Posted on Jan 4, 2024 by Samara Husbands
Commercial filmmaker Beth Smythe samples the tasty new Samsung Portable SSD T9 during a food-based advertisement campaign
Gone are the days of small-scale, low-budget video ads. Now, a certain calibre of campaign functions like any other television production – a fact that Beth Smythe knows better than most.
Along with the fellow creatives in her expanding team, she delivers cinematic shorts for commercial clients with big budgets and even bigger expectations. On-set, every piece of the puzzle is as important as the last, right down to storage.
“Of course I was excited to get my hands on the Samsung Portable SSD T9,” she enthuses. “On paper, it checked all my boxes. It’s extremely fast, equipped to withstand the abuse that shoots will inevitably throw at kit, and it’s as small as high-capacity external storage gets.”
And what a perfect storm Smythe’s first outing with the portable drive was. She was faced with a hard deadline and challenging subject matter – all closely under wraps. Undoubtedly, it was set to push her and her tools to the limit. But, with the Samsung Portable SSD T9 in hand, she forged ahead boldly.
“The immediate difficulties with this shoot were time and resource,” Smythe reveals. “We had one day to successfully shoot a few different sequences, and none of them were simple. There was a food director on-set controlling cake explosions and champagne splashes – actions that make for great footage – but there are limited opportunities to get those things right in-camera. We knew a second shoot would be costly and altering this level of detail in post-production is a huge undertaking. We had to work quickly, but we got it.” In no small part thanks to the portable drive.
Viewed in real-time or on the small scale of a camera LCD, it’s impossible to measure the success of such rapid shots. After each take, Smythe had to review slow-motion clips on a big screen. “I was recording directly to the portable drive, which turned out to be a blessing. We could run it over to a computer, plug it straight in, then view playback in an instant,” she explains. “I love that level of cross-compatibility. The Samsung Portable SSD T9 works with so many industry-standard systems that it revolutionises the workflow.”
But precious time isn’t only saved with multi-device use. The playback speed Smythe mentions comes down to rapid read and write of 2000MB/s, equating to a 2GB transfer in close to one second. The filmmaker reveals more.
“These were not small files,” she notes. “We record right up at cinema standards nowadays. In this case, we were at 6.2K, with huge bit and frame rates.
“We went on to edit straight from the portable drive, so there was never a strict necessity for us to transfer all that data off it – but we did to create backups. It was totally smooth all the way through post-production, and those transfers happened in a flash.”
As Smythe has already alluded to, filmmaking is scarcely a clean game. This shoot was certainly no exception, which may have been a problem for lesser storage.
“The crew and camera set-up were shielded from most of the mess when the food and drink was flying all over, but the portable drive’s durability is definitely a huge benefit,” she states, referring to the sleek, rubberised coating and 3m drop resistance. “In one moment of carelessness, on any set or location, a whole day’s footage can be lost. Thankfully, we didn’t have any close calls this time, but that assurance was always at the back of my mind.”
Better still, the portable drive is protected by a five-year limited guarantee, though it’s never only physical security to be conscious of. Indeed, Smythe values the robust AES 256-bit encryption that underlines the password protection function.
“It’s absolutely a factor in our industry,” she continues. “This particular deliverable won’t be seen until Christmas 2024 by anyone other than our client, and that level of secrecy isn’t remotely uncommon. In the commercial world, there is a great deal riding on the advertisement being released to the right audience at the right time. As professionals, that applies to my team. Our responsibility doesn’t end at brilliant creativity – it extends to protecting our clients’ assets. We have a responsibility to uphold, and this tech helps us do that.”
As Smythe moves on to ever bigger and better things, she looks ahead, certain that the Samsung Portable SSD T9 will be there beside her.
“I truly believe the only way to succeed in such a competitive industry is to keep forging ahead. Yes, that does mean growing your creative visions, but it also means being equipped with tools capable of bringing them to life,” she concludes. “I want equipment that works for me – whatever I end up doing. That’s exactly what I found here. It really is quite revolutionary.”