Serious Multicam: Cutting a 14-Camera Music Video in FCP X by Bill Davis

Some months ago, I was looking for a project that would let me explore FCP X’s multi-cam capabilities. Then I heard about The Nash, Phoenix’s new jazz education and performance venue. I figured a project with them might be a great opportunity to learn something useful about the subject, so after securing permission from the venue, I pulled together a volunteer crew for a live performance shoot featuring a five-piece jazz combo drawn from the graduate music students at Arizona State University.

The Shoot

Saturday morning we all converged on the facility… twenty or so volunteers, fourteen cameras (seven DSLRs and seven GoPros) and five musicians.

I built my initial camera plot around four primary manned DSLRs (the blue ovals on the plot at right), positioned in a rough arc aimed at the band. Monitor lines from these cameras to video village would let me direct them to avoid getting stuck with four simultaneous medium shots of the same player at the same time.

To add a more active view, we had one stabilizer-mounted “Rover” DSLR to grab behind the scenes shots and interesting angles.

We recorded two original compositions created by the band members, each played through two times for a total of four recorded performances. One thing I learned from this project, is how quickly multi-cam chews through storage! Just making the initial hard drive backup disk images of the fourteen 32GB cards we shot onto a pair of laptops kept us on set almost four hours after the wrap. read more...

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