UK-based filmmaker/photographer David Newton regularly hits the road to work single-handedly on productions and he explains how he relies on G-Technology storage solutions to give him the secure and speedy backup on the go that he needs.
Compact and portable
One of the key things that evolving imaging technology has enabled in recent years is the growing relationship between stills and motion production and the liberation that’s arrived on the back of gear becoming ever more compact and portable. It’s allowed content creators such as David Newton to become hybrid media professionals with ultimate flexibility to travel to wherever their job might take them, but while the actual production of stills and footage has been made easier it’s also raised the issue of backup and storage, a crucial consideration and something that could be tricky if you’re working out in the wilds.
This has become even more of an issue in recent times with the proliferation of cameras that output 4K footage and the introduction of Apple’s ProRes Raw. While the latter hands creatives more post production control than ever before, which of course is something that’s been universally welcomed, it’s still a benefit that comes at a cost, in the form of increased file sizes.
“In the stills world the move across to Raw happened several years ago,” David explains, “and although many professional photographers were initially against it because of the extra storage requirements it brought it rapidly became obvious that the advantage of having what was essentially a digital negative to work with made this way of operating virtually standard.
“The introduction of ProRes Raw promises to do the same thing for filmmakers and I’ve now invested in an Atomos Shogun Inferno to record to and am enjoying the extra flexibility this format offers at the post production stage. For me, what is particularly impressive is how Apple has made ProRes Raw integrate perfectly with Final Cut, the editing package I use, and it just helps to make my whole workflow so much easier.”
On the road
To cope with the ever rising amount of data that’s he’s producing, David has had to take positive steps to upload and securely store everything as soon as possible after it has been created. This has meant fitting out a van to serve as a mobile office and to kit it out with G-Technology’s state-of-the-art storage solutions. “I like to be light, fast and mobile and G-Technology products allow me to be exactly that. They’re light, they’re rugged and they allow me to be entirely location independent.”
This setup was an invaluable resource when the latest assignment called for a trip into the heart of the Peak District in central England to film professional rock climber and competition route setter Yann Genoux in action. The remote and desolate setting perfectly complimented the subject but added to the challenge, and it required a huge amount of ingenuity and improvisation for a single operator to achieve the variety of shots required. At one point David was sitting in a cradle attached to steel pegs hammered into a sheer rock face several meters in the air to achieve the angle he wanted looking directly down on Yann as he made his climb, a precarious shooting position that called for a strong nerve and a steady pair of hands.
At regular intervals throughout the day David headed back to his van to back his SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast cards up to his G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle SSD, using the device’s Thunderbolt 3 connection to ensure the speed of transfer he required. This compact and highly portable piece of kit is equipped with up to 16TB of solid state storage and can run at a scorchingly fast 2800MB/s, allowing multi-camera footage to be edited in real time and to be quickly exported with incredible efficiency. This in turn enables 4K, 8K, VR, high dynamic range (HDR) and high frame rate (HFR) footage to be transferred in a single location.
Due to its SSD technology the device is also rugged and built for safe and easy travel between an on-site production location and the studio for post production, giving David powerful, transportable storage that maximises workflow efficiency.
What’s in the van?
The G-SPEED Shuttle SSD comes in RAID 5 out of the box and supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50 to provide a versatile and flexible storage solution, while Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports up allow up to five additional devices to be daisy chained so that it’s possible to stay connected to multiple drives, 4K displays and more through a single laptop connection, an awesome capability.
Alongside the G-SPEED Shuttle SSD in the van was the G-Technology G-Drive Mobile Pro, which also offers transfer rates up to 2800MB/s, the maximum speed Thunderbolt 3 has to offer. This allows footage to be natively edited in real-time, or for as much as a terabyte of content to be transferred in seven minutes or less. The device is also built for location work, offering shock-resistant storage in a durable case with three-meter drop protection, a 1000lb crush-proof rating, and designed with handpicked components to sustain the rigors of travel.
The fact David was working with the fastest drives on the market – both of them capable of up to 2800 M/bs transfer speeds – was exactly what was required to make a 4K ProRes Raw workflow viable. It also took up remarkably little space, ensuring that the restricted room available inside the van was perfectly adequate for everything to be comfortably accommodated.
“The set up allowed me to ingest my footage exceptionally quickly,” says David. “I also didn’t have to worry about transcoding; even though I was working in a Raw format I could drop it straight into my editing system and then move backwards and forwards and play in real time, even add adjustments also in real time, and there was absolutely no lag.
- Camera: Canon EOS C300 Mark II with Canon lenses
- Memory Cards: SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast cards
- Recorder: Atomos Shogun Inferno with G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K
- Software: Apple ProRes Raw and Final Cut Pro X
- Tripod: Vinten Flowtech 75
- Workstation: Apple MacBook Pro 15
- Storage: G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle SSD and G-Technology G-Drive Mobile Pro