Coping with massive data loss

by Nathan Stout

As you well know by now I had a misshap with the external hard drive I kept According to Whim Season 2 and the first episode of Season 3 on. I also relayed my 2nd attempt to recover the data through a different company in Virginia. This blog post will give you the whole scoop as to what when missing and what to expect from your favorite Public Access Television show. NO, I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT BITS OF MANA! I am talking about us: According To Whim.

Here is a listing of what was on the hard drive (show-wise). I also had all my personal files on it but did have a backup of that data (that was a year old).

Season 2

  • Episode 1 – Finished and uploaded so it wasn’t AS much of a loss. In order for me to get this show on public access I will have to ‘decode’ it from the DIVX files I have. It will look crappy but oh well.
  • Episdoe 2 – Same as episode 1 above.
  • Episode 3 – Total loss. 99% completed at the time of loss. That means I has all the footage done and was at the very end of editing (the most time consuming part).
  • Episode 4 – Total loss. 94% completed at the time of loss.
  • Episode 5 – Total loss 99% completed at time of loss.
  • Episode 6 – Total loss 89% completed.

Season 3

  • Episode 1 – 70% loss on this. I saved the project file as soon as the hard drive hit the desk and I had about ten minutes of footage still on another PC.


  • TRTC Video Contests – These 4 videos are like episodes 1 and 2 of season 2. The finals ARE online and that is all. The quality would never be good enough to bother pulling off YouTube.
  • Wise Regional Foundation donation – This video was a charity project I did for the hospital I work at. It is online only now.
  • Chris is sick – This was a ‘dream’ video I did using the SimMan medical simulation dummy from work. It was going to go somewhere in season 3.
  • Various footage – About forty minutes of various things I could use here or there.

Now, before I weep and moan too much all is not completely lost. Season 3 episode 1 can be recreated (and is at this moment). All the footage is still there all I have to do is re-encode it from the original tapes and re-edit.

Season 2 is a slightly different matter. I have most of the footage from episodes 1-4 but am totally missing episodes 5 and 6. That footage is somewhat still available. I have the tapes from the shoot back in 2009. There is 1 or 2 tapes that I recorded OVER sine I ran out of free tapes. This is the biggest loss. That footage is gone for ever. If you have ever read how we shot season 2 you will know we shot all scenes back to back but not in any order. That means one tape of missing footage will have scenes from all 6 episodes on it. Those holes will have to filled in. This will be done with reshoots or editing those pieces out completely.

All the special effects (and there are a lot) will have to be redone. You wouldn’t think a show like this would have that many but it has a lot. Most of the effects are to correct issues with the footage and some of it is just to enhance scenes.

The editing will take the most time of all. I have spoken about how much editing a show like this takes and since I will have to re-edit 4 of the season 2 episodes this will be extra tedious. I know (from experince) that trying to recapture what you have done before is hard.

Now I am not doing the whole ‘Nathan the martyr’ thing (as Chris loves to point out). I am simply telling everyone what is going on. Season 2 and season 3 will be done. It will just take a lot longer… so hang on.

With all that laid out we are now looking for a solid backup solution for any future disasters. We have begun to accept donations to get the new hardware. We are asking our readers and viewers for help. Anything will help from one dollar on up!

PS. In true Nathan’s luck fashion, my blogger decided to freeze up and not allow me to savet his blog. I quickly copied it and dropped it into a word document. I went back the edit list and it was there… the first paragrah. I swear WHY is everything trying to crap out on me?!

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