CalDigit. Serious Storage.

Tell us about your show Skull Bound.
Skull Bound TV is a series I’ve been producing over the last four years for the Sportsman Channel. My girlfriend Jana Waller is the host of the series. Jana is a skull artist, die-hard hunter and conservationist. We travel the world and take our audience on “Reality TV” style adventures while promoting hunting in a positive light. We work with the top conservation groups in the country, which include the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Sportsman’s Alliance.

You film in remote locations. What are the challenges that you encounter filming in such locations?
Jana and I are a two man band and literally produce our series start to finish out of our home in Western Montana. We film in remote locations where the weather, animals and logistics can be a nightmare. We deal with the harsh weather, dangerous animals and strenuous activities. Filming the hunt is only half the challenge we still have to process the game animal we’ve harvested and pack it out along with all of our equipment.

How long do you film for on location?
Most hunts are filmed over a week’s time with exception to hunting closer to our home in Montana where we may film several days in a row then repeat the process until we have enough footage to produce an episode for TV.

What is your process for filming the show? What equipment do you use?
We really don’t have a set process for filming our show other than to follow Jana and the interesting characters she encounters in her travels. The beauty of Reality TV is its “Unscripted” and catching those moments is what helps build your audience’s attention span and make you real to them. If they can relate to you you’ve got a fan for life! Later down the road we may shoot some spine interviews to help drive the show. These interviews are normally outside weather permitting.
Currently in the Kinsey HD productions studio we run Sony’s flagship FS7 as our primary camera. We also have their new PXW-X70 handycam, the Sony a7s still/video mirrorless camera, the ATOMOS Shogun 4K unit,(4) GoPro HERO 4’s, several Sony Action cams and the new 3DR solo drone. In house our go to storage for all our digital acquisition is CalDigit’s T4 and T3 units running in RAID 5.
Our biggest challenge after coming out of the field after a week of filming is organizing all the footage. Shooting on multiple cameras has its advantages and disadvantages. Normally my footage is dumped to a small firewire or thunderbolt drive in the field organized by Camera>Day> and Card number. Over the years I’ve been a huge fan of Caldigit’s drives and purchased my first unit a 6TB HD Element in 2008. From there I moved to their HDPro and today I own both the T4 and T3 units.
When you finish filming you must have a lot of footage. What is the biggest challenge in post?
Our biggest challenge in POST is telling a 22-minute story from all the footage and delivering it quickly to the network. The old saying holds true “ the network never sleeps”. So once you’ve created that monster that dosen’t sleep you’ve got to feed it. We feed it to the tune of 13 original half hour shows per season. Over the last 4 seasons of Skull Bound TV we’ve delivered 52 original episodes without a hiccup. That kind of reliability is priceless! We’ve been nominated for BEST Big Game Show and Best Host 3 years running.

How important is it to have fast and dependable storage like the T4 for working on your show?
I have come to love the dependability of the T4 and T3 units. When I offload footage to those drives I think of it as a fortress of protection for my digital assets. Once it’s “in the box” so to speak I can sleep at night knowing I can cut those shows 6 months down the road and all the footage will be there waiting for me. Thunderbolt 2 is simply blazing fast and hooked to my new Mac Pro I’m getting more done now than ever before.
What are your opinions on the T4’s design quality?
In the case of the T4 unit you can definitely judge a book by its cover. The T4 not only has the “cool factor” but it screams modern-technology. With clean edges and robust design the T4 unit will show your clients you mean business!

Has Thunderbolt 2 helped improve your workflow?
Thunderbolt 2 has helped improve my workflow exponentially. Lighting fast playback and throughput is something you’ve got to see to believe. I’ve been editing a ton of 4K footage that I’ve shot on Atomos’s Shogun unit. 4K playback on the T4 unit has been exceptional!

Do you use the T4 in RAID 5? If so, does having performance + protection give you piece-of-mind that your data is protected?
I’ve been a huge fan of RAID 5. Peace of mind is something you need when you’re running against tight deadlines and contracts from sponsors with a ton of deliverables. You just can’t be running JBOD and hope everything will be ok. Lets face it hard drives fail and from time to time you’ll have to replace one. RAID 5 is like an insurance policy and one you should think about taking out. If you’re serious about protecting your data RAID 5 is the way to go.

Would you recommend CalDigit storage to other professional users?
I would recommend CalDigit to anyone serious about protecting their digital assets, boosting overall workflow speed while knowing you’ve got piece of mind backed by the best customer service and warranty in the business. CalDigit is a no brainer….