Creating a Multi-Cam Edit

This post is aimed at my students enrolled in Dr. Nystrom’s HIST A404 “Documentary and Oral Histories” class, but it gives you insight into our workflow and why we follow it.

Now that you have filmed your two-camera interview, it is time to take your three (3) SD cards (2 cameras and 1 video) and import your footage. We will do this the same way that we imported footage from our practice videos – to wit, importing the Panasonic GH footage into the Scratch Import library, creating a project with all the individual video clips, and creating a single, ProRes422 master file for both of the camera angles. We will later delete this scratch import library’s contents.

Outside observers may wonder why we are doing this. They should consider that when you import from the Panasonic GH3 – or almost any other camera – FCPX will first copy the “original media” to your library’s folder. Then it will transcode all of this, you will then have a second, larger,  uncompressed version of all of these files in your folder. This creates a huge backlog of unnecessary data storage for an oral history archive. But the ultimate reason for creating the single ProRes422 master file is that you then have a decent full-length video file that you might properly synchronize with your audio and other camera angle in a multicam edit. (See below). 

Note: if you started and stopped your cameras during the interview for any reason, you will have to make a master file for each segment of the interview. For instance: if interviewer 1 interviews for 22 minutes and you stopped and restarted the equipment to swap interviewers,  you will need to make a separate master file for the second segment. For a two-camera shoot, this will mean making 4 separate master files, 2 for each camera angle.

Once all of your video footage has been imported and processed into a single master file, it is time to import it into the “Service Industry” library on the “Freret” Hard Drive located on the new iMac in Bobet 448B. You will create a new “Event” within this “Service Industry” library named with your interviewee’s name. (You will notice that this has been done for other interviewees in this collection.)

Into this event, you will need to import all of your master video files and your audio tracks. You will use all of these to create a Multi-Cam clip, which the video below shows you how to do:

This instructional video walks you through making a two-camera Multi-Cam edit. Again, be sure to redact anything that your interviewee wants redacted before you upload your interview to Vimeo.

Making a multicam from Loyola DOHS on Vimeo.

Some things to remember with making your multicam video:

  1. Be sure to add the DOHS video “bumper” to the front of your video as an attached clip at your video’s start.
  2. Make sure to edit the text slide to reflect all the correct data – interviewee, interviewer(s), and the people operating the camera and helping with setup/takedown.
  3. Be sure to edit out the non-interview stuff, like the few seconds at the beginning where the cameras are being turned on and any “dead time” that occurs if the interviewers swap seats.