Tutorial: Toy Story 2 almost dissapeared forever

Toy Story 2 almost dissapeared forever

Ever lost important footage because your backups failed, or maybe you didn't back up at all?

Well, how about losing an entire feature film and a year's worth of work? While this isn't a new story, as it was featured in the special features on the DVD, the tale of the failed Toy Story 2 backup is fascinating. It just proves that even when you're spending millions of dollars, a few mistakes can be disastrous.

Here's the humorous animation of the potentially disastrous situation:

I know many of you might be thinking that just because something is deleted, doesn't mean it's gone forever, but I have to believe that the animation and the story was greatly simplified from the actual situation. It seems to me that whatever networked storage they were using would have made it very difficult to recover what was lost, or that the time it would have taken to recover that material would have delayed the movie by months. It's certainly possible for a few IT people to screw up the backups, as you have to be diligent with large storage arrays to make sure that they are not corrupt.

While the story, in this case, had a happy ending, I'm sure many of you out there have been on the wrong end of file corruption or bad hard drives. I know I've had a few cases of bad hard drives or misplaced footage, so I think it's worth bringing up the idea of having a good backup strategy when making a film. If you're shooting 4K, you already know it's going to be a headache, but for most of us, there's no excuse not to have our footage in two, if not three, different places. Embarrassingly, the reason that the rest of the 5D Mark III/D800 review is not out yet is because I thought I'd had footage backed up in three places, but only had it in two, and it was accidentally deleted from one of my drives, leaving the only remaining copy on a completely different drive that belonged to a friend - who happened to be across the country. Good times.

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