One of the Questions we get asked a lot is: What is the best way to store and back up drone video footage?
For this answer we solicited Robert Rodriguez, Founder of Aerial Cinematography:
I might be one of the worst people to ask about how to efficiently store and backup data—not because I don’t but because my plan is the definition of overkill. My plan is not the most efficient or economical, but it does allow me to sleep better at night. I move all my media to a 10TB protected RAID, clone the camera media to an SSD drive temporarily, and upload the camera files to a cloud service.
When it comes to backing up files, there are many options. Most people I know simply plug in their media cards to their computer, select all, drag and drop to their local or to a removable hard drive, and shelve it when it gets full. They’re putting a lot of faith in that hard drive to be there for them when they need it. There are much better ways to accomplish this task without much effort. If your footage is for a paying client and you’re going to stick with the drag-and-drop strategy, then you should at least keep the media on the original camera card until the job is complete.
If I were only allowed to select one option, my preferred method would have to be to upload content to a secure cloud environment, such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, iCloud, or even Dropbox. Of all those options, Amazon Cloud Drive is the best option. It’s roughly $60 per year for unlimited storage; you just have to supply the patience or the bandwidth.
There are tools available to help you with the backup process. ShotPut Pro is one of the tools of choice for on-set data management, and DaVinci Resolve offers a clone feature with tools to check to make sure the files copied to your hard drive are an exact copy of the source media. Your operating system of choice even offers ways to create an image of the source media files onto a destination drive of your choice. For example, you can use disk utilities in OS X to make an exact image of your media on your Mac and even password-protect it.