When you shoot, you want to be sure that every shot makes its way to the edit. That means not only getting good quality capture media but then backing it up to multiple drives on set to ensure so that even if one drive fails, your shots are preserved on another.

But how can you tell if the media you copied is a perfect copy? That is where checksum verification comes in.

It sounds complicated, but it's quite simple. Checksum verification makes sure the copy is accurate. If you use "Explore" or "Finder" to make a copy, it copies over the bits of the file, but it doesn't normally check to ensure that it did it properly. Checksum verification is a method for checking to ensure that the copy happened properly.

It slows the process down, but it's absolutely vital to do when making copies for important media. If a file copies wrong, you might not catch it until later and discover your favorite take is corrupt.

With the new Levee app, which is only $4.99, there's an affordable tool designed expressly for filmmakers who want to ensure their copies are done properly and checked thoroughly. There is a hefty amount of competition in this space, with Hedge, Shotput, and Pomfort all having great tools, but the starting price for even entry-level versions is much more expensive since they are aimed at the professional market.

If you're making regular money as a DIT it might make sense to invest in higher-end software, but for the indie creator, Levee is an affordable option that's amazing.


Besides checksum verified copies, Levee allows you to issue reports, create notifications, and keep organized, all for a price you can afford. Checksum copies come in a wide variety of flavors, with the most common being MD5, which is supported along with SHA-1.

The important thing to keep in mind is to work in a format recognized and supported by the editor and post house. If you are working with a post house, check with them since they'll be using checksum verification to make sure that every copy they make in post is secure. For instance, when copying from the drive to the server, you want to work with their same flavor. If you're working alone, you can choose what you like.

Levee can create both a CSV report of all your file copies and an MHL, short for media hash list. MHL is an open XML format for keeping track of even more data than is supplied in a normal checksum. This is particularly important if working with a post house that uses MHL as it allows them to keep track of every file and folder that gets downloaded. The CSV report will be most likely helpful with indie projects as it can be opened by typical spreadsheet applications like Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets to read the report. 


At the moment Levee only integrates its notifications with the notifications built into your system, which is the native macOS notifications. While this might seem limiting, for us, it's a smart move. You can always use a tool like IFTTT (short for if this then that) to send Mac notifications to your phone or email.

On top of that, it offers the ability to trigger an AppleScript. This means if you have some basic scripting skills you can enable Levee to trigger a wide array of applications and actions on your computer when your copy is finished. The possibilities are infinite and depending on your skills, you could trigger it to automatically open your CSV in a spreadsheet program, automatically open your preferred dailies software, or more.

The real limitation with something like Levee comes from project-long organization. It's a $4.99 app (that's a one-time fee), and of course, you'll have limitations somewhere. Levee isn't as robust at creating the complicated reports you get from more sophisticated apps, but updates could come in the future. 

If you are working on a feature and want to be able to keep track of precisely when each card was downloaded over several weeks and put it together in one report easily, a pricer solution might treat you well. You can do that with Levee, making a CSV for every download and meticulously organizing it yourself in your spreadsheet app, but the more sophisticated software mentioned above will automate a lot of that process for you.

Frankly, for such an affordable app the functionality of  Levee is impressive. You can check out the Levee website for more info or download it from the Mac app store.