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A D Cooper looks into G-Tech’s extensive range of external hard drives for creative professionals.g-technology_logo_hd_cmyk_max

A recent trip to the inaugural Media Production Show in London revealed a treasure trove of new kit and services, and, notable for the attendant filmmakers and cinematographers salivating over the latest innovations, gimbals, rigs, arms, drones and more.

G-Tech – capture, transfer, edit, store

Established in 2004, G-Technology has built a reputation for reliability in external hard drives. Its ergonomic drives combine a choice of storage options with sleek looks mostly in matt silver and black – stylish enough to be desktop, robust enough to deliver reassurance.

Sales Manager Mark Billington described them as providing storage solutions for content produced by creation professionals. G-Tech understand the workflow needs of filmmakers in particular, with their products designed to help make you more productive.

What can G-Tech offer filmmakers that’s new?

Whether you’re working with Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Apple® Final Cut Pro® X or Avid Media Composer®, G Tech offers a whole ecosystem that connects studios and sets with edit suite racks for downloads and copying. These are some of the latest G-Tech innovations.

Single disk drives ranging from four to 10 terabytes. These can also be plugged into the larger models and bay servers.

G-Raid – Enterprise class includes two hard drives with a choice of 8/12/16/20TB, up to 480MB/s transfer rate and 7200RPM. Thunderbolt 2 and USB3.

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G-Drive E-Drive RaW (above) – a super-lightweight solid state drive for creative pros on the go. It fits in your back pocket but includes a removable rubber bumper to withstand drops and inadvertent ‘sit ons’. Up to 425MB/s. USB 3. Can dock into an ev Series docking solution such as G-SPEED® Studio XL for editing, distributing or backing up.

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G-Drive Mobile with USB3 offering 1 (above) – 2 TB, up to 135MB/s downloads, 7200RPM drive speed,Thunderbolt or USB 3. Ideal for working with laptops, plus it’s bus-powered which means you don’t need an external power cable.

G-SPEED – four to six drives. This is designed to go on location in challenging environments. Their robust form are perfect for on-set DIT-ing with less fear of damaging the drive or its content.

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G-SPEED Shuttle XL (above) – 8-bay Thunderbolt 2 storage with a Enterprise-class hard drives, a transfer rate up to 1350MB/s, 7200RPM drive speed, choice of 24/32/48/64/80TB. A transportable, hardware RAID, 8-Bay Thunderbolt™ 2 solution that offers colossal capacity and high-definition performance. Designed to support multi-stream 4K workflows and beyond, the G-SPEED, it can be configured in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 & 50.

G-Rack 12 Network-Attached Storage (NAS G-RACK™) – share storage with 12 drives in a flexible bay server offering up to 120B, up to 2000MB/s transfers, 7200 RPM, a five-year warranty and a service call out that guarantees to be answered within four hours. It delivers the ultimate high-performance, centralized storage for small-to-medium size post-production houses and TV/broadcast studios. It’s reliable, scalable and studio friendly, providing centralized storage for demanding workflows including 4K.   

Ideal for demanding filmmakers

These GTech innovations are hard-working and hard-wearing, but the portable drives can be supplemented with All Terrain Cases that be dropped from two metres, withstand 1000lb of crush pressure (although don’t try it), and keep water and dust out of the drive. Their design includes integral cables that store neatly along the outside of the case.

On location

Brand ambassador and filmmaker Nino Leitner finds GTech products ideal for his challenging wildlife shoots.

What’s your back-up & archiving strategy?

Whatever it is, it’s probably not enough. According to Mark Billington, every single project should be stored on not one, not two but three drives. These should be kept in at least two different locations – just in case of calamities such as fire or theft.

However, you should only work on one drive to avoid updating the wrong files, but ensure that the other drives are kept up to date as the project progresses.  (This sounds great in practice but the practicalities and logistics may need extra working out.) 

In this instance, a low-cost drive is a false economy. You’ve spent hours (often unpaid or underpaid) and probably thousands of pounds creating your film. So why entrust it to a cheap back-up drive? Could you afford to repeat the entire production if your drive fails with your precious project on it? And did your insurance include post production?

If you go for a proven brand with a sound reputation for reliability like G-Tech, you can be reassured that your project will be safe. Spend more for high performance and long term reliability, and perhaps get a little peace of mind.   

Archive drives need love too

Don’t presume that just because it’s on a quality drive that your creative project is safe just sitting in a cupboard.  All drives can fail, especially if they are mistreated or allowed to get dusty. 

Like any sophisticated machinery, use it or lose it. Unless you run your drives regularly as a matter of routine, they may seize. Then just when you need to retrieve a project, the drive won’t run, won’t budge. You have given me any attention so I shan’t work.

Which means it might as well be a toaster for all the use it is for archiving rushes, edits, mixed and onlines. To ensure a drive’s on-going reliability, create a diary to run every drive you own wherever they are kept, and make a note of every time you run it. Note that running is more than just seeing if it will turn on or not.   

BIllington talks about the increasing move to larger archive systems that can run constantly in the background.

What’s next?

G-Tech products are designed to be future-proof and will continue to be beautifully designed ergonomic drives. They are also time-proof so that HD doesn’t become redundant.

Coming next are Thunderbolt 3 and USB3.1.

Follow @GTechStorage on Twitter for more updates. 

A D Cooper is a director, producer, writer and multi-media copywriter. She’s won awards for advertising writing, for screenplays long and short, written 80+ scripts for Ninja Warrior (Challenge TV) and published articles, short stories and joke books. Weary of waiting for someone to film her scripts, she started directing in 2010 creating a slate of short films including two corporates, a documentary and a museum installation. All of her fiction shorts for Hurcheon Films have been selected for international festivals, with Ace (2013) garnering five awards. Her most recent projects are an award-winning historical docushort Writing the Peace, a stage version of her World War 1 short film A Small Dot On The Western Front which she wrote, produced and directed, an experimental short film Spring on the Strand (selected for 3 festivals in the USA), The Penny Dropped (Award of Merit in a US shorts competition), and Home to the Hangers newly completed for the Directors UK Alexa Challenge 2017.

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Posted on Jul 4, 2016

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