For redundancy and insurance reasons, backups should be completed as soon as recording media are taken from the camera. If the production needs to recycle the camera media, the backups should be made as soon as the quality check of the downloaded media is complete.

Check with your insurance provider to see how many copies will be needed, in how many different places, before budgeting and shooting. Best practice is to create one copy on external hard drive and two copies on LTO tape.

For organizational simplicity, it is best to back up complete reels to a single piece of media. Spanning clips from a single reel across multiple pieces of media often creates confusion and disruption during the online process. Whenever possible, field audio files should be backed up with the footage they are associated with.

Backups should be checksum verified and reports generated. The DIT station should be loaded with some form of verification software; this is normally the DIT’s personal choice. After the verification is finished, the backup should still be spot checked to confirm that the process was successfully completed.

Separate copies of all master material created must be stored in different locations and travel back to base by different routes. Once the hard drive and LTO copies are created and verified, one LTO copy should stay with the field office while the other LTO and the hard drive are shipped to the post-production lab or editorial office. Best practice is to ship the LTO and hard drive separately, via different carriers and taking different paths, to ensure at least one copy gets back from the field. The remaining LTOs should be kept in the field and shipped at the end of the location shoot.

Offline proxies should be copied to transport drives in the field, unless they are telecines from film.

Forward to 9. Linear Tape-Open (LTO) of Backup Camera Data

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