If you can’t afford to have a Digital Imaging Technician on your crew, use these tips to help ensure your footage is safely backed up every time.Top image from Livebooks BlogWe recently discussed the ever-changing role of the Digital Imaging Technician. As technology evolves, the importance of having a dedicated DIT on set is becoming more and more crucial. After all, if you’re spending countless hours prepping for a project, and potentially thousands of dollars shooting that same project, you need to ensure that your media is protected as safely as possible. Further, a great DIT needs to be aware of the quirks associated with different cameras, media types, formats, and other variables that will change from shoot to shoot.Again though, not every production can afford a dedicated DIT and often times an AC or even a director will end up backing up their own footage. If this sounds like you, be sure to follow these three steps:1. Always Use at Least Two Hard DrivesImage: DIT on set from Pure Digital ServicesHard drives are extremely finicky and even the best of them will act up when you least expect it. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of having a drive die on me in the middle of the project and learned the hard way that you always need a second backup. Personally, I now make three backups of all of my footage and keep them on three separate drives just to be safe. It may sound like overkill, but when one of your drives fails and you’ve lost months worth of work – you’ll wish you’d just spent an extra $100 for another backup.2. Never Backup from the BackupImage: DIT workstation from No Film SchoolOne of the biggest mistakes that non-DITs will make when backing up footage is duplicating their backup drive instead of creating a new backup from the memory card. It’s very possible that when you transfer footage to a hard drive from your memory card that there could be an issue or a corrupted file in that backup. As you might imagine, if you were to then take that backup and save it to another drive, the corrupted file would transfer over and both backups would be flawed. Instead, always make sure to back up to one hard drive first, and then use the original memory card to create an additional backup.3. Always Have Extra Memory Cards on SetImage: DIT workstation from dit worldIf you think you only need two cards for the project you’re shooting, then bring four. Having too few memory cards on set can cause all sorts of issues when it comes to backing up your footage. For instance, if your cards aren’t transferring as fast as you’d like, you may have no choice but to wipe a memory card before it’s been backed up a second time, leaving you with only one original backup. Or alternatively, you may have one of your two backup drives die on set. Having a second set of memory cards allows you to leave your files on them if one of your drives fail and ultimately the cards can serve temporarily as your second backup.Here’s a few more articles from our friends around the web that deal with the world of Digital Imaging Technicians:Defining DIT: The Big Misconception – No Film SchoolWhat Does a DIT Do? – Jonny ElwynEssential Tools for Digital Imaging Technicians – PremiumBeatGot any tips for working without a DIT? Got any insight on working as a DIT? Share in the comments below.
A passenger train mowed down five elephants on Saturday night, triggering a blame game between the Assam forest department and Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).The engine of the train derailed due to the impact at 9.40 p.m. The section was restored after the engine was put back on track almost five hours later.Forest officials said the drivers of the 15611 Guwahati-Silchar Fast Passenger train ignored flashlight signals and ran into a herd of elephants crossing the track in central Assam’s Hojai district. They said the spot between Hawaipur and Lamshakhan stations, some 180 km east of Guwahati, is a notified elephant corridor.Railway officials claimed the section where the elephants were crossing was not a notified elephant corridor and that a 30 kph speed restriction had been imposed on all trains based on inputs from the Forest Department.Three calves dead“Five elephants, including three calves, reportedly died due to the impact. The loco pilots said the calves did not move from the track and the adult elephants began surrounding them when the accident happened,” an officer of the Lumding Railway Division said.“Our people are trying their best to prevent elephant casualties, but the railways seem to be taking such incidents lightly. I cannot fault our department as the railways had been informed about the movement of elephants and forest guards had tried to warn the drivers with flashlights,” Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said on Sunday.A railway line passes through 13% of the elephant corridors in the Northeast, primarily Assam. Though the NFR said Saturday’s tragedy did not happen in one of them, forest officials said they submitted a list of 19 places along railway tracks where elephants have been moving across tracks constantly in Lumding, Hojai and Lanka forest ranges.Saturday’s accident site falls under the Lanka forest range, the area’s wildlife officials said. According to the NFR, incidents of elephant crossings have increased sharply in the recent past and trains have been slowed down whenever the Forest Department shared information on herd movement.Coordination is crucial“It is only because of the close coordination between field level officials of the forest and railway departments that 200 incidents have been prevented this year alone,” NFR spokesperson Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.The NFR is keen on mitigating elephant mortality on railway tracks but at the same time safety of train movements has to be ensured, he added.Green activists say encroachment and habitat destruction have forced elephants to stray out of traditional routes for food. One such diversion in December last year saw five wild elephants being knocked down by a speeding train near a tea estate in north-central Assam’s Sonitpur district. Data provided by the Wildlife Division of Assam’s Forest Department say electrocution, train-hit and attack by villagers killed 40 elephants in 2017. Despite the mortality, elephant population in Assam rose from 5,246 in 2002 to 5,719 last year.