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10-Year-Old Video Project—Recovered

DriveSavers recovered data from an old hard drive for Cinecom.net. Jordy Vandeput, founder of Cinecom, shares tips and tricks while re-editing an old video project that was recovered.

Video Transcript

I’ve been a filmmaker for 10 years now, and I still remember some of the first projects that I worked on, which looking back on aren’t that amazing. Now, I still have some of those videos up online somewhere, but all of the footage is gone.

So when DriveSavers reached out to us to sponsor, I was really pumped. Because I have a very old drive laying around which might contain some of that old footage. But the drive is broken. I cannot access the data anymore. And a while back, I tried to recover the data myself.

But every tool that I found online failed to do so. So that’s where DriveSavers comes in. These guys are specialized in recovering data from hard drives, SD cards, USB sticks, heck, anything that can store data.

Hello.

Hey, Jordy.

Hi. How’s it going, guys?

Going well. How are you?

I’m very excited, very curious.

Yeah. Well, DriveSavers has done upwards of 20,000 recoveries a year on hard drives. Our engineers have so many tools available to them. But our best thing that we have here at DriveSavers is the actual experience from the engineers. So your drive from what we hear– now, again, we don’t know what happened to the drive. All we know is didn’t function.

We just started with the basics. Can we access the data through the normal connection on the hard drive? And the answer is, no. But again, with the right personnel and the right equipment, we were able to get all of your data.

Wow.

We’re hoping you enjoy what you see.

I actually have no idea what’s on the hard drive.

Well, do you want to see what’s on it?

Yeah. Going back into memory lane.

You should see something that’s labeled recovery. Inside, you’ll see a folder called portable. And inside a portable, you have something called the X-Adventure.

Oh, yeah. I remember now. That’s actually a very interesting project. Yeah, that was in the Pyrenees and the mountains between France and Spain, people that would go there to do all kind of adventure stuff and I was asked as to film that.

OK yeah, let’s just see if it runs.

That looks like fun. Oh, my goodness.

Yeah, it was a lot of fun. DriveSavers sends my drive back and a very nice box and they included my old drive and a new one, which holds a copy of what they recovered. Now, on that drive there is a very interesting project called X-Adventure.

All right, so let’s have a look at the footage that was recovered. I shot this together with someone who I freelanced for so I’m not exactly sure anymore which shots that I took. And if he’s watching right now, hey, Eric. I’m re-editing an old project of us. Hope you don’t mind. It was a really cool adventure, though.

It is very unfortunate, though, that only the shots from one camera were on the drive. But that was the main camera. So I think that we can make a nice edit from it. All of these shots are just so static. And when there is a movement, it goes super slow. Oh, look here’s me, young Jordy working with his first-ever DSLR and slider. Good times.

We did some really crazy stuff back then. For some reason we would carry it around in so many belly cases and a jib and a slider and who knows what. And I’m not sure if that was actually helping us. If I were to reshoot this I would only bring a camera with me, batteries of course, and maybe like one lightweight gimbal, something that I could pack away in just one single backpack. Some of these hikes took two hours to get there. Just imagine dragging all the gear to that place.

Now, because X-Adventure also wanted us to show their evening activities, we also had to shoot and include that into the edits. I’m not sure if I want to do that now because all of these shots look so unnatural and misplaced. We even asked the family there to play a short scene where they would tuck their kids away into the tents, and then they would go out and drink. And then the kids in the morning came back to their parents and say, hey, it’s morning and want to go have adventurous trips now. And those parents would just lay there in their tents having a hangover. I know, it’s super cheesy.

Now, this right here is a shot that I do like a lot. It’s something great to end the video with. Even for today’s standards, it’s still an amazing shot. And here we have another shot at me setting up the jib with the Sony FS700, which was a great camera at the time. Still is today by the way– on an 11-meter cliff. That’s about 36 feet. What was I thinking?

Holy shit, did I just do that? Sometimes we would fill them ourselves so that it was easier to put things in the scene. This is super cringe, and I’m not sure if I should be thankful to DriveSavers for recovering that clip.

Thank you DriveSavers. All right, I’ve made a selection of all the shots that I want to use. The worst thing about these shots is that they are way too static. So I’m actually going to look for parts now where we were about to turn off the camera or try to reframe shots so that I can use those kinds of movements.

Of course, you can also make movements in post. When using the transform effect and perimeter pro, you can scale up a clip so that you can then animate the position and create a whip band between two shots.

When you then are able to use the composition shutter angle and set it on your own like 180 degrees, you can also get some motion blur in there. Now, the edits that I initially made, I mean, it wasn’t bad. But it was also not great because I just brought together some clips and I slapped some music underneath it. And that’s it.

It was lacking body or playful visual elements, with more depth to it. So what I want to do now is add visual elements to it. And I’m thinking about this line that comes in and out, something playful, something that resembles also the activities that you see in the video.

We can rotoscope our subject out in Adobe After Effects and then animate two lines, one of which lays below the rotoscoped guy. And I leave a gap where the line should go over him. I would then create a new line, which sits on top and connects that gap. And that gives you the impression that the animated lines go around the subject.

And I think that this is really cool. If you want to sell the effect, even more, you can add a shadow to it. Just duplicate the bottom line and rotoscoped clip, then drag the drop shadow effect to the subject and select Shadow Only. Then change the track matte to Alpha, and the shadow will only apply to the line.

So that’s what I’m trying to do. Just add more of those no playful visual elements or transitions into the edit. And just ask myself the question of whether a shot is telling the story that I want to bring or, in this case, what the client wants to bring over.

And if a single shot is not doing that, I’m just going to leave it out. To give you guys an example, here’s a shot where we come out behind a bush and we can see some people standing. And in the background’s a rock.

Now, maybe you want to use that for an emotion that it has, but actually, the shot itself doesn’t tell the right story. We don’t see action or adventure. These people are just standing there looking at the ground.

The girl in the back might be climbing, but we can barely see her. And she’s not making any movement. So I’m not going to use that shot. So that was another mistake that I did in my first edit. I included shots that just didn’t make any sense.

Oftentimes as a filmmaker, you feel like you’re not growing. And that’s because it takes time to grow. And when you’re doing this for a couple of years and then look back at your first work, you know just how much you’ve actually learned.

All right, last thing, and that is sounds. You have no idea how much different sound design can do. Don’t let music overrule your video. In fact, from the track mixer I’m actually going to bring down the music by 6 decibels, and that way I’ve got more room for the sound design.

Now, look for a typical sound that can highlight what you’re seeing. Like, hear when the girl stretches the rope, this is a great activity to highlight which sounds. Now, I actually haven’t told X-Adventure that I’m going to re-edit their video, but I’m going to send it over to them, and hopefully they will enjoy it as well. And who knows maybe I’ll go back one day and reshoot that entire video.

I would do it completely differently now. And if it wasn’t for DriveSavers, I would have never been able to re-edit this project. These guys were really amazing and it’s just so great to see their passion for restoring data.

Especially for videographers and photographers. When you’re shooting a wedding and you think you have that wedding backed up and then you realize you just deleted or formatted getting ready for the next wedding, that sweat starts to pour down and everything. This is what we get daily with that kind of scenario. I’m not kidding.

Those are projects where you can only record it once. You get one shot.

And your reputation is on the line and you know this when you’re working with this kind of– don’t want to do a full reshoot of any kind, we give you a chance to have your reputation saved.

All right, let’s check out the final edit and let me know in the comments, guys, what you think of it. Thank you so much for watching. Thank you DriveSavers for everything you’ve done. Guys, don’t forget to click the first link in the description down below for all of the information. All right, guys, enjoy the video. And as always, stay creative.

Director of Engineering
Mike joined DriveSavers in 1994. He leads and supervises the R&D efforts for past, present, and future storage technologies, and manages the engineering department's day-to-day operations, including RAID, SAN, NAS, along with the physical and logical recoveries of rotational media, SSDs, smart devices, and flash media. Mike also advocates the continued training and certifications of the DriveSavers Data Recovery engineers. Mike has a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside.

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