No announcement yet.

handing avchd master to client in archival format

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • handing avchd master to client in archival format

    Hey folks,

    I'm about to move to AVCHD card-based workflow but one thing troubles me.

    My clients on small shoots (archival documentation of live shows) usually want the master media from me for future-proof backup. These are arts groups who once in a while need to show life's-work compilations which can be years and decades and formats into the future.

    I want to hand them full-quality master footage of shows, and I can't figure out a Mac workflow to do that from 16Gb SDHC, AVCHD masters.

    I'm not liking the idea of buying (or the client buying) a new hard drive for every one-night, 1.5 hour documentation gig, nor juggling client hard drives (with their accumulated lifetime backups) every time I shoot another show, four months after the previous one.

    In tape land, I shoot the show, burn a DVD and hand the tape and DVD to the client.

    I can't find a drop-dead-simple equivalent for the AVCHD, and google searches turn up mostly "archive camera contents" on Imovie or suggestions to back up everything you've ever shot onto a few cheap HD's, which seems like dumb advice anyway but is not right for me.

    Is BR-R the way to go?

    I've heard of problems with Toast's DVD-R-spanning AVCHD archive feature, i.e. it makes the AVCHD file structure unuseable.

    Flick Harrison

  • #2
    Are you asking for the easiest way to back up large amounts of footage? Because raw footage is just large, nothing you can do to resize it or whatever.

    My tip is just get a couple terabytes of external harddrive space and use it for just footage. Keep it organized. Just gotta buy a new one everytime you run out of space. :/ You may think it's too expensive but it's really not. As file size's get bigger, our technology gets better and better to withstand the stuff we have. Terabytes are just going to get cheaper and cheaper. In 5 years I bet we'll have Petabytes.

    Check this out. Kind of cool.

    Hope this has helped you or maybe informed you a bit.
    Last edited by Malachi; 02-04-2011, 09:57 PM.


    • #3
      thanks but -

      Thanks for the info but...

      You missed the main point of my question - I don't want to back it up on hard drives, I want to hand a f.q. master to the client on the same day I hand over a DVD of the raw footage or edited product.

      On a small gig, one night archiving a play, there's no budget for a $100 hard drive (for 60 minutes of footage?). I don't want to contribute to video-cost-creep; i.e. with tape it was $20 in materials for a 90-minute shoot, now it's $100 and you need to store a new hard drive for the rest of your life?

      Plus hard drives aren't archivally sound, I think, and a single hard drive with all their lifes' work is a dangerous way to go.

      I can hand over $20 worth of HDV tape and that will sit on their shelf for ages. If all the tapes fall off the shelf, they won't break and become unreadable.

      Plus, the client isn't a video producer, so keeping the directory structure of archived SDHC cards on their hard drive over years, possibly through a series office / production managers, is a recipe for disaster. That was never a problem with tape.

      Flick Harrison


      • #4
        workflow solution

        So I figured out a good workflow for now.

        I ingest the SDHC card into Final Cut Pro using Log and Transfer interface.

        Then I use Toast to make a disk image on another external HD (for safekeeping). It's a .dmg file, but with .toast extension. Then get toast -> utilities -> compare to check the data for integrity.

        (Mount the disk image, drag the private folder from your sdhc card into "original" and the private folder from the disk image into "copy" and click "compare.")

        I bought a pioneer BluRay drive at NCIX for $120 and an external FW800 case at OWC online.

        Then I use toast's AVCHD Archive feature to burn to on BD-R. It does no conversion or compression, but it alters the directory structure and file names to conform to BD spec. If you had less the 4.3 Gb you could use a DVD-r and save a few cents.

        The resulting BDR can be used as a new master to ingest into Imovie or Final Cut Pro, and even plays (without menus, bells or whistles) in a set-top BluRay player! VLC will also play the .mts files on that disc.

        For the cost of 2 BDR's (about $5.00 from NCIX), I can back up the media to two copies. That's equivalent to one Panasonic HDV master tape, but double the copies.

        When I'm finished editing, I can blank the toast dmg and my final cut pro capture scratch folder, and hand both BDR's to the client. I put them in jewel cases with black backing to prevent light from eroding the data over time, but I don't know what to think about those fragile pop-openny jewel cases as a place to store important backup data... I tape them shut.

        Flick Harrison


        • #5
          Thanks for the workflow detail, Flick!