Importance of Multicam

Dave Estment with Canon Video Camera

You’ve likely had the experience of multiple minds achieving exponentially better results than any one alone. The same often applies to photography and videography. In the case of multiple camera operators, people invariably see and shoot subjects in different ways. This is definitely the case for us. Naomi and I have worked together countless times to capture a range of scenarios, and without fail our unique styles shine through and complement each other.

Video can particularly benefit from the magic of multicam (multiple-camera setup), by using additional camera/s of matching capture quality to simultaneously shoot multiple angles to illustrate your story. An example of where this comes into its own is to enliven and edit interviews, presentations and events, like this recent listing of Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited that we had the privilege of filming for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange:

Footage of people speaking often requires cutting to comply with final video time constraints, tighten up a message for maximum impact, or to edit out pauses and minor mistakes. Shooting a single angle will likely necessitate jump cuts between sound bites and, while specific transitions can help to smooth this out, it’s preferable to employ multiple camera angles to overcome this issue, better yet combined with relevant cutaways to add interest.

It is especially effective to set up contrasting scenes, such as one significantly wider angle than the other. Fortunately, certain editing software such as Final Cut Pro X accommodates multicam footage superbly, syncing the different clips according to sound during the import process. This requires capturing quality sound on all participating cameras, to facilitate seamless decision-making in the course of selecting a compelling, clip by clip storyline.

In a nutshell, utilizing multicam is all about storytelling. It’s the genie behind the scenes that brings your video to life. The additional shooting and editing is undeniably time-consuming but worth the effort when feasible. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go. You’ll be glad you did.

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