Gary Adcock has seen most things that can go wrong from the largest of productions to the owner-operator size; from documentaries and reality to huge features and drama series.
The trick for avoiding large un-budgeted workflow-costs in post, is to plan from the end.
Ideally you should be able to have an answer of sorts to the following questions before you start shooting:
What are my delivery needs?
What partners are involved in the online process?
What is needed for the editorial process?
What is needed on set?
What cameras will be used?
When we decided to create QuineCopy, it wasn't because there aren't copy-tools out there.
rSync has been out there since 1996, for those who know how to use it!
We did it amongst other things because:
Over the years we have observed a lot of messy material coming in from sets and we see the unexpected costs this create for the producers.
A common production file-system can be an incredible help for all the file- and metadata transactions the above questions imply.
We see that productions often get this wrong "out of the gate".
Why is that?
More often than not, it is some lowly PA or the camera-person who handles the files, and while it is easy to drag-and-drop media into some copy-program, setting up a file-structure which is robust enough for the editing and later postproduction needs, isn't necessarily his or her strength. They're supposed to be great DoP's or just start learning the chops. It is a bit unfair that this person is tasked with understanding the file-structuring needs of a full post-production cycle, but in fact:
The work he or she does is instrumental for the total flow and cost of the production.
The key task of setting the data-structure of your production is often left to someone without the expertise, mostly using tools that demands a bit of expertise to get it right.
To make it possible to go through sane post, all post-houses we are familiar with use a strict file-system.
The templates make it easy for everyone in the production to navigate, update and share files inside a production - even manually.
Your files need to be ingested into a fixed and replicable filesystem which has the same logic and is identical on all destinations throughout the production, for the post process to run smoothly.
This may sound simple, and it is not impossible to do it right manually, but it takes a fair bit of competence.
Here is an example of the default file-system that comes with QuineCopy:
While it is true that two post-houses don't use the exact same file system, they all use a file-system mostly built on similar logic.
The beauty of QuineCopy is that you can create your own production file-system template, and streamline how your productions work to your own specs, or you can in prep collaborate with your post-house to set up a structure based on their demand.
But... if you don't know exactly what it should look like, use the default supplied template. It's been tested and refined over 1000's of productions with a wide specter of production-types.
It might not be perfect, but it will get you there.
Many producers aren't very technically informed about all processes, and hey...
Like the DoP, you should not need to be.
BUT as a producer, you should understand the criticality of getting this right and what it can cost you to get it wrong.
What happens on-set is setting the tone for the file-flow - or lack there of, for your entire production. It is "only" the first step, but what everything else rely on.
After set, the next obvious task is getting your valuable data structured and safe into the editing storage. If the copying on-set is a mess, more often than not: So will this next step be.
Many times this ends up being done through drag and drop in the OS, as doing it right seems to take too much time, because it wasn't done right on set.
You see the pattern that will bite you at the end of the production here? The problem only gets pushed forward by someone NOT responsible for the next step of the process.
One alternative would be to do proper prep with your editor or post-house and get a competent person to do the job. Doing it right manually is fully possible, but pretty time-consuming, and those wh kows how to do this right, also know how to get paid.
Or... you could start using QuineCopy.
QuineCopy comes with a default well functioning template,, and as it automatically recognizes and classifies most original data from cameras and audio-recorders, "getting it right" on set is down to confirming the data the application sees, and then it does the rest of the job for you. It's an insanly simplifying process and you get a robust file-system for free.
When you get home from set - independently of if this is a daily operation or you come home with 100 disks from the field, the QuineCopy Mirroring functionality can fully automate the process of moving your files into the editorial storage. All moving is done structured, verified and simple.
The icing of the cake is that:
You or your post-producer need the project to follow a different template from ours?
With QuineCopy you can make your own template and send that template out with the production, and what you get back will be right every day all the time.
This kind of functionality has until now been reserved for big houses with big budgets. Not anymore.
With QuineCopy we try to set a baseline for what a copy-application for the media industry really should be at its simplest.
NOT messing up your files is in our opinion a very significant part of that offer.