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random access to lifetime stock footage library

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  • random access to lifetime stock footage library

    I have about 3000 hours of personal footage in film and video. Think of it as a stock footage library.

    I am looking for a way to edit from all of this material. Some pieces will be topical and may be drawn from a sequential set of reels. Others will be made up stories for which I want to select from anywhere in the library regardless of era or subject matter.

    I have not begun to organize this material. I assume it will take a couple of years just to view, log and copy the footage onto something like 60 minute mini dv tapes. At the end of that process I want a data base that references dozens of key words and phrases that describe this entire library from 1954 until now.

    Ideally the process would result in a kind of grammar that I could use to write a scenario using the key words and phrases of the data base and I would get a sort of batch capture list with all of the possibilities that meet the criteria of the scenario.

    I could view the various clips suggested and select the one or ones I want to actually capture for the project. Then I would edit using the material captured.

    If I need more or different material, I could again write that scenario (or scene) and would get another group of clips that fit the story line, or shot line.

    I realize that it does not make sense to try to have all of this material on line at all times. But I need an organizing principle and the hardware and software to enable this idea, even if it is realized in smaller doses than 80 terrabytes at a time.

    Someone has suggested that Final Cut Server (currently under development) might have the required ability. What other software and hardware solutions exist now? Do Stock Footage houses have such systems?

    Some of my material is seminal. Other of it is me and my eye. The archive is worth preserving, and I want to do it in a thoughtful and useful way. mx

  • #2
    am I in the wrong forum?

    I thought someone here might have some ideas.

    I have edited a bunch of this stuff at all points along the way. Now I want to compile it all in a way that gives me access to every shot or scene.

    Is the task too huge?

    Do commercial stock footage houses have some way to do it?

    Who should I be talking to?

    Help. mx


    • #3
      I'd guess commercial stock houses have a lot invested in proprietary software.

      Sorry. The only archiving system I have experience with was so long ago I can't even remember the name, but it was kludge-y, ran on DOS, and was a huge pain in the you-know-what. Even if they'd updated it in the last 8 years, I couldn't in good conscience recommend it...if I could remember the product name.

      Sorry. I know it ran in conjunction with Xymox production, post-production scheduling and billing...but a cursory Google search didn't even turn up anything under that company name.

      Last edited by debe; 09-18-2007, 05:11 PM.


      • #4
        hardware or software

        Deb, I am in this forum because I see the easy part of it as hardware. Software is the more obscure part of the system. Someone recommended Extensis 8. I have looked at it and I may try it, but I know it is not robust enough to do all of what I need.

        Do you have any experience with Extensis 8?

        What about hardware? Is it realistic to expect to load this much footage in even a highly compressed form onto integrated raid arrays and still have control of all of it? I have heard that there is a limit of 14 terrabytes.

        Is raid the best way to go? That is not firewire, I think. I am not a techie at all, but I am somewhat able to understand some technical information if it is presented in real world terms.

        Maybe some sort of data base by itself is suitable, keeping all the "footage" on reels and loading only the segments that show up on the data base search? I am looking for someone with some experience with this stuff. mx


        • #5
          I'm not your man on this one. Sorry. My only experience is from 8 years ago. I'd hope there have been leaps and bounds since then. Many of our members are independents who don't work in environments where they have to/need to deal with archiving solutions on such a scale. I'm not sure there are many folks here who would have the experience you are looking for.

          I do freelance work for a local county that has 20+ years of footage that's never been archived. It's all in the producers' heads...and that's never a good solution.

          To give you partial answers on your technical questions...There are many types of RAIDs. There are Fibre Channel, SATA and Firewire for starters. Those are the most common today. I'd think you might want to consider SATA, although Firewire might be sufficient for your needs. I'd think Fibre Channel would be overkill for your archiving needs.

          Just capturing 3000 hours, though, at 8 hours a day, will take you 375 days. That's a year and a half of "office hours" just letting the computer record the media.

          Logging it will take at least twice as long...depending on how detailed you get and how many different shots/takes are on each tape.

          So "unrealistic" kind of depends on how much time you have, whether you can/should hire interns or assistants for the work, whether you can trust someone else's opinion of what's important in the shots while they log, and whether or not you can have multiple systems running simultaneously to make the work progress at a faster pace. It certanly will be a Herculean Task that will likely require a lot of custimozing on your part to tailor any archiving solution to best fit your needs.

          Speaking of government....there is a chance that one of the participants or moderators in the Government Video forum below might have better information for you. Other government agencies/municipalities might have researched this for their archiving needs. You might consider reposting in that forum. (I'm on a cruddy rickety old old old PC at a clients' and can't copy and paste links for you....sorry)

          If anyone busts you for multiple posts....send 'em to me! I think this one warrants it!

          Sorry I'm not much actual help....but I hope I'm at least pointing you in a right direction.

          Last edited by debe; 09-19-2007, 01:51 PM.


          • #6

            I'm considering adding a Video SAN Solution for our office. I have been considering a Harware RAID and Postmap software that I saw at NAB.


            It is a very flexable, and powerful search engine for quicktime video clips.


            • #7

              thanks doc, I'll check it out. mx