What should I know about
April 19, 2010 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm not sure if my current video editing workflow will scale very well. What do I need to know going into a 5 camera video shoot?

When I do recordings with a single video camera, my workflow is pretty straightforward - I record onto a computer using OnLocation, which allows me to name and categorize clips as I'm recording them. This in turn makes locating clips very easy during the editing process.

Next month, however, I'm shooting a music video with up to 5 cameras, and OnLocation only handles one camera at a time. I do have enough computers to use a separate machine for each cameras, but I'm starting to think this would be too immobilizing. I'm also not sure how easy it will be to consolidate the video onto one computer while keeping it organized.
Is there software out there that functions like a multi-camera version of OnLocation?

Also, it would be really nice to have some sort of master screen that could show me all 5 video inputs in real (or almost real) time. It there software that I could use that would report back to a main computer, or maybe just dump the video onto a central server after the clips are downloaded?

Finally, is there a better way I should be doing things to accommodate the additional cameras? I could just wait until the end of the shoot to download all of the footage, but I'm starting to dread what sorting through 10 hours of footage from 5 cameras would entail. It just seems easier to organize footage as it comes in, but if there's a better way, I'd love to hear suggestions.

Assume almost no budget, but I'd be interested in hearing about costly suggestions for future reference.
posted by niles to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
I can't help so much on most of your questions, but I can offer up a recommendation for when you're editing: Pluraleyes. Assuming you shoot audio with all your cameras (even crappy onboard mics, just get some sound), it will be able to analyze the audio and sync it up for you automagically.

It is a bit pricey at $150, but if you're going to be doing any more multi camera shooting it'll pay off. I don't know what kind of set up you're doing, but a lot of shooting these days is with DSLRs which do not as yet record timecode. So this eases it up considerably!
posted by yellowbinder at 1:18 PM on April 19, 2010

What software do you use to edit?
posted by reductiondesign at 2:12 PM on April 19, 2010

I don't know what kind of set up you're doing, but a lot of shooting these days is with DSLRs which do not as yet record timecode.

I'll have several Canon GL2s, and will probably also have some sort of Panasonic camcorders. Regardless, I will have timecodes on my video, though I don't know how helpful that will be unless the cameras all start at the same time? I am planning on using some sort of loud sound to help sync things up after the fact, though Pluraleye looks very cool.

What software do you use to edit?
I'm planning on using the CS4 suite, so my NLE would be Premiere Pro. I also have what seems to be called NAB 2004 version of Final Cut Studio, but that's on a much older/slower computer, so I would prefer to stay away from using it.
posted by niles at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2010

I know that Final Cut has a multitrack video editing mode that puts up multiple clips at the same time and lets you edit in real-time with keyboard shortcuts. Maybe Premiere has something similar?

From a production standpoint, are you shooting lots of smaller clips, or longer takes? If it's a shot of the same thing, just from different angles, be sure to use a slate (or even clap) at the beginning of the shot, and syncing those clips will be a breeze when you get to post.

If you organize well during your shoot, it won't be nearly as difficult to edit as you imagine.
posted by reductiondesign at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2010

Using a stills camera's flash unit is an easier and more reliable way of syncing multiple cameras than is clapping. For future reference, using cameras that can sync time code or genlock (like the Canon G1 or the Sony EX-3, or many many more professional cameras) will make your life much, much easier.

Most of the real-time shooting I do is either synced using the flash method described above, or the cameras all feed signal back to a central video-world location where everything is linked at the recording decks.
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 6:13 PM on April 19, 2010

multitrack video editing mode

Aha. I've been trying to research things along the lines of "multiple camera editing", but multitrack seems to be the magic keyword here. Thanks.

I don't anticipate any clips being longer than 10 minutes, and it'll probably end being closer to 6 at the extreme.
posted by niles at 8:01 PM on April 19, 2010

Just for reference, here's an Adobe TV video tutorial on using Premiere's (very easy to use) multi-track video editing features. This effectively takes care of my editing concerns.

I'm still kicking around ways to manage the import process, so if anyone has any thoughts on ways to organize tape/cameras or otherwise simplify the process of bringing clips in off of the cameras, I'm still interested :)
posted by niles at 1:35 PM on April 21, 2010

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