Put your footage somewhere safe
One of the ironies of filmmaking is that people will work all day moving mountains to capture footage—which is then stored on the flimsiest format imaginable. At the end of the roll, everyone’s hard work is at the mercy of the guys unloading the camera and taking the film to the lab. And even with all the changes to the film world over the years, this remains the same. Your hard work is stored on strips of exposed negative, a hard drive, or a little memory card. Better keep your eye on it!
Most of the shoots I’m working on these days wind up on digital formats—either a hard drive or an SD card. For a big shoot there is a dedicated digital tech or off loader–the present replacement for the film loader—whose job it is to make sure that all the files are loaded to a hard drive, cloned, and are opening up and playing as expected. This is a great person to have around on a set, as they often find problems with footage while there’s still time to reshoot it.
When I’m working with a small crew (or when I am the crew) I don’t have this luxury. The best I can do is review in-camera and know that I’m storing my footage somewhere safe. For that I use a card protector.
A card case is a wallet that securely holds SD cards and keeps them from breaking when you do something stupid, like setting a heavy light on it. Yep.
The best SD card case I ever found was the Pelican 0910 (pictured). Each one carries eight SD cards in secure little molded rubber recesses. I’ve never had a card fall out of one. The case is small enough to pack away anywhere, big enough not to lose, and sturdy enough to survive a direct nuclear assault. Well, it seems like that, anyway. I keep one with each of my cameras, which prevents the other enemy of the SD card—the dreaded shirt pocket where it bounces around with your lens cap and maybe goes through the wash.
Sadly, Pelican replaced the 0910 with the 0915, which seems like a weaker design in a lot of ways. At least based on the Amazon.com feedback. If you find a good replacement for the 0910, please let me know. I’m glad I bought a few extra while I could.
Douglas Horn is a feature film writer-director and a creator of independent series. Douglas and Dan Southworth founded the web media company Popular Uprising. The company’s action/sci-fi series DIVERGENCE is currently in release on YouTube and IndieFlix. More information at: DouglasHorn.com and WhatIsDivergence.com .