Storage Drives- How much will I need

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    • #43821

      Alright. So I’ve been recently drafted for a project to make a biweekly vidcast, filmed in HD, for my organization. Now, they’ve told me that I will be provided with all the equipment and resources I’ll need, but I still want to be conscious to the fact that they are spending money and I don’t want to ask for too much.

      As such, I have a question about storage space. Now, they want to make 5 minute vidcast episodes, and so I’ve estimated anywhere from 2 to 10 hours of raw footage to work with per episode, which includes interviews and some b-roll cutaways. I was wondering if I can pull all this off with about 500 GB of free space on my main hard drive and external combined, or if I should think about asking for some blank drives. And If I need to ask, would a TB be enough, or should I be thinking more.

      This is my first HD project, so I am completely unaware as to how much space HD footage takes up. Any help would be appreciated. Also, if there is any other equipment that’s a must have on a HD project list, please let me know.

    • #183668

      Never use the main hard drive of a computer to store video. If your computer crashes, you will lose all your video. No one wants that.

      To estimate how much space you’ll need, you want to know what format you’ll be working in. I believe HDV is close to 13GB per hour. So if you’ve got 10 hours worth, 150GB is the minimum. I’ve been told that you don’t want to completely fill your hard drive though. I never fill mine more than half way. So 300GB would be good if you capture 10 full DV or HDV tapes.

      Keep in mind that you may be working on more than one project at a time, so you might need more hard drive space. You may want to store all your footage and finished projects when you’re all finished as well. In my opinion, just go with 1TB of hard drive space. Hard drive space isn’t that expensive anymore. I remember when it used to be $1 per gig, now it’s less than $0.50.

      As far as other equipment, obviously you need a camera, you’ll need a microphone if you’re doing interviews, and you may need some lights too. If you’re doing sit-do interviews, a lavalier mic should be fine.

      Everyone on this forum could go on and on about equipment. You’ll have to do some research and narrow down your choices to make it easier for us to guide you in the right direction.

    • #183669

      For additional equipment, I’m told that the camera is a flash memory camera. I will need to ask about lav mikes, but again, I haven’t seen the equipment yet. I’ll be introduced to it tomorrow, which is ironically the day I start filming, so I’ll have little time to familiarize myself with the controls.

      As for lights, the production will mostly be shot in well lit areas, one location itself being a theater, so I will have the advantage of a whole lighting rig for filming, if necessary. The real big question I had was in the way of storage space. Hopefully I can build up a nice set of stock footage to use in future episodes, but the first one will undoubtedly cost the most in terms of raw footage. Can anyone suggest a good place to buy lav mics relatively inexpensively?

    • #183670

      I have this lav mic that I got from B&H. It works awesome.

      The wire on this mic is long enough to follow down the shirt and down the subject’s pant leg, however, it may be hard to connect to your camera after that. So you’ll need an XLR cable…10 to 25 feet should be enough; depends how far you want the camera from the subject during the interview. Make sure you get a male to female cable as well. The female end will connect to the mic and the male end will connect to your camcorder.

      When you see the camcorder tomorrow, make sure it has XLR connections. If it doesn’t, you’ll need an XLR adapter. There are various models made by BeachTek, but the all pretty much do the same thing.*&bhs=t&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=submit

    • #183671

      I’ve got a couple of comments. First off, you are going to be overwhelmed by the process of producing if you don’t do a great deal more planning. You’ve got to have a better idea of what you are trying to put on the air than you described. For a 5 minute program, even shooting 2 hours of source video is beyond foolish. Discuss the project goals with your executive producers and come up with a outline of the show. If you’re going for a 5 minute show, you can’t be wasting any time or your viewers will click away. Unless you plan on living in the edit suite for a 5 minute show each week, believe me, sifting through 10 hours of video for 5 minutes of video will get real old, real quick. You’ve got to know what you want to show people. Then just shoot that video. Even at my worst field to finished shooting ratio, like for the iReport’s about flooding that aired on CNN, I was shooting at 10 to 1. So for about 9 minutes of edited packages, I shot about 90 minutes of field video. And much of that was in doing several takes in each location with different camera movements. But it doesn’t sound like you are planning on a lot of multiple takes. So starting at a 25 to 1 ratio and planning for up to a 120 to 1 shooting ratio each week isn’t realistic. You’ll kill yourself in to time at all. I just cannot stress how important to keep the shooting ratio down so you can deal with it all.

      So get serious about planning what will be in each webisode. I’m assuming you are trying to engage new viewers so the episodes need to be be rapidly paced and technically correct. So here’s how something like your show would work in practice. You can’t waste much time for openings & end credits. So open the show with the host teasing what is coming up (in less than 20 seconds) then roll the title sequence (for no more than 20 seconds w/at least one shot change or effect/transition every 1.5 to 2 seconds.) It is nice to thank everyone for their help and credit the principal talent, but it will take at least 3 seconds for each page (more time for more text) so it can run anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds for that. Which leaves us with a 4 minute 30 second episode. Now here’s where pacing becomes important, unless your video is very compelling in real time you are going to need constant shot changes. Watch ordinary TV at home a couple of evenings with a counter in you hand. Then count the number of shot or shot changes for two or three minutes of different programming. You will be very surprised at what you find. Commercial programs won’t stay with one shot for more than about 10 seconds, during the romantic or heartbreaking moments. If they want to convey excitement and action, shots will dwindle in length to less than 2 or 3 seconds for minutes at a time. Let’s use the slower paced stuff and figure we need shots to last between 10 to 20 seconds. So that’s 3 to 6 shots per minute and we have 4.5 minutes so we’re talking between 10 twenty second shots to 30 ten second shots in the entire episode. So let’s say you’re averaging around 20 shots per show, why do you need so much video to find those 20 shots?

      So anyway, I’ve found that I can easily store all the video for three half hour programs (each with between 90 and 110 minutes of field footage, then the half hour show itself) on my 250 GB portable USB powered hard drive. So realistically, i’m thinking you would do well with something in that range.

      Then as far as your wireless lavs go, don’t invest in what you won’t need. Balanced cables are serious overkill for the vast majority of video productions. And the balanced XLR connections are of no value at all when using a wireless mic. It is fairly unlikely your organization has a camcorder with XLR built-in. If they do, then they will also have the money to purchase wireless mics of professional caliber. But if you are using a 3.5 mm stereo mic input, I heartily recommend the Azden WM-PRO wireless mics. I routinely use a pair of them to record various audio sources with no problem whatsoever. It is possible for any wireless mic to encounter interference at any given location. Professional systems overcome this limitation by using many possible channels while the WM-PRO’s have only two channels. So it is possible to have one or both mics be unusable at a particular location or in certain conditions. It is most likely to occur in areas with lots & lots of radio devices. I’ve not encountered any locations here in the capitol city of Iowa, but if I ever do, I have alternatives available.

      So good luck with the show and return with any other questions that come up.

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