Ember Films is an extremely busy Emmy Award-winning production company so when they get something that saves them time they pay attention.
A cursory look at the way films are made in the modern filmmaking world would describe a situation where a camera records footage on to built-in media and then it’s transferred to some kind of editing station for cutting and treating. This is of course a very simplified version of events, especially when you consider the preponderance of backups, client copies and the hundreds of other reasons there are to divert that initially simple signal chain of events.
Introduce the Samsung Portable SSD T3 1TB device in to this well-worn scenario and the creatives in an Emmy Award-winning production company such as Ember Films start finding ways to streamline their work – and by streamline we mean save time.
More than a backup
Kyle Harper from Ember Films put the Samsung Portable SSD T3 to work immediately. “I’m a production support and camera assistant so I run the kit room but am also the principal camera assistant out on shoots,” he explains. “What immediately struck me about the drive was the amount you can fit on there and its physical size. We’ve had drives before that I’ve been a bit sceptical about taking out on shoots. The Samsung Portable SSD T3 is very robust, very nicely built and fits beautifully in my bag.
“Mostly the way we’re using it is as a backup drive. When we’re on location we take with us about 6TB of RAID storage, which is great for backing everything up at the end of the day. But say you only want a certain sequence or scene backed up, it’s really easy to bring the Samsung drive out and use it. Another thing that struck me about it is how superfast it is to transfer footage.”
As we found in the last issue, editors have taken to the Samsung Portable SSD T3 to lengthen the time they can spend editing footage, which is something that Kyle also discovered.
“I went out to Goodwood to do a corporate shoot that was mostly using small action cameras and they wanted me to edit a couple of those files,” he says. “I mentioned that they were all on the computer in the office, but I needed to do them on site. So I put them on the Samsung drive and it transferred all that footage really quickly. It ran seamlessly as I edited what I needed from the drive itself.
“Having something small and compact is changing the way that we do things and it’s so quick as well.
“I’m a big fan of USB-C. It’s really tidy and you don’t have the problem of wondering whether it’s the right way up; that saves valuable time. As a camera assistant you have to find ways to do your job quicker and more efficiently because ultimately it affects how well you can do each task. With Samsung’s Portable SSD T3 you don’t have to worry pulling it out of a big Peli case; you just take it out of the side pocket, plug it in to a laptop and it’s ready for a backup.”
Ember Films also found another vital and unthought of use for the T3. They found that if they had editors or even clients on set, they could move certain scenes via the Samsung Portable SSD T3 on to their laptops to check they had the shot they wanted; drone shots for instance which are hard and expensive to recreate are perfect for this kind of confidence monitoring. “We can quickly back up a scene for editors and they can go over it. Literally you’re passing across this tiny drive and they can then make selects. A lot of our shoots are fast paced and very hectic but a little thing like that makes a big difference.
“We have big RAID drives but to have something like this which is small and can transfer files that fast is game changing. Even using the T3s in the office for transferring files across, they are worth it. But it was as this new type of backup that the Samsung drive really changed things. Having it as a third backup allowed us to bring it on to set and not worry about powering up our large RAID drives. A client might want to know how the day’s shoot compared to the day before, now we can show them so easily with the Samsung Portable SSD T3 drive.”