So say you just shot a huge project all day and you're so pumped about it that you are going to start editing it right away. Well before you do anything you should back up your footage. While technology has come a long way in the media field, SD cards and hard drives still can fail or become corrupt. So here are some ways and tips for storing your footage:
1. External Hard Drives
These are a must for any filmmaker. Copying your footage over to an external hard drive ensures it is in a safe place and you can formate your SD card to use again. Preferably you would have two hard drives each having your footage on it for backup purposes. This is almost a must on larger projects especially when clients are involved. The good news is external hard drives are relatively inexpensive these days. Some great brands I have run across are LaCie, G-Technology, and Seagate.
2. RAID Arrays
If you are serious about filmmaking and have a lot of footage you want to store over time then a RAID set up is for you. A RAID or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is the combination of multiple physical disk drives that work together for either data redundancy or performance improvement. There are multiple RAID levels that can be used but most filmmakers will be using either RAID 0 or RAID 1. RAID 0 is all focused on performance. The hard drives work together to be faster but if one drive fails the whole RAID does. RAID 1 stores data on half the hard drives and then duplicates it to the other half so if one drive fails you still have all your data. Your can find RAID Arrays from 2 hard drive slots, to 6 slots, to even more.
3. Do NOT store and edit off a SD Card
Just don't... They are not designed for that type of use.
4. Back up your back ups
Finally, if you want true security and peace of mind with the safety of your footage back up your footage as much as possible. A hard drive can fail or become corrupt and while you can try to recover the data that was on it, the process can be expensive and is never a guarantee. So its always better to be safe than sorry.