JAHpowWhat do you guys do with all the raw footage, photos, docs, etc. once you're done with the project? Turn it over the client? Store it elsewhere?
Since we're in-house, we shoot for the company and we archive/store it all. We've been dumping footage once it reaches a certain age onto small external hard drives and they get put in a drawer. Our big lacies (I believe they're RAID 5 as well) have the most current footage on them. We upgraded cameras this year to C300 MkIIIs and we're using way more space.
So with commercial work it kind of depends on the project. A lot of what I get brought in to assist on is inward facing communications for corporate stuff. That footage all tends to get saved as the biggest clients are repeat clients. A lot of the video is not super easy to shoot (scheduling and then lighting and shooting industrial automation stuff is a two person job plus whatever engineer they have to assign to us to make sure we know what we are looking at) and will occasionally get licensed for other internal and occasionally outward facing use. For more just quick corporate event and local art kind of stuff a lot of that doesn't need to get saved once the final video is approved as there isn't much of a point as even a future project will not need it. (although knowing the director he may have it all somewhere anyways)
When it comes to the documentary project archival material I have no idea what will happen with it. That decision is up to the director and the family a lot of the material belongs too. Certainly nothing will get thrown away, but even the digital archive (never-mind physical) is just a massive amount of material
I guess at the end of the day I would look at storage as kind of a recurring expense and decide what to save or not based on how likely it is that the raw video and audio will continue to help you make money. Obviously for personal work you may choose to save a little more, but you are paying for that in needing to buy another or a bigger drive sooner.