Filmmakers: You Can Now Use Gmail to Send Files Up to 5 GB For Free - And Up to 10GB For a Small Monthy Fee

There is a new CHEAP way to share the digital files that microbudget filmmakers create as they digitally shoot and edit their films.

A new button in Gmail allows users to attach a file - up to 10GB in size - to a message.

And, because each Google user gets up to 5GB of free storage, it's now possible to shoot up to 5GB footage with your digital camera (or audio with your digital recorder) and then share the files with an editor (or other collaborator or end-user) via Gmail for free. You can even share files larger than 5GB - up to 10GB - via Gmail once you've paid a small fee for that extra storage.

To start, you'll need a Google Drive™ account to take advantage of this option. But the basic (up to 5GB of storage) Google Drive account, like the Gmail account filmmakers probably already have, is free.

After you've clicked the "Insert files using Drive" button, Gmail gives the recipient permission to view the file in your Drive account. You will be prompted to grant permission if you haven't already granted that recipient access when you set up the Google Drive account.

As mentioned above, if you want to share files larger than 5GB, you'll need to buy additional Google Drive storage space. As of Nov. 2012, 25GB of additional Google Drive storage will set you back $2.49 per month. If you're looking for larger storage space, you can get 100GB for $4.99 per month.

And remember, the largest size Google Drive file that Gmail will currently accommodate is 10GB.

I haven't (yet) tried this myself. And I wouldn't rely on Google Drive as my only storage option. Backup everything. But the ability to upload and share files of this size is yet another new tool that should make filmmaking collaboration that much easier.

Thanks to Mashable for publicizing the new Gmail / Google Drive service and providing instructions about how to find and use the Google Drive icon in Gmail.

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Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.