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Multicam "Focus"

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James Ewart
Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:24:36 am

So it seems they used Multicam mode a lot for cutting the film. When I saw the Ripple tutorial for cutting single camera in Multicam mode it was a lightbulb moment for me. What a perfect solution. Is this FCPX's most powerful feature?

I have no idea if I could have worked this way in Legacy or could work this way in Avid or Premiere.

I can't see any advantage or point to cutting single/ camera multi take drama any other way.

Thoughts?


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Andy Neil
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:34:48 pm

[James Ewart] "Is this FCPX's most powerful feature?"

It's definitely one of its most powerful features. FCPX multicam is far and away better than any other NLE I've tried owing to its versatility.

[James Ewart] "I have no idea if I could have worked this way in Legacy or could work this way in Avid or Premiere."

You would not want to try that workflow in Avid or FCP7 as making changes to existing multiclips is difficult at best. Although, I did work on a show where we did recreations and I asked the AEs to multigroup the takes for me with limited success. So, I suppose it's not completely out of the realm for those NLEs. It's just you gain a lot by being able to open a multiclip and adjust it. I'm not positive, but I think you can adjust Premiere multiclips in a similar way to FCPX.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:49:38 pm

I haven't seen the video you are talking about. Do you have link or can you explain the gist of what you are talking about?


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:04:57 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I haven't seen the video you are talking about. Do you have link or can you explain the gist of what you are talking about?"

Sorry I can't find it now can anybody help Andrew please?


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Herb Sevush
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 1:05:06 pm

[Andy Neil] "I'm not positive, but I think you can adjust Premiere multiclips in a similar way to FCPX."

You can.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 10, 2015 at 11:09:52 pm

I liked the part where they talked about how they made Auditions, and how they had almost every take in every scene available to them. I work the same way, and it is by far the most creative way I've edited dialogue. Nearly everything is right there at your fingertips, or not far away, and Auditions save their individual edit points. Combine this with the magnetic timeline, where everything will shift around the primary, it really does allow immersive access to the footage/scene.

Auditioned multiclips would be even better. This way, you have the Audition clip edited for time, and the multi clip for angle, and then you could independently choose each of those (take and angle) and watch each one, in context with the rest of the edit with a few keystrokes.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 2:42:32 am

While this is an interesting discussion - although I can't imagine personally using multicam this way for dialogue options - I don't believe the Ripple method is how the "Focus" team used multicam. Like many films, they shot scenes with two or more cameras on scenes. These are synced or grouped into multicam clips, because they cover the same event at the same time and with sync TC (or marker). That's pretty standard and easily done in FCP 7, PrPro and/or MC.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 2:20:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "although I can't imagine personally using multicam this way for dialogue options"

The article states that they had to break apart the multi clips and make Auditions. They couldn't make multiclip Auditions, although they really wanted to. This would allow you to pick the best take, and then pick the best angle of that take. It would be awesome.

Instead the assistant made Audition clips of every take, including the angle which of course, isn't as elegant.

This would allow auditioning of all of the takes, and all of the angels of that take. That would be pretty sweet.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 3:40:28 pm

[Oliver Peters] "although I can't imagine personally using multicam this way for dialogue options"

You should try it, it works beautifully.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 3:46:41 pm

Personal preference. I simply don't like working that way. I also rarely use auditions. Only a few times and it's generally more trouble than it's worth for me. I like working with normal multicam, but I dislike that you can't collapse the clips in X.

As far as comparing different takes, there are a lot of other ways to do that, which I prefer. One way is to build a string out sequence with takes edited back to back according to the line readings.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 3:59:54 pm

I'm not massive on auditions either. I tend to use for my favourite two or three takes just so I know I can go back to the other one easily. I always used to stack them in the timeline so Auditions is a 'better' option than my previous workflow.

I was away on a course last week and one of the people there was an Avid editor of many years standing. Why would she want to change? I certainly wasn't going to try and convert her. But she told me she was more curious about FCPX than she had been about 7 or Premiere because it was so different which I thought was interesting.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 5:29:25 pm

[James Ewart] "I always used to stack them in the timeline so Auditions is a 'better' option than my previous workflow."

