Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Harddrive Crash

Post-production suffered from somewhat of a crisis this weekend that I now feel comfortable writing about. My entire movie, including the captured footage and the Final Cut editing track, was on an external 1TB harddrive. When I’d connect that drive, I’d leave it on the floor by the tower. Friday night I went in to watch some footage and log some scenes as usual. As I was doing this, my foot grazed the drive and it tipped over to the side. I was afraid of a wire popping out which would mean a device removal, but I didn’t expect anything worse than that. But it turns out that even though the little drive (which was only a month old) fell to the side (on a carpeted surface), something inside broke. It wouldn’t mount on the computer and it was making a really bad clicking sound whenever it was started up. I could not get to my movie at all.

This drive is a LaCie from the Apple store. LaCie’s warranty would fix the drive for me for free, but the data on the drive would be lost. I called the Apple store to see if there was anything they could do, but it’s out of their scope. I then stopped at Geek Squad at Best Buy and they were powerless too. Apparently, computer-fixing companies aren’t big into either repairing harddrives or recovering data. There are special companies for that, like DriveSavers.com out in California. They’ll recover data from harddrives that were in explosions, and they’ll do it in very little turnaround. But they’d cost up to $5,000.


I
was pretty sure that my DP Mike still had the footage on his video cards, and I had already logged everything I had edited. So I found myself wondering which was more worth it: getting the footage from Mike and re-editing from start, or spending thousands of dollars (that I don’t really have, but dammit this movie needs to be finished!). Then something occurred to me that I had completely forgotten:


Flashback to the final day of shooting. My 1st AC, Garreth, was dumping the video cards onto my 1TB for me. Garreth knew I also owned a 500GB drive, and he told me that as soon as I got home, I should backup something called “the P2 files” onto my 500GB. At the time I really didn’t understand what kind of files they were, but I went home and did it anyway. Thank f*ckin’ God I listened to Garreth.


I
t turns out that P2 files were the files from the video cards, but compressed(?) in a different format. In other words, I had a backup of all of my footage, just in a different form. I called Mike the DP to see about how that gets imported. All I had to do was open Final Cut, click on transfer, and open the P2 folders. Final Cut imported all of my footage and converted it into the right format. As for the editing track…well I had that too because Final Cut autosaves every once in awhile onto my computer’s internal drive.


So last night I finished importing all the footage onto a new 1TB drive and reconnecting most of the media. My movie’s back. I lost a weekend of editing time, but I learned some valuable lessons. (1) Harddrives off the floor. They look sturdy but they’re surprisingly delicate. I’ve got them on the desk behind the monitor now. (2) Back up everything, and always listen to Garreth. He is the hero of the day (yes, I’ve been keeping track of all of the “heroes of the days”). (3) I know how to do some stuff in Final Cut Pro that I didn’t before, so that’s kind of cool.


When I thought all was lost, I went into such a state of denial that everyone kept asking me why I was handling this so well. Inside, I was dying though. Editing this thing was one of the few things that has been keeping my mind at bay lately, and to lose that (over a stupid foot grazing a harddrive) was a thought I wasn’t prepared to handle. I’m so glad this crisis was averted, and let’s hope for a smooth post-production process from here out.


Look for a new Side Panels minidoc either tonight or tomorrow.

3 comments:

Vinny Bove said...

All I can say about that is...WHEW!!!

Anonymouse said...

Didn't I tell you? You've got massive block feet Ralphy. Be careful what you should graze with those giant clown shoe-fillers because they're deadly and leaden and will break anything. I just hope you don't end up grazing the woman who love with them. Unless you fall in love with a woman who likes that sort of thing. Which, let's face it, you probably will. That doesn't make you a pervert thought. But, let's face it, a woman who likes men with giant demolition feet is pretty much a slut. Speaking of which, have you thought about casting another film any time soon?

Anonymous said...

N F W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!