Peter Gerstenzang’s article “Inspiring Directors” (January, 2011) showed Ron Howard’s advice put into action in a shooting situation most videographers can identify with. I loved it! The advice was absolutely spot-on. As a director who gets flustered easily on-set, I was hugely encouraged to see how another director used Ron Howard’s wisdom to turn obstacles into opportunities. I felt like I had taken a little masterclass with a great Hollywood director. I want to see more articles like this from Videomaker.
Colorado Springs, CO
Not Quite Multi-cam Editing for All
I’ve been doing multi-camera editing using Final Cut Pro for about ten years, and I feel that I must take exception with two items mentioned in the recent article Multi-cam Editing for All (August 2010). First, synchronizing multiple cameras using audio can be deceiving. Remember that sound travels at roughly 1100 ft./sec., so the distance of 36 feet can put you one frame out of sync. 100 feet can put you almost three frames out of sync, and many venues covered in a multi-cam shoot fall into this category or larger. Better yet to use a camera flash, since light travels much faster- and a flash camera is much more likely to be onsite than clap sticks.
Second, I disagree that using more than one audio track gives you a better mix. Let’s take a baseball game for instance. Every time that the cameras are switched, the audio isn’t switched. The same goes for a live concert. This would be very disconcerting and completely ruin the effect intended. I always set up my master shot with master audio, and leave it that way.
We realize clappers won’t sync your audio and video completely, that’s just a good tool for a starting point. The author also intended the reader to understand that one needs to lay the audio track to each video stream on separate channels to help sync the sound, but to stick with a master track for audio consistencies. Thank you for your good observations, Doug, you are correct about keeping the quality pure. We often preach that audio is often considered more important than the video in some stories. Viewers might accept shaky video or less-than-perfect color, but won’t forgive poor audio. Good audio on a multi-cam production starts with laying the master track well.
– The Editors
Not so Dirty Editing Tricks
I very much enjoyed your article on editing techniques. Very helpful! You referred to them as “tricks”, even “dirty tricks.” Nothing tricky about any of it; nor dirty. It’s all good, clean helpful information, just like planting watermelons, the “trick” or rather “technique” is to plant the seedling in sandy soil, not hard clay. Every science has it’s special bag of tools – nothing evil about any of it. Thank you for the information. It’s very helpful. Looking forward to assimilating it into my work.
Thanks, Robert. We were just having fun with a silly play on words. You’re actually correct – managing the science of good editing skills is understanding the techniques.
– The Editors
Microphone Buyer’s Guide
Count me as a fan of your various Buyer’s Guide articles over the past several years. I’ve purchased both my own personal equipment and equipment for my professional career with your magazine in hand. However, I wish you would do more. I wish you would do more side-by-side comparison testing, more pros and cons, more in the way of highlighting the best features or advantages of each product and even the best “bang for the buck” given a certain dollar range. For instance, though your Buyer’s Guide lists a wide variety of shotgun mics, I would like to know how they compare to one another in similar settings, what shotgun mics excel in given situations and what mic might be the best compromise “if you can only have one mic that must do everything.”
When it’s time for me to buy a mic (or a camera, or a light, or ??) I turn to your guide searching, unfortunately, for what is not there: information that will help me zero in on a particular product that will best serve my needs. Many thanks for your help over the years.
Supervisor, Broadcast Meteorology
Thanks, Dave, for your input. We receive many similar requests, but, unfortunately, we don’t have the man-power or resources to compare every video related product out there. We’d love to be like Consumer’s Reports, but we can only tell you about features to look for, give you the stats that we know of, and point you to a list of all of the manufactures who produce the products. Plus everyone’s needs are different, and an “all inclusive mic” for you, might not fit the “all inclusive” need for the next reader. We do what we can, and hope the guides act as a jumping-off point to your own personal research
– The Editors