Yes, I can see that it can work if that's the preference.

In a typical dramatic scene shot with 2 cameras, let's say you have 1 master and 4 additional angles (1, 1A-D) and three takes of each. That's 30 variations, which doesn't take into consideration resets or actors that ad lib and get dialogue sentences out of sequence. So for me, setting this up as one big multi-cam clip (aside from grouping the two camera angles per take) seems very unwieldy. I'd rather just review and start cutting.

A lot of editors prefer to build a string-out of each angle for each line reading and create one long scene sequence first (with repeated lines). This lets you quickly compare performances against each other.

[James Ewart] "But she told me she was more curious about FCPX than she had been about 7 or Premiere because it was so different which I thought was interesting."

I can completely understand that. If you are a good MC editor and have no business reason to shift to FCP 7 in the past or PPro now, then you'll stick with Avid. The paradigm is close enough that neither of these NLEs offers the typical Avid editor any real benefit. FCP X, OTOH, makes enough changes to how people work, that it peaks the curiosity. I can certainly attest to that on my end.

The only negative I see, is that performance on older machines, like any Mac Pro tower, is pretty bad with FCP X. This is going to give people a bad impression if they are just now shifting over. A new iMac, MBP or MP "tube" is a completely different experience.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 5:46:01 pm

[Oliver Peters] "A lot of editors prefer to build a string-out of each angle for each line reading and create one long scene sequence first (with repeated lines). This lets you quickly compare performances against each other."

I used to do this because it used to be the most logical way to do things. String everything out in a way that cuts down all the crap around the take.

Now with FCPX, I can see all the takes in context with the rest of the scene. In my opinion, this allows a much more relevant view of the material.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 6:19:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I used to do this because it used to be the most logical way to do things. String everything out in a way that cuts down all the crap around the take."

I'm not sure we are talking about exactly the same type of string-out. See the two quotes below from Tim Squyres and Kirk Baxter.

Tim Squyres says, “I typically build a sequence out of pieces of each take, which gives me a set of ‘pulls’ – my favorite readings from each setup strung together in script order. Then I’ll cut at least two versions of a scene based on structure or emotion – for example, a sad version and an angry version. When I’ve cut the first version, I try not to repeat shots in building the second version. By using the same timeline and turning on dupe detection, it’s easy to see if you’ve repeated something. Assembling is about getting a good cut, but it’s also about learning all the options and getting used to the footage. By having a few versions of each scene, you are already prepared when the director wants to explore alternatives.”

Kirk Baxter has a very specific way that he likes to tackle dailies. He said, “I typically start in reverse order. David tends to hone in on the performance with each successive take until he feels he’s got it. He’s not like other directors that may ask for completely different deliveries from the actors with each take. With David, the last take might not be the best, but it’s the best starting point from which to judge the other takes. Once I go through a master shot, I’ll cut it up at the points where I feel the edits will be made. Then I’ll have the assistants repeat these edit points on all takes and string out the line readings back-to-back, so that the auditioning process is more accurate. David is very gifted at blocking and staging, so it’s rare that you don’t use an angle that was shot for a scene. I’ll then go through this sequence and lift my selected takes for each line reading up to a higher track on the timeline. My assistants take the selects and assemble a sequence of all the angles in scene order. Once it’s hyper-organized, I’ll send it to David via PIX and get his feedback. After that, I’ll cut the scene.”

I realize that you could argue that this is what you are doing in X via an audition or multi-cam method, but it seems to me that it's still a fundamentally different way of comparing the scene.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:02:42 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I realize that you could argue that this is what you are doing in X via an audition or multi-cam method, but it seems to me that it's still a fundamentally different way of comparing the scene."

I think it's very similar. They even use terms that are available in FCPX. How about that for a stroke of irony?

Baxter used an assisstant to get things in line, when X does this with an Audition clip. When you switch to each Audition, the in and out of the clip changes, and since that clip is probably in the primary, the rest of the cut flows around it as well. I know you know all of this, I am just talking out loud to those that are listening.

[Oliver Peters] "Kirk Baxter: Once I go through a master shot, I’ll cut it up at the points where I feel the edits will be made. Then I’ll have the assistants repeat these edit points on all takes and string out the line readings back-to-back, so that the auditioning process is more accurate."

