Information Technology Reference
from scratch, as long as you had a copy of the source material. So,
when thinking about video backups, give special weight to that
Raw files on your hard disk: If you've copied the data from
your camcorder to your computer, you now have two copies (unless
you own a camcorder that captures video to a hard disk or memory
cards, in which case the original is what's on your hard disk). But
not all your raw footage will end up as part of a movie; if you're like
most people, you probably shoot a lot of extra material you'll never
want to look at again. Those raw files—before they become part of
an actual movie project—are generally the least important to back
up (assuming that you still have the originals elsewhere), especially
if you also have the original footage on tape or DVD.
Project files: The project files are perhaps the most challenging
component, because you may modify them many different times. If
you include these files as part of a standard versioned backup, you
may find (depending on which video editing and backup software
you use, and several other variables) that even a tiny change to a
20 GB video project results in the entire 20 GB file being added to
each day's backup.
Versioned backups of your project files can be worthwhile, but they
generally benefit work in progress more than older material. Once
you've completed this year's holiday DVD and sent it off to your
family, you're unlikely to need all the intermediate versions of the
project files again—though you may want the final project files later.
Final, rendered movies: As for the final product, it goes without
saying that it's important, but as long as you still have the project
file and source material, you can recreate it if necessary. So it's less
crucial to back up than your project files.