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Tips for Backing Up Your Video Editing Project

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/7/2011

Here are a few tips that will help you make sure that your project back up will save you in case of catastrophe.

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    The Save

    Few digital projects take up more time and space than digital video editing. The process itself is multifaceted and requires the capture and care of footage, all of which is large. Alterations are then made using project files, renders are taken, outside material is utilized, and all of which is combined into a final artistic film project. This is rarely done in a single sitting and larger projects take months to complete. For most people this involves using multiple locations to work with post-production facilities and equipment on a portable hard drive, which are some of the least dependable of all personal computing peripherals. The biggest catastrophe that can occur during video editing is damage to your storage facilities or alterations made to your project that loses all of your hard work and often times even the base footage that makes up your film. To avoid this, backing up your editing project becomes a central part of everything you do. Since it is such an involved process there are certain ways to go about this and different methods can achieve more positive results. Here are some tips for effectively backing up your digital video project.

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    Backing Up the Entire Project

    The video editing process is not just a matter of a few project files and your base media, but instead a whole series of different files. This means render files, all capture files, base transfer files like MXF files, audio alterations, color grading files, motion graphics, stock footage, and more. To really create an effective back up situation you have to start by being organized. Separate each file by its file type and place them in their own individual folders. From here you can place all of the individual folders into a single one for the project. Now when you want to back up your project you will simply transfer the entire folder onto the other hard drive location.

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    Consistent Back Up

    The only way that backing up your digital video editing project is going to be worth anything is if you do it consistently. This means backing up your entire project every day that you work. Find a back up storage location, which can be a home computer or another hard drive, each night after working on your project transfer the entire folder to the other hard drive location. After the first time simply replace the file each time as you go along, which will make sure that the older file has been deleted in favor of the new one. If you do this you will find that even if there is a crash the most recent files are from the day before.

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    Saving Correctly

    You will not be able to easily know what the most recent files are and where they are when going to your back up files if they were not saved correctly. Make sure that you set your capture scratch, autosave vault, render files, and everything else to your folder each time that you are editing. For every new day create a new project file under that date so that you have a clear idea of which the newest one is. This is going to keep everything accessible in the case of a crash.

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    A Second Back Up

    It is always good to keep a second back up storage area available whenever possible. You do not have to back up everything in this area, but you may want to make sure that you do a second back up for the capture scratch and the project files. Try doing this on a different format than the other back up, just to be safe.