There are no fool-proof methods to prevent project loss.
The above statement is true (and should be obvious to anyone who deals in software or hardware), but it still hurts like hell when it happens. Hurts. Like. Hell.
It would be foolish for a freelancer like me to cry too hard about it because hardware and software have allowed for just as many methods to preserve data as they have for data loss. Still, when a failure happens, and it takes the only copy of footage I've just shot for a project with an incredibly short deadline, then I can't help but foam at the mouth.
Anyone who's lost a project knows this feeling: The bottom of your stomach drops out, you go through rapid cycles of anger and denial and anger and denial, and you try to think of anything to avoid making a phone call where you tell everyone else on the project that everything they did has just vanished. Sorry guys. Do-over!
Luckily with rampant failure, there does exist a spectrum that a person like myself can use to identify just how bad things got. For example:
1. Small data loss, but a backup is on hand.
2. Small data loss, no backup, but the work is easily re-done.
3. Small data loss, but a backup is on hand after hours of searching that results in a big loss of time.
4. Full data loss, but a backup is on hand after hours of searching that results in a big loss of time.
5. Full data loss, no backup, but the work is easily re-done.
6. Full data loss, no backup, and the work is only re-done with extreme difficulty.
7. Full data loss, no backup, and the work is not re-doable. Worst Case Scenario.
I've been working on a short project for one of my favorite chefs in Chicago, Heather Terhune of Sable Kitchen & Bar, and I've been using this as a way to get acquainted with my newest pal, the Canon 7D. However, I just experienced a #6 on the above spectrum due to a faulty CompactFlash card made by SanDisk. I can replace it eventually, but in the short term I had to re-shoot 4 hours worth of work (in a busy commercial kitchen on a Friday night) on a moment's notice. That meant embarrassing myself in front of my client, taking up more of my client's time, and also having to re-do the work on the very same data card that failed yesterday due to the short notice.
I took steps to prevent yet another failure, and at least I wasn't looking at a #7, but still.
There are no fool-proof methods to prevent project loss ::deep breath:: There are no fool-proof methods to prevent project loss ::deep breath:: There are no fool-proof methods to prevent project loss ::sigh::