so without any quality deterioration.. in the the few years I have been working with video, I have only gone back once or twice to use raw footage, so I'm considering just trashing all of it and clearing up some space. All my recent footage has been HD so the raw sizes are pretty ridiculous.

    Just curious what you guys do with your raw footage :p
  2. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I'm willing to bet almost everyone backs up their original footage in some manner, especially anyone doing this work professionally.

    It used to be easy to archive a bunch of tapes, but there is no quick and easy answer in the new tapeless world.

    Hard drives are fairly cheap these days, so they're always a good backup solution. Backing up to tape is also a great option if you have the proper deck available.

    As for how long to keep it, well that's really up to you and if you foresee ever having to use that footage again. I would say only erase unless you absolutely have to. The relatively low cost of a hard drive is a small price to pay for the security of having all of your stuff for potential future use. And while you may think you'll never need any of it again, you can never quite predict what kind of projects will come up in the future.

    I strongly recommend keeping everything organized and coming up with a good footage logging system so that you can easily find a clip whenever necessary.

    If you do decide to get rid of your footage, make sure you notify any clients who may want to keep a backup on their end.
  3. gordyc44 macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2007
    Raw footage? Bin it.

    As Handsome Pete says, it was easy to keep a load of old tapes (Mini DV in my case) but despite disks being cheap, I definitely don't have room for all the raw stuff I happen to capture. All my footage consists of family holidays or events I've attended that are of special interest to me. I've learned to be fairly brutal about what I cut out - anything that isn't really really good and which I'd be happy to watch again multiple times, gets the chop.

    So, out of an hour's footage I would typically end up with about 10-20 minutes of watchable stuff (at most). Once I've finished the project and I'm happy with it, I trash the project file and all the associated clips. I work in full HD now (I'll normally render the project twice - once at full HD and once at iMovie medium resolution for my MobileMe gallery) so like you said, the raw sizes are enormous.

    If I'm happy with the result I got from the original footage, I don't see any point in keeping the other bits that I didn't want to put in.
  4. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    You never know when you could use a random broll clip for something else. I save absolutely everything by itself and I media manage my projects before archive to reduce size.
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    damn HD!!

    Yea where I work we were poised to handle all SD data.
    Then comes HD and it threw a wrench in media management :p
    Currently (up to Dec 2010) all video footage stayed within XDCAM discs.
    That pushed the DVCAM/miniDV that pushed the BetaSP/SVHS to the dumpster.
    Now were dealing with R3D (RED) files and were back to having to hang on to every frickin piece of data :p
    Cant win, just buy more SSD/HD drives or bite the bullet and get a DLT/LTO unit.

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