Post Magazine

JULY 2011

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on the road — both known for roles in Battlestar Galac- tica — decided to take action. On October 22, 2010, the two hit the road on their mo- torcycles to raise awareness and funds for the Gulf Restoration Network, an environ- mental advocacy group exclusively focused on the health of the Gulf of Mexico. Starting in Los Angeles, the “LA La Ride” took Sackhoff and Helfer 2,500 miles across the United States to New Orleans in only 10 days. My company, Brightwood Produc- Protecting assets for I n the wake of last year’s disastrous BP Gulf oil spill, many people felt helpless, but actresses Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer All of these attributes proved to be really important on the LA La Ride shoot, as we were hauling the system in and out of cars and motel rooms and sometimes traveling up to 400 miles a day. THE SET-UP We used a Panasonic DVCPRO HD camera to shoot 1080i video, saving footage onto a Focus Enhancements FireStore FS100 portable DTE recorder throughout the day and using videotape as the master back-up. Each evening, we offloaded the day’s shoot to the Sonnet Fusion F3.We also up on my screen. It was a pleasure having a hard drive fast enough to handle playback of our full-quality HD footage in Final Cut Pro. With 4TB of storage, the Fusion F3 had ample room to store raw footage, as well as edited files.The Sonnet Fusion F3 turned out to be the ideal ruggedized portable hard drive solution for the LA La Ride pro- ject, and I will definitely use it again on any on-location shoot that requires daily fast- turnaround offloading of high volumes of HD material. I also would accompany the Fusion F3 with one of Sonnet’s card readers that is compatible with several different formats and with different cameras. Sonnet’s reader makes a great companion to the Fusion F3, and looking back, I should have used it on the LA La Ride project. Next time for sure. FINAL THOUGHTS In an industry that is moving more and more toward video cameras that use file- based acquisition, we are always looking for reliable systems to back up and store files. The Fusion F3 is a great solution in this envi- By PETER S. THOMPSON Owner Brightwood Productions Burbank Making sure data was safe while shooting this upcoming documentary. Footage was captured with Panasonic DVCPRO cameras. Editing was via Final Cut Pro. tions, was hired to provide principal photog- raphy for a soon-to-be-released film docu- menting the LA La Ride.This ride was the very first under the Acting Outlaws brand. Joining them on this trip was a film crew that documented the entire event. As director of photography for the shoot, I chose the Fusion F3 portable two-drive RAID storage system from Sonnet Tech- nologies for storage and video back up for all LA La Ride footage. A colleague had seen the super-rugged RAID storage system in action at a trade show, where the unit was strapped to a ve- hicle and put through some bumpy spaces, and we knew this shoot would demand this type of toughness from a device. In addition to being rugged, the Fusion F3 is known for its high-throughput performance, quiet operation, the flexibility provided by its quad interface, and the convenience of its surge- protected integrated universal power supply. used the Fusion F3 to store content offloaded from P2 cards in a second Panasonic camera, as well as still photos from a digital SLR camera. The Fusion F3’s performance meant I could offload a large volume of material from three cameras very quickly each evening. Most importantly, I had peace of mind that our data would always be pro- tected, regardless of conditions we encoun- tered on the road. While we were traveling, I connected the Fusion F3 to my Apple MacBook Pro note- book running Final Cut Pro and was able edit clips on-site for delivery to the LA La Ride’s Website ( I was very impressed by the Fusion F3’s con- nectivity with the Mac, as I’ve had computer communications issues with other hard dri- ves. I simply plugged the Fusion F3 into the computer and the drive’s icon popped right ronment. I was recently shooting on-location with a card-based camera on an island.We tried to have enough storage cards on hand so that we did not have to offload large files often, but we were running out of space and ultimately had to send someone on an air- plane to find more storage cards.Now that I am aware of the Fusion F3 and other Son- net solutions, I would recommend them to anyone who needs reliable and fast storage and back-up systems during long shoots under tight schedules. Peter S.Thompson provides freelance photogra- phy services for a wide variety of video and film productions, ranging from television reality shows to short films, independent films and documentaries. July 2011 • Post 45 LA La Ride

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