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How to Handle Huge Digital Files

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How to Handle Huge Digital Files
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Whether you’re an actor, a producer, a director, a stylist, or an editor, in this industry you will face two realities. The first is large personalities, and the second is large digital file sizes. While there may not be a lot you can do about the personalities, there are many easy and inexpensive methods to handle big files. 

What are big files? Your high-resolution headshots for one. Your demo reel for another. Or your finished screenplay in PDF form and your final film project. You need to share these files at the drop of a hat on any given day, and you won’t always be able to tack them on an email—which often have size limits on how much you can send and receive. Don’t take the risk of your materials not reaching the right contacts—it may cost you a job! 

Here are a few ways you can easily send large files across the Internet.

DropBox.
If you've ever heard the term, “the cloud,” well, DropBox is the cloud. It's a digital space where you can securely pick up and drop large files, so that others can access them. You just need to download the DropBox application and install it on your computer desktop (there's also an app for tablet and smartphone). Then, sharing the file is as simple as dragging it into the dropbox and giving the recipient a link to your box. Likewise if you're pulling down a file from someone else's box. It's super easy! 

HighTail.
HighTail used to be called YouSendIt. It's the same idea as DropBox, except you have to upload files through the website—and is generally used for more formal, professional file sharing. For example you may use dropbox to share things with friends and maybe an informal working environment, but HighTail is designed to handle corporate needs. You can also use it via your mobile device. 

Huddle.
A similar file-sharing venue to DropBox and HighTail, Huddle has the added capacity to allow you to share more than just the files—but also share notes about the files and in some cases, edit them, which is a great feature if you're sharing a document like a screenplay!

FTP.
File Transfer Protocol—folks were using it to share files long before DropBox, HighTail and Huddle—and the cloud—came along, and essentially served as the precursor. It's like playing catch through the Internet. It's an expensive prospect for the average filesharer though, requiring the use of an actual server. However, if the intended recipient of your files has an FTP server at their disposal, it makes your job easier. All you have to do is download an FTP client like Filezilla (Mac or PC) or CyberDuck (Mac), and log into the recipient's FTP server using login credentials they will have provided you—usually location (like a url), a username, and a password. Once you're in, you can drag and drop your file, just like DropBox.

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