Use It or Lose It: Be Ready for When Clients Hand You Bargain-Bin Drives

Use It or Lose It: Be Ready for When Clients Hand You Bargain-Bin Drives

G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.

Accomplished cinematographer Eve Cohen landed in Vietnam for a job any socially responsible artist would have a hard time refusing. She was plugged into a corporate responsibility project, showcasing how the end client was engaging with Vietnamese laborers and their families in a positive, helpful way — not abusing them in sweatshop conditions, unlike some competitors.

Eve’s Top Tangential Tip

Hiring local is really important to us, especially when we’re doing these kinds of doc shoots. For this shoot, I hired a local drone operator because he knew better spots for filming certain kinds of things. Also, if we missed something and need one more drone shot picked up, he was already there and able to do that.

Great job. Important message, but…low budget.

Nothing is ever perfect.

Tied to that low budget was an all-too-common problem for a director of photography: Eve arrived to a stack of equipment she was expected to use for her job, which included several hard drives for her data storage and shuttling needs.

“I don’t get a say when it comes to budget. I email a list of what I want, and it’s always too expensive for these kinds of projects. So, any drive someone gives me that’s not a drive I’ve used before — even if it’s G-Technology! — I do a speed test on it, just to make sure that it’s running how I expect. In this case, I started transferring a 128GB card, and it took twice as long as I thought it should. I immediately took that drive out of rotation, knowing something wasn’t working correctly. Then I found another one with the exact same problem. These drives are usually recycled from previous jobs and not always dependable.”

Having now shot such jobs on four continents, this was not Eve’s first rodeo, so she came prepared for such disappointments.

With two 4K cameras and a DJI drone out filming between rain squalls, Eve racked up 200GB to 400GB of data during each of her four shooting days. On most jobs, she works in the field with a mobile transfer station that includes her laptop and a field backup drive. In this case, however, she wasn’t generating enough daily content to justify halting work for backing up to clear off her camera media. Instead, Eve did all data handling at her hotel each evening, where she also kept her G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 4TB “master drive.”

The footage from each day is backed up on a 4TB master drive and daily 2TB backups supplied by production. However, not willing to leave anything to chance, Eve also takes care each day to mirror the master drive onto a “director’s drive.” Previously, this meant carrying a second G-DRIVE, but that also entailed bringing another AC power and dealing with the bulk of a second desktop drive. Now, Eve replaces her secondary director’s drive with a 4TB G-DRIVE mobile USB-C. While the mobile drive offers somewhat slower transfer times, Eve is amply willing to trade speed in this storage role for the considerably smaller form factor (4.33 x 3.23 x 0.75 inches vs. 8.27 x 5.12 x 1.79 inches); lighter weight (0.51 pounds vs. 2.73 pounds); and bus-powered, single-cord design of the mobile USB-C drive. When it comes to hauling her own gear around the world, such differences offer a significant benefit.

For her job in Vietnam, as per her usual habit, Eve also brought two personal 2TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD drives. She uses these as her first, lightning-fast backup solution that she calls her “personal backup insurance,” because she trusts them before any other drive supplied by her clients. The G-DRIVE mobile SSDs also provide more than enough speed for Eve to perform light editing in the field or a quick hand-off to the drone op so he can quickly transfer footage while in transit.

Finally, Eve brought two 1TB G-DRIVE mobile USB-Cs that she regularly uses as shuttle drives. One is for handing off dailies or other clip collections to her director. The other stays with her in case anyone else needs access to her previous day’s footage.

Eve loves the simplicity of the USB-C interface because it eliminates one of the possible accidents that have been problematic on past jobs. Because the port is symmetrical, there’s no “wrong” way to insert a USB-C cable, so tired, frustrated users don’t try to force connections and damage equipment. Additionally, drives only need one port, so there’s no fumbling over the wrong connector type.

“The G-DRIVE mobile USB-C has so many advantages for what I do,” Eve says. “It’s fast enough for our field needs, and you can’t beat the size for travel. It’s got that same G-Technology reliability I depend on, but it’s affordable enough that I can actually get clients to supply them on jobs. And I love that the drive looks good. I can hand this drive off to a client, and it looks as professional as the work on the drive. They take one look and think, ‘OK, we’re on a legit drive here.’ That’s the first impression I want to make.”

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Use It or Lose It: Be Ready for When Clients Hand You Bargain-Bin Drives