Why You Need a Media Manager

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Why You Need a Media Manager

For projects that use multiple cameras, a media manager is someone you will want to hire. They keep everything organized, labeled and will have all your footage backed up. This gives you one less thing to worry about onset. Sounds pretty good right? The best part of a skilled media manager (including myself), is that they can do more than that.

***Before I jump in to this I want to point out that this is what I offer when I am onset as a media manager. Not everyone does this so don’t assume! This is to give you an idea of my services and how it can help you onset.***

The Basic Responsibilities of a Media Manager

A media manager is called upon when there is a multi-camera shoot and there is multiple cards being shot on. If you do not have enough media to shoot all day you NEED to hire a media manager. They will have your footage backed up at least twice before you need that card again. Even if you have enough media to go multiple days, think how easy it is to just swap for a new one and not knowing which card you shot on first or on what camera. A media manager will keep this all organized for you and labeled however you want on the hard drives.

Added Value

Although backing up media and duplicating it on the specified hard drives is the most important task, there isn’t a lot to do before the current cards are filled and need to be backed up. Here are some of the proactive jobs a skilled media manager can pick up to become more valuable.

  • Charge camera batteries
  • Label all cameras
  • Begin labeling footage or organizing in an editing program
  • Take screen shots of each scene and angle to show crew
  • Continued backup on another machine

In addition to those, a media manager can work as a DIT (digital imaging technician) if they have sufficient knowledge of the camera and project. For those that do not know what a DIT is, stay tuned for a future post. In a very brief description, a DIT can dig into the camera’s menu and picture profile to create the look that the director is trying to achieve. The DIT can also start with basic color correction to help the editor and colorist on the post side. Think of them as the bridge between production and post production.

My System

I want to share with you my system of backing up footage that has never failed and I know it never will. Well if a tornado or hurricane came through, I may be in trouble but other than that we will be fine! So first it is all about the hard drives. I highly recommend the GTech brand. Most times clients or producers will provide their own or will give me a stipend to get what I need and at the end of the shoot they walk away with them. I will also bring at least one extra of my own (sometimes two depending on the project).

I also want to know all cameras being used and to make sure we have the proper card readers for them. Extra FireWire, USB and adapters are thrown into my kit as well. With that taken care of, I then pick out my computer. If I am only backing up I take my trusty Mac Book Pro. On bigger projects I will bring two so there is no lag at my station. On shoots where I am organizing clips in an editing program or basic coloring, I will bring my custom built PC.

Below is a basic graphic that outlines my back up process.


Backup Workflow Graphic













I hope this information was valuable. If you have any questions or stuff to add please contact below.

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