How to Document and Log Your Camera Backups with Silverstack Offload Manager – and Why It’s Important 5 min read


There is more than one reason to avoid offloading camera footage in macOS’s Finder. Besides making sure your copy is identical and secure, proper reporting possibilities are one main benefit of using a professional offloading software to backup camera footage.

Creating offload reports creates benefits for the data wrangler on set, as well as for the production and others that depend on information about the copied footage.

The following article will give you a short introduction to the general role of offload reports, and discuss the two report types that are available in the Silverstack Offload Manager in more detail.

Let’s start with a general overview by looking at the three “Ws”: Who creates and who receives reports about copied media, what information do such reports contain, and how do the reports add value?

Who?

  • The Creator: Data Wrangler, DIT, or anybody else responsible for offloading camera footage on set.
  • The Receiver(s): Other individuals on set, such as the DP, or other departments requiring information about footage, e.g. editing.

What ?

  • Information about the copied media, e.g. file formats, date and time of offload, etc.
  • As different people involved in the project are interested in different information, multiple report types exist.

Why ?

  • Document work results as the person responsible for camera backups.
  • Confirmation for DP / production that all copy tasks have been completed 100%
  • Provide useful information about copied footage to other departments. E.g. make it easier for the editors to start their work and have all necessary information available.

If you’re working with our backup software Silverstack Offload Manager, you have two report types available that contain different information about the copied footage. Those report types are the Files Report and the Offloads Report. We will have a look at what type of information they contain, which purposes the reports serve, and who they can be addressed to:

Files Report

The files report contains detailed information about one or more offloaded volumes. It consists of two sections: The report summary and a list of clips.

The report summary displays the total amount of video clips, audio clips, and other files that have been offloaded. It also includes the total duration of all clips, as well as the total file sizes listed by clip type. The “Total” row sums up all files and sizes – this information is comparable to the information in the Finder’s Info window.

In the list of clips every clip is displayed in one row. The information that’s displayed for each clip (e.g. codec, file type, creation date, etc.) is customizable depending on your requirements. You can choose which information to display when creating the report in the software.

Roles and Receivers of the Files Report

  • Exemplary purposes of the files report:
    • The report summary gives production a very useful overview about what happened on set. E.g., the total duration of clips can be used by production to calculate shooting ratios.
    • The list of clips is an easy way to spread detailed information about footage on set to the different departments during the shoot, in order to keep everybody up to date about the created and copied footage
  • Possible receivers of the files report:
    • The DOP/Cinematographer as the head of the camera department often is very interested in a clip list and details about the created footage.
    • The editor of the project, and also everybody else who works with the clips in post production, benefits from a list of clips with detailed information such as codec, file type, durations or also creation dates. With the files reports from the Silverstack Offload Manager this information can easily be passed along.

Offloads Report

The offloads report contains information about a group of offloads (e.g. for a shooting day) or the offloads of an entire project. It usually consists of three sections:

  • The source folder box
  • The format box
  • The offload box

The source folder box lists all offloaded source volumes or folders. It contains details for each source volume, such as the camera identifier, the total number and duration of clips, the total number of files (including e.g. sidecar files), and the total size of all files.

The format box lists all formats of the detected clips, and displays details for each of them. This includes e.g. codec and file extensions, as well as the resolution, frames per second (fps), and other details (as shown in the screenshot).

The offload box lists the offload jobs and contains details about each respective offload. This includes e.g. the finishing date and time of the copy process, as well as the verification, the number of backups that were made, the name of the destination volumes, and the hash/checksum format. The offloads are sorted chronologically.

Roles and Receivers of the Offloads Report

  • Exemplary purposes of the offloads report:
    • The list of all offloaded source folders makes sure all cards have been copied and helps comparing this information to others keeping track of it, e.g. script/continuity.
    • Detailed information about formats helps post production prepare their work, and to identify special characteristics about the shooting day, e.g. shooting in higher frame rates or differing resolutions.
    • A straight log of all offloads makes it easy to trace file locations with the volume names, hash types for further verification down the line. The copy and verification states and dates proof a successful, secure copy and intact footage.
  • Possible receivers of the offloads report:
    • Offloads reports can act as a confirmation for production that everything has been copied and verified securely. They give a good overview of the data details of a shooting day.
    • The DOP/Cinematographer can check format information and receives proof about a reliable handling of footage

The above gives you some suggestions about how different people benefit from the reports that can be created with the Silverstack Offload Manager. Its simplified offload and reporting process is straight forward and reduces the effort for the user. At the same time it strengthens the data wrangler’s position by easily being able to provide details about all the handled footage.

Camera Backups and Reports – Simple and Secure

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About the Author
Samuel is a product manager for Pomfort's on-set applications. Usually you can catch him working on new specs for the software products, writing documentation and shooting videos for our products – and sometimes writing blog posts about workflows and equipment.