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Advice

How to Handle Huge Digital Files

How to Handle Huge Digital Files
Photo Source: Photo by Sanwal Deen on Unsplash

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. Your demo reel. Your finished screenplay in PDF form. 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 cloud,” well, Dropbox is the cloud. It’s a digital space where you can securely pick up and drop large files so 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). Sharing the file is as simple as dragging it into the Dropbox and giving the recipient a link to your box. Same goes for if you’re pulling down a file from someone else’s box. 

HighTail
HighTail (which used to be called YouSendIt) is the same idea as DropBox, except you have to upload files through the website and it’s generally used for more formal, professional file sharing. For example, you may use Dropbox to share things with friends and maybe an informal work file, 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 of allowing you to share more than just the files: you can also share notes about the files and edit them, which is a great feature if you’re sharing a screenplay.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol essentially served as the precursor to the cloud—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 or Cyberduck, and log into the recipient’s FTP server using login credentials they’ll have provided you (usually location, username, and password). Once you’re in, you can drag and drop your file.

Google Drive
An excellent, easy-to-use and completely free option is Google Drive (made even easier if you already use Gmail since you have an account set up). Unlike email attachments, the cloud storage of Google Drive allows users to upload files 
up to 5TB in size. You can also share the file as many times as you want and with anyone, totally free of charge.

*This post was originally published on Jan. 22, 2014. It has since been updated. 

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