You could setup all the takes in an Audition clip, and hit a key command to view the next take. You could do this in context of the scene, or choose to just play that one clip.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:09:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You could setup all the takes in an Audition clip, and hit a key command to view the next take. You could do this in context of the scene, or choose to just play that one clip."

I think there's one very important difference. In the string-out method, once you've set this up, you can simply let the sequence play without editor involvement. This means that the differences can "wash" over you and you can focus only on the dramatic, rather than the mechanics of backing up, changing the audition clip and moving on. Also, having 30 (my example from before) possible clips in an audition just seems unmanageable to me. How do you remember which one you liked once you viewed all 30?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:25:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Also, having 30 (my example from before) possible clips in an audition just seems unmanageable to me. How do you remember which one you liked once you viewed all 30?"

So you put thirty different takes in one string out?

I think we can make some decisions from logging no?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 8:38:33 pm

[James Ewart] "o you put thirty different takes in one string out?
I think we can make some decisions from logging no?"


In their example, yes, in the first pass. Note that Baxter mentions reviewing this and then pulling the possibles he likes as the next pass.

As far as logging, yes, that would be done in conjunction.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:28:31 pm

[Oliver Peters] "How do you remember which one you liked once you viewed all 30?"

I immediately get rid of the ones I don't like, and keep the ones I do and add a marker. Since things can be named by take, you can remember what take or takes were good.

And even if you did create a string out compound clip or sequence (which I used to do a lot in FCP7, but don't anymore in X), you are generally going to get down to a small handful of takes. Once you have that small handful, you can literally preview watch one in the context of the scene. This is way more valuable to me when the take is in context, rather than sitting on a timeline of selects, especially if you need to match action/continuity.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 8:36:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I immediately get rid of the ones I don't like, and keep the ones I do and add a marker. Since things can be named by take, you can remember what take or takes were good."

Sure. Of course you'd whittle them down. However in long scenes, I've often used a little something from every take and every angle available. I don't necessarily know this until I start cutting the scene.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 8:41:06 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Sure. Of course you'd whittle them down. However in long scenes, I've often used a little something from every take and every angle available. I don't necessarily know this until I start cutting the scene.
"


But of course. That's where Auditions shine is when you actually start cutting the scene. And they can be finalized! :)


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 9:38:05 pm

yeah because previous workflows were based upon previous software solutions.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 10:40:06 pm

[James Ewart] "yeah because previous workflows were based upon previous software solutions."

No. Previous workflows were based on what editors felt was best for their operating style. Sometimes in spite of the software. For example, Avid offers Script Based Editing, commonly referred to as ScriptSync (the automatic portion of it). Many Avid editors would consider this to be a vast improvement because of the software solution it offers. Yet, many other Avid editors never use it, even when it's available to them and often even after they've had their assistants set up the bins for it.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Charlie Austin
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 11:48:13 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Yet, many other Avid editors never use it, even when it's available to them and often even after they've had their assistants set up the bins for it."

That's how I feel about Mixers in NLE's. ;-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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James Ewart
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:29:19 am

[Oliver Peters] "No. Previous workflows were based on what editors felt was best for their operating style."

I cannot entirely agree with but understand the point you are making. If the option is not there you cannot make the choice whether to use it or not or whether it will come part of your operating style.

And part of the problem with shifting to X from any of the other NLE (only my personal opinion of course) is you have to make some changes to the way you work if you are going to reap the benefits. I didn't use Auditions but decided to make myself do so and now they have become something I use all the time (albeit for best takes).

I don't think I am alone in having an inclination to become set in my ways and Apple gave me a good old kick in the arse. If they had continued with FCP7 in parallel I never in a million years would have made the move to X if I am honest. At the time is was a little painful but it did me the world of good.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 10:36:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "That's where Auditions shine is when you actually start cutting the scene"

Again - entirely personal preference. For me, I tried it and it was largely useless.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Charlie Austin
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 10:39:21 pm

[Oliver Peters] "entirely personal preference"

So... we seem to have established that individual editors work in different ways. Weird. :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 12, 2015 at 3:49:53 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Again - entirely personal preference. For me, I tried it and it was largely useless.
"


That's cool. I find them to be very useful. I can store more decisions with easier access in one single timeline than I ever could in any other NLE.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 5:49:35 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The only negative I see, is that performance on older machines, like any Mac Pro tower, is pretty bad with FCP X. This is going to give people a bad impression if they are just now shifting over. A new iMac, MBP or MP "tube" is a completely different experience."

