Leaving for Asia for a month

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by fishcough, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. fishcough macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Hi all, I've posted a few questions about this project and you all have been great. I'm closing in on some final thoughts and just need some input from the pros.

    We're going to be filming all around China for about four weeks. I'd imagine I'll be getting a couple of hours of footage a day.

    I've purchased a Canon XF100 as the primary camera and we're using a DSLR and Zoom H1 for low light/back up. I'm also bringing a 13inch MBP 2.4GHz 4GB with FCE 4. We will ultimately be cutting an assembly in express to give to our editor to create a finished piece in FCP 6.

    I'm pretty satisfied with the equipment (though I'd love to hear any additional thoughts), but I continue to struggle with how to back up in the field for a month. We're not going to be able to schedule any reshoots...

    I think it is essential to back up in two places, so I think I'm looking at one of two options:

    1. Purchase a whole bunch of CF cards (the camera records to CF). When a CF card is full, copy the footage to the MBP and then move to a 1tb external drive. Don't reuse the CF card. Giving me the footage on the CF and as a folder on an external drive. This option could get expensive, but I have one shot at this.

    2. Shoot to CF. At night, copy the footage to MBP and copy to an external drive. Then, copy to another external drive. Keep the drives in two different places. I figure 1TB drive should be able to hold 60-70 hours of HD footage. Reuse the CF cards. This is cheaper, I could pack on drive in my camera bag and one in my backpack, but doesn't feel as secure for some reason. Any suggestions on a good, rugged external drive?

    In either case, I'd just be copying the footage and would worry about getting it formated for FC when I returned. Not planning to do any editing in the field.

    Sorry for the long post, and I appreciate any further guidance.

  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Correct me if I'm wrong but is fce documents compatible with fcp documents :confused:
    I remember trying to open a fcp file in fce and it didnt work.
  3. Babybandit macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2008
    Hey! China will be a great place to film.

    Regarding your CF Card Dilemma, Here's my take on it.

    I like the security of Option One. But remember, even if you're not going to reuse it by filling it and leaving it there (Backup!?) - there's still a slightly less if not equal chance of failure. If you're going this path, You definitely want brands that are reasonably well known with good build quality. It does afterall have correlation with reliability (Slightly).

    Being from Hong Kong, and knowing China Well enough... Here's a problem you might face: If you bring a lot of CF Cards in... I'm imagining at least 20, 30... They're going to be their typical suspicious self! You might face some issues there. And personally, I don't think buying it in China is an option with fakes everywhere. So that might be something you want to think about.

    Personally, I think a mix between Option One and Two would work best. Have about 10-15 CF Cards and be ready to swap them around. Delete the bad takes after Import and Backup and reuse. As Student Filmmakers, despite wanting to go Route One, we didn't have enough budget... So we went in with four SD Cards for 2 Cameras. We imported and backed up everything. Marked the 'Poor' shots, deleted them and reused it that way... It really depends on your budget I guess.

    Finally, the last option is a DSLR with twin SD / CF Card Slots that can record to both cards simultaneously as a Backup!
  4. fishcough thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Thanks guys.

    Martin, that video is very cool. thanks much. I don't have the budget those guys have, but I was able to pick up some ideas.

    Puck, I've recently seen (though I can't track it down) that FCE 4 works fine with FCP 6 and 7. I'll post the link when I find it. I think it may have been apple's site.

    Bandit, I'm leaning toward a mix too. For the sake of space and sanity, I'm goign to review the footage at night, dump shots I know we'd never use, and store that to one or two external drives. Then I'll use the card until it is full and lock it. I'm seeing 2:40 worth of 50Mbs footage on a 64 gig card. So I figure fill one every two days or so with only selects. No more spray and pray for me.

    Finally, this is my lack of Mac experience showing, but it turns out the machine I'm going to bring, and later put together the very rough assembly track on, is a 13 MBP with a 2.26GHz processor, 2GB and a NVIDIA GeFroce 9400M card. Will this do the job? I realize that's a loaded question, but in terms of in the field, I'm just planning to pull the footage from the CF card, make some choices, move that footage to the external drives. I figure it should do that job pretty well.

    Editing may be a different story, but the major rendering work will be done by my editor on his big machine.

    Am I missing something? Or do you guys think that machine can handle it?

    Thanks again.
  5. Babybandit macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2008
    It really depends. If you plan on bringing the big machine along, I'd just view it there in Full Res after being imported into Final Cut. Leave the Backing Up, Deleting and other minor tasks with the MacBook Pro. Or if time is an issue, even transferring the files to the MBP, putting it on a Hard Drive and sending it to the big editing machine as you shoot could be an option. That would optimize the use of the MBP and make the workflow a bit more productive.

    If you're not so lucky to bring along the larger machine - I guess it would work, but it would be slower, though not snail-like. My 2007 MBP still holds up pretty well viewing footages. Just know that any rendering big or small will take a bit of time. But Irregardless, I'd suggest you upgrade your MacBookPro to at least 4GB of Ram. It doesn't cost much, but it definitely helps!
  6. WestSt macrumors member

    May 9, 2010
    It works the other way around - FCE to FCP (as OP needs it to) ;-)

    However, FCP to FCE, as you said, won't work (maybe XML if your project is well orginized).

Share This Page