Three Tips for a Minimalist Gear Setup Both on Set and in the Edit Suite
Two of the biggest bottlenecks to an efficient production workflow: bulky gear and excess clutter. Filmmaker Jay Hall sits down with production company Screencraft to discuss the new additions to their workflow, the PRO-BLADE ™ and PRO-DOCK 4, which help keep a small footprint on set and clear the clutter in the edit suite.
TIP 1: KEEP A SMALL FOOTPRINT ON SET
Production crews often have a heavy load to bring along on a shoot – from ENG cameras and tripods to lighting and AV equipment. Not to mention, heavy HDD systems to back up the terabytes upon terabytes of data that can be produced in one shoot.
To reduce the weight of the gear that needs to be transported on set, Screencraft implemented the SanDisk® Professional PRO-BLADE ecosystem1 – a small, lightweight solution that allows for infinite scaling with the simple swapping of the PRO-BLADE SSD Mag.
“What makes this product unique is the PRO-BLADE SSD Transport. The portable enclosure allows you to pop a Mag in so you have a portable USB-C SSD,” says filmmaker Jay Hall. “These Mags are interchangeable, so you can carry as much capacity as needed in a very small footprint which is perfect when filming on the move or traveling with weight or size restrictions.”
Better yet, the PRO-BLADE is designed to attach to a USB-C™ compatible camera rig, so film crews can keep the cameras rolling without interruption, recording high-res directly to the loaded SSD Mag with transfer speeds up to 2000 MB/s2.
“I was able to record straight onto the PRO-BLADE for 3 hours and 22 minutes, capturing B-RAW at the highest video record settings,” says Jay. “With capacities up to 4TB, that’s over 6 hours of highest quality record time – this system really cuts out the need for heavy, bulky back up gear.”
TIP 2: CLEAR THE CLUTTER IN THE EDIT SUITE
The data wrangling process can often be chaotic, especially when the post-production crew is working to tight deadlines. The process can become tedious when working with multiple types of camera cards that require different card readers to offload data, one at a time.
“Sometimes we’re dealing with heaps of Go-Pro’s which use MicroSD cards, with our Ursa or Alexa Cameras which use C-Fast cards,” says Oliver Willis, Cine Technology Coordinator at Screencraft. “This means we would have to plug in up to 20 different card readers, which becomes quite messy and complicated.”
To remove this bottleneck, Screencraft implemented the SanDisk Professional PRO-DOCK 4 ecosystem, allowing them to cut the clutter and offload multiple cards simultaneously in four dedicated reader bays. With a configuration of the PRO-READER CFast and PRO-READER Multi-Card, “we can now simply plug all the cards in one device, and press play,” says Oliver.
With Thunderbolt 3™ as well as DisplayPort™, the PRO-DOCK 4 is not simply a multi-interchangeable desktop card reader, but rather a port to run your entire post system.
TIP 3: USE PRODUCTS WITH DUAL CAPABILITIES
Last but not least, Screencraft’s final tip for maintaining a more minimalist kit is to implement products that can cover dual roles within a production workflow. Not only will this reduce clutter and limit the equipment to lug around, but it may also significantly reduce costs in the long run.
As well as being a powerful recording tool on the field, Screencraft also utilise the PRO-BLADE as a portable SSD. “It’s wrapped in a really cool aluminum which makes it very tough and high performance,” says Oliver. “As well as wrangling to our big NAS system at the end of the day, we can also send the PRO-BLADE home with the Producer or a crew member to review, and we know the footage is nice and safe.”
Similarly, the PRO-DOCK 4 ecosystem can also be used as a portable solution, with the PRO-READERS acting as individual readers to optimise the performance of your cards. “What I really like about this product is that each card reader is removable – with a USB-C port and compact size, it’s perfect for taking on location for moving footage to a laptop,” says Jay. “Both products can be used in multiple parts of the production workflow, which really make them worth the investment.”
You can learn more about the PRO-BLADE here.
You can learn more about the PRO-DOCK 4 and PRO-READER here.
SanDisk, the SanDisk logo, the SanDisk design, SanDisk Professional, the SanDisk Professional logo, and PRO-BLADE are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. USB-C is a trademark of USB Implementers Forum, Inc. The NVMe mark is a registered trademark of NVM Express, Inc. macOS and Time Machine are trademarks of Apple Inc. Windows is a trademark or registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and/or other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products.
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Western Digital Technologies, Inc. is the seller of record and licensee in the Americas of SanDisk® products.
1 PRO-BLADE STATION and PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT sold separately
2 Based on read speed. Up to 2000MB/s with PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT and up to 3000MB/s with PRO-BLADE STATION. 1MB/s = 1 million bytes per second. Based on internal testing; performance may vary depending upon host device, usage conditions, drive capacity, and other factors.
Jay is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker with 15 years of experience. He has participated in the post-production of award-winning series, films, and documentaries.
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