The Multicam Trend: from rare to ubiquitous
For a number of reasons Multicam has been a topic of conversation around our house. During the discussion today, I realized that it was a fairly serious trend that I don’t recall covering in my look back, nor on the Terence and Philip Show’s 2013 predictions.
There was a time – not that long ago – when to be successful with multicam you had to shoot with a specific class of camera: one that would take external timecode input. Add to that the need for timecode generators, LockIt boxes (or similar) to keep cameras in Sync, and multicam was an expensive undertaking, reