This section looks at the job, tasks, and duties of the Media Manager on set.
What is a Data Manager? 2
This section defines the job and duties of a DIT versus a Media Manager.
It Starts At the Camera 2
Explanation of the basic beggining workflow of a job and professional handling of assets.
Basic Digital Asset Workflow 1
Step by step industry standards properly logging camera cards
Media Manager Software 6
Indepth step-by-step of proper setup and standard checksum software.
Building Your Own System 2
A ground-up view of the guts of a computer to do your job. Then understanding the math to calculate potential hard drive space for assets.
Where You'll Hunker Down on Set 2
Taking a look at the onset difficulties and business side of your services.
Welcome (Course Objectives)
Watch the video at the top of this lesson BEFORE continuing.
Unquestionably, the most substantial problem facing us, when it comes to digital assets, is how to handle and protect them. After all, they do tend to disappear at the most awkward times. Like, when you need them.
What follows is an attempt at bringing the wrangling to those ones and zeros, which create photos, videos, and documents, under your control. The time from the moment the camera ‘mag’ (camera memory card or hard drive) is ejected from the digital camera until those properly formatted files are handed to the editorial department, is what this site is all about. It’s been a vast wasteland, lacking standards, full of rumor, conjecture, ignorance, and just plain bad practices. We’ll fix that here and now.
Think of this as your basic course in protecting others’ ass•ets (pun intended). As a Digital Media Manager, there are only two jobs on a digital production project for which more technical knowledge is required — that’s the Director of Photography (DoP) and the Digital Imaging Technician (DIT). Both are your boss. The Media Manager (or MM) has a very specific place in the workflow, which starts at the camera and ends with the delivery of the assets to post production.
The MM is the entry level position within the asset workflow. You work for the DIT. Your job is not so much technical as it is paying attention to details, following protocols, and of course, not losing any of the productions shots/assets. It can be very challenging to deal with lots of cameras on varied locations piling ones-and-zeros your way, day-in-and-day-out.
There is precious little resources out there on the ‘inter-web’ that can help you with the MM position. The DIT, yes. More and more resources are popping up. With the lack of information about what the MM does and how they do their job, learning was relegated to on-the-job training. And that is hard to find. Hence, this course was created. Some might argue that the MM is a ‘no-brainer’ job that can be learned in 20 minutes. I think you will find that argument without substance when you dig into this course. And I’m pretty sure I would not trust my movie, commercial, or documentary to someone who knows nothing about protecting the camera files.
What’s required to get the most out of the information in this course? A computer, some specific software, and digital assets to play with. As you follow along, each lesson and exercise will focus on a skill or technique that is best learned hands-on. Fortunately, most of the software listed in this book are freeware or have demo or trial versions for you to load on your personal computer.
Nonetheless, what’s in this course has not been compiled anywhere, in this manner. It’s taken more than five years to bring all this together and for the DIT process to mature enough to be considered a true workflow.
That being said– we’re not ‘ever’ out of the woods in the digital profession. Technology and innovations in codecs, cameras, and software see to that. So strap on whatever it is that keeps you interested and motivated to chase the digital dragon. We’re headed into the deep end of the bit-bucket, getting you started as a very savvy digital asset manager.
Enjoy the ride.
This course is comprised of three basic elements: Readings from this website and online links, videos to watch, and hands-on tutorials. All are structured to build skills and confidence.
There will be visual clues embedded in the course to help you know what you are to do and when. The Icons below let you know when you need to do something other than read the lesson.
Watch the video at the top of this lesson BEFORE continuing.
READ the following BEFORE continuing.
Download the following tutorial BEFORE continuing.
TUTORIAL: Download and complete the activity now.
Although fairly straight foreword, it is a strongly advised that you follow the instructions with each icon and do it when you encounter them, in the lesson.
Typically if there is a video at the top of the lesson page, you need to watch that first before jumping into the lesson. Some of the videos will contain several topics that might be covered throughout the lesson. If you watch the entire video first, you will be ready for that part of the lesson when you get to it. As well, you might want to revisit that part of the video and you will know approximately where it is located.
There might be files to download as part of the lesson. These could be reference materials or tutorials. Some of the files will be the media used in the tutorials. Those typically are large. They are real world camera files.
There will be many references to readings from the web during this course. I’ll appologize for broken (404) links in advance. It’s the web…what can we say.
Next up… setting up your hard drive for the course assets, and determining which hard drive is right for this course.
TECHNICAL NOTE: Some software used in this course (DaVinci Resolve specifically) require that the connected hard drive and the computer OS match. If you are on a Mac computer, your external drive must be formatted for the MacOS. If you move between computers that have different OS’s, there are workarounds. If your home computer is Windows-based, and the other computers you might work on are Macs, you can buy a software utility that will allow the Windows computer to read and write to Mac drives.