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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #11

Backing up at project end By Stephen Schleicher
I had a reader contact me last week asking what was an easy way to back up and save Final Cut Pro projects at the end of a job. I think everyone has a different take on this subject, and while it may not be the best solution, here is my suggestion.

In many cases people will back their data (including video data) on a DLT or other storage media, like a FireWire drive. The problem is if you are working on a large number of projects, saving all of your media on a FireWire drive will quickly eat up space. At nearly $400 for a 160GB external FireWire drive, this solution quickly becomes a money concern.

My suggestion not only saves space, but it also takes about as long to restore the project using my method as it does using a DLT backup system.

It should be noted that for this process to work, you need to have access to the original videotape that has the timecode used during the original capture.

So how does my process work? I suggest the only thing you should save is your project files, graphics, and EDL. Toss everything else in the trash.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with clients who are generally very happy with the work delivered and typically do not need to go back to do re-edits at a later date. But just in case, I try to keep a video project in tact on my storage drive for at least three months after a project completes. After that time period, I simply go into the folder where all of my digitized footage is stored (see Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #6: Configuring Your Scratch Disk), and delete it. All of my graphics, animation and project files are located in a different folder. This information can easily be stored on a CD or DVD disc for long term storage. All of the DV tapes are then boxed, labeled, and stored should I need to jump into them again. (If you have clients that keep their own tapes, make sure they are storing them properly, or are allowing you to make a dub for archiving purposes).

Should the client come in a year later and say, "Hey, remember that really great project we worked on last year? Can we pull that back up, make a couple of changes, and repackage it for this years show?" it is a simple matter to restore. All I have to do is place the CD/DVD file back into the proper scratch disk folder, open Final Cut Pro, and have it recapture the video from the original tapes.

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