When hiring a videographer, (or a photographer) one thing people don’t often contemplate is how much effort the videographer puts into data protection. Its boring, its technical, and its super important.
Now, to start with, there is no way to ensure 100% that no clips or video files are going to get lost, if you drop your camera in a lake, there isn’t much you can do to recover the clips on the camera, no matter what measures you took to protect the data (video files) on the camera, and there are plenty of edge case scenarios that can result in data loss that you can’t prepare for. but the vast majority of lost wedding video clips, come from completely preventable causes.
the single biggest cause of lost wedding videos. Hard Drive failure, I have walked into studios (I won’t mention names) where the videography company kept no backups of the wedding videos, everything was on one hard drive, that was about 15 peoples wedding films. This is a huge risk, hard drives fail, sometimes in catastrophic ways, and if this unnamed video company had a hard drive failure, all the weddings on that disk would be lost.
the simplest and best way to ensure that weddings are safe, is to create a backup of everything on a separate hard drive. having two hard drives fail, in a row, is incredibly unlikely. and if you have a backup on a separate hard drive, you shrug your shoulders when one fails, buy a new one, and keep on running. worst case, you lost 100 bucks on a hard drive. if the videographer has all the weddings on a single hard drive, if a drive fails, bam! 15 wedding films are gone, they might send it a data recovery expert, who will try and save the data, which may or may not work. and sometimes even when it works, only some of the data can be saved. which could mean 5 of the 15 weddings don’t get recovered.
at Casperson Productions we have custom built file servers that backup all the data to 2 hard drives, from two separate manufacturing runs (reduces likelihood of two consecutive drive failures) in addition we edit all the weddings from a third drive, this seemingly over the top data redundancy helps ensure we never lose an entire days worth of wedding footage in a single drive failure.
another situation where its important to have data back ups is on site, on the day of the wedding. this is a much more notable challenge, since weddings happen fast, and due to what is comparably small budgets, crew sizes are small. On a bigger pro set, where data redundancy is considered essential, their is an entire job, of backing up data. One person spends the entire day, just backing up camera cards onto hard drives, so that if their is a card failure on the shoot, it only impacts maybe anywhere from 2 to 15 shots, and the rest of the data is safe. on a wedding there is no way to budget in a crew member just for this, and so in order to backup data, a more clever solution is needed. Most digital film cameras do not have the ability to record data to more then one card at a time.
at Casperson Productions we record to SSD hard drives, which are both A: more reliable then SD cards. and B: we found a clever trick you can do with some SSD drives, some of them come with a unique controller that allows you to record two copies to two different physical flash cards within the drive… in short, its complex, but its effectively the same as recording to two hard drives at the same time, during the wedding. one drive can fail entirely. over all, there is no way to ensure 100% that no data ever gets lost. but its important to take measures to protect a clients data wherever and whenever possible.
If your looking to get a wedding video, consider hiring a videographer who takes protecting their clients wedding video seriously, and at least backs up data on a second hard drive after the day of the wedding is done.