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Sunday, July 8, 2012

••◊ The frustration of a multi-cam shoot

Now that I'm editing Stronger part 2 I have the issue of dealing with a multi-cam edit.  In this case I had three cameras running during the interviews at all times.  Being primarily a low budget guy, I usually have one camera running and I walk it around the interview subject for different angles, sometimes asking essentially the same question again in order to get something to edit out all the studders and stammers.  Footage variation is pretty minimal.

In this case, anytime the interviewee said anything I had to choose between three angles.  This could quickly become a mess if I let it.  Which angle was the right one to use?  When?  Am I sure?  How long would it take to change my mind and would that discourage me from using the best angle?  This is what has been on my mind the last two weeks.  At first I was overwhelmed with too much information in my multi-angle footage, mostly because I want to do the material justice but I needed a system to get the best results.  Much like any engineer, I like to solve problems once and never think about dealing with them again.

To quote my mom, "keep it nice and neat and tidy and clean."  So here's what I came up with as my most efficient method (so far).

I put the three cameras on video tracks 1-3 and the audio on tracks 1-3.  The three cameras angles are synced up through the audio tracks, which you can do visually by looking at the clap at the beginning of the clip.  When getting organized I also tiled all three camera angles as the above picture shows.  That was I can check for stupid human errors, like a mic or light in the shot.  It's also a first pass way of knowing what I have to work with.

Because tracks 1-3 are dedicated to the interview I can simply turn the tracks on and off using the eye icon and associated speaker icon.

This seems like a quick and efficient method to select which camera angle I want. Then it's just a matter of "Disabling" the clips I don't want to use by right clicking on the clip and un-checking the "Enable".

I know there's a method of making Premier act like a live switcher, but that's not what I want.  I want to edit out chunks of dialog, remove between interview questions, create better phrasing through the edit, and overlay bits of other associated footage on top.  It's not like a sit-com or live interview type of edit.

What's next?  ...dealing with how to start organizing the dialog into manageable chucks.  Again, this is mainly having to deal with the productivity stagnation of information overload.  More next week.

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