Today’s independent filmmakers never know when their next great film idea will emerge, which is one of the reasons Cirina Catania of the Catania Group never leaves home without her basic capture/workflow tools in an on-board Explorer case. On a flight to visit her mother in Pennsylvania, her case included a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera, Sony a7R mirrorless camera, batteries, a small Lumos light, extra SD cards, a Thunderbolt 2 dock, a 4 TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini and a 1 TB OWC Envoy Pro EX. She hand-carried her Apple MacBook Pro and a small tripod.
A Gettysburg historian called to tell her about Chuck Caldwell, a local artist and Marine veteran who fought at Guadalcanal and Tarawa, one of the most devastating battles of WWII. Caldwell’s was a story she couldn’t resist. She rented a car and traveled to Gettysburg.
She used Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera as A-camera and the Sony Alpha a7R as B-camera for a second angle and B-roll. Both record to SD cards. Midway through the interview, while he was describing the deadly battle on the beach at Tarawa, the SD card on the Pocket Cinema Camera reached capacity and the camera wouldn’t recognize a new one. Catania quickly made her way to the dining room table and began moving the media from the full SD card to the NEXTO DI and Envoy Pro EX. Then she switched to the Sony a7R and kept recording his responses. She emphasizes that even when she is in the middle of a rush shoot, backup isn’t just nice—it’s vital.
“I’ve heard too many stories of people capturing ‘their best stuff ever,’ only to discover that the Flash memory failed,” she says. “Always have extra cards with you, because the best storage is inexpensive today. Even if you can reshoot the scene, it’s never the same the second time around.”