Driving Home; Don’t Throw Out Those Old Hard Drives! At Least Not Yet | Script Revolution

Driving Home; Don’t Throw Out Those Old Hard Drives! At Least Not Yet


For anyone shooting on film, it would be considered crazy not to take the selection, transport, and storage of film stock incredibly seriously. Those reels are the life blood of the production and, if ever damaged or, even worse lost, it would be like hitting the undo button on hours or even days of production. However, it's not unusual to see those who shoot digitally treating their data like it's indestructible. The same attitude has to be applied to the ones and zeros as the celluloid and that means hard drives, lots of hard drives. Here's Shane Stanley's take. - CJ

To say I have acquired a few external hard drives over the years is an understatement. At last count, over 250 of ‘em are stacked in our vault which range from shuttles to raids storing anything one would generate when making a movie. I still have a few FireWire 400 boxes once considered state-of-the-art even when their most reliable feature was to crap out during a crucial transfer, as I never throw away a working storage device. But seriously, if external drives were made of wood, my studio would resemble 5150 where Dr. Frankenstein himself, Edward Van Halen builds and maintains his world-renowned signatures guitars.  

My collection of external hard drives is constantly growing and in turn, evolves with technology. Even with the cost-per-terabyte consistently dropping - and fast - keeping up with the Joneses is expensive, especially when shooting with multiple cameras in now, a 6 or 8K medium and needing to back up everything thrice. Your hard drives are the most important investment you’ll make when choosing how and where to store your work - and ultimately your library which in one day can have substantial value.

Thunderbolt’s arrival shouldn’t deem your outdated hard drives to becoming doorstops. You can buy inexpensive adaptors from Apple so your FireWire drives can still function without a glitch with the latest computers that have ditched the now, archaic connections altogether. I have been a longtime user of anything G-Technology and will most likely remain so, but recently have fallen in love with Rocstor’s new product line, as they have quite an assortment of drives available that are reliable and considerably more affordable. Their new ROCPRO T24 two-raid storage boxes are by far the most superior, quiet and speedy drives I have ever used and many of my colleagues feel the same. 

I find them perfect for storing an entire project - literally from concept to delivery - when vaulting your masters as once your film is released into the wild, you can get that call from a distributor needing a resend of a Closed Captioned file or perhaps even some production stills and with that much drive space, its nice to reach for one drive and have everything compartmentalized and super easy to access. I am still a huge proponent of keeping at least three copies of every element you create for a project and vaulted at three separate locations. I understand budgets are often tight but this is the first compromise many filmmakers tend to make when trying to stretch a buck and that’s a big no-no!

For the best deals in town, call Mike Hashem at Unitek. Mike’s been my go-to corporate account executive for well over a decade. He knows the products inside and out and once getting to know your needs can steer you in the right direction. Tell him I sent ya! 

About The Author

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Shane Stanley is a lifer who has worked in the industry for over 40 years. His career began in front of the camera at just 9 months old before becoming a two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker and launching his own company, Visual Arts Entertainment. Best known for Executive Producing the #1 Box Office hit, Gridiron Gang for SONY Pictures starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Shane has an extensive portfolio of credits in everything from hit music videos to TV series to feature films...Read more