Very true... Honestly, X performs better on my mid 2012 MacBook Air then it ever did on my old, pretty beefed up, Mac Pro tower.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Tim Wilson
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 6:58:27 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[James Ewart] "But she told me she was more curious about FCPX than she had been about 7 or Premiere because it was so different which I thought was interesting."

I can completely understand that. If you are a good MC editor and have no business reason to shift to FCP 7 in the past or PPro now, then you'll stick with Avid. The paradigm is close enough that neither of these NLEs offers the typical Avid editor any real benefit. FCP X, OTOH, makes enough changes to how people work, that it peaks the curiosity. I can certainly attest to that on my end."



I was about to say "I hate to say I told you so," because I LOVE saying "I told you so," but in fact, I said this in 2011, from the beginning. The hype about Avid editors converting to FCP, some notably exceptions notwithstanding, was mostly hype. There wasn't a compelling artistic or workflow advantage for switching, which is why, in the markets Avid has been strongest in, there wasn't a wholesale shift. There just wasn't. If it COULD have moved the needle in Avid's strongholds, it WOULD have.

I'm not saying X is going to flip the switch that 7 couldn't, but I HAVE been saying that it has a far better shot. The difference between 7 and MC was barely worth talking about...but "hey, what's that you're working on? That's FCPX? NOW you have my attention."

Needless to say, I have no numbers to back this up. I don't know that we ever will. But here we are 4 years into Apple's stated 10 year plan for FCPX (assuming that the 10 year plan started upon launch, rather than upon the commencement of major development), and we just now have our first high-profile project.

So maybe I'm wrong. Maybe X is going to make even less impact in Avid's strongholds than 7 did...but I still think that X is gonna take a much bigger bite than 7 was ever going to be able to, just because it provides some compelling scenarios that 7 never did.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:13:43 pm

[Tim Wilson] "So maybe I'm wrong. Maybe X is going to make even less impact in Avid's strongholds than 7 did...but I still think that X is gonna take a much bigger bite than 7 was ever going to be able to, just because it provides some compelling scenarios that 7 never did."

I would tend to agree, in large part because the basic concepts used in MC haven't significantly changed in the intervening dozen or more years since "Cold Mountain".

However, I think we are also ready to see more high-profile examples of Premiere, so that will add some counteracting balance.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Multicam "Focus"
on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:16:31 pm

[Oliver Peters] "However, I think we are also ready to see more high-profile examples of Premiere, so that will add some counteracting balance.
"


This is just me, but I don't really think this is the Ford or Chevy deal that some of this implies.

Like it or not, Apple did invest a LOT of effort in the teardown and rebuild. So X is singular.

They're betting that it's singularities will eventually appeal to far more people than does the traditional 'rooted in an A/B roll timeline" approach that the other NLEs still are organized around.

To me the key question, is more about how the world of day to day content creation has changed.

I'm writing this in a Sheraton ballroom waiting for my next executive interview to arrive. During the "activity" period I just was asked to cover, (not on my original shot sheet) I had a traditional video camera, and a DSLR set up to grab content. The actual best coverage of the contemporaneous scene unfolding in real time, however, came from my wife's iPhone 6+. She had position, and the sensor in that wasn't anywhere near as bothered by the crappy ballroom lighting. She got the money shots.

10 minutes after the gig, her footage got into X FIRST. Then the video camera, then the DSLR.

In the real world, you often can't wait for the crew to finish rigging stuff. You go when you need to go. X fits into this new reality perfectly.

Get the job done. As well as possible. Now.

It's ONE mode that you can make really good money with today. Not the only one. But one.

Know how to light and rig and perfect and focus - and know when to dump it all and follow the advice of one of my first and best clients. "Why meet when we can shoot?"

Not always. But sometimes for sure.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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