Freelance Lessons Learned on a Long Multi-Cam Edit

Screenlight by Kes Akalaonu

There is nothing that changes how you approach editing like being asked to work on a really long project that requires great attention to detail.

I learned this when I took on a project to edit a 2-hour high school volleyball tournament. The project covered everything from the pre-game to the awards ceremony.

I edited this project a little over a year ago in Final Cut Pro 7. Through the experience, I learned a lot about client management, multi-cam editing, and media management when there is a large volume of material.

While the project didn’t end the way I had hoped, it did help me become a better editor.

The project details

Here’s a breakdown of what I had to do on the post-production end:

  • Transcode 10 SDHC cards of AVCHD media from 3 HMC-150 cameras into Apple Pro Res 422, which would be synced together through a multi-cam edit.

  • Sync footage from 3 different cameras together with audio that came from a radio broadcast of the game, which had all commercial breaks recorded to it.

  • Create custom motion graphics for the overall tournament which included a custom intro/outro, transitions and 65 lower thirds for all the players, sponsors, staff and more.

  • Output to DVD with a custom menu and chapter links which would be sold to the general public.

To say the least, I was eager to take on a project of this magnitude, even though I was much more used to doing shorter projects with a faster turn-around.

My approach to the edit and the issues I encountered

I was given this project by my production director because of prior work I did. He believed that the way I edit was well suited for this particular project, in spite of its length. Once I picked up the SD cards, I had a road map of how I would approach the project to make the best use of time. What I didn’t expect was the tidal wave of frustration I was in for. read more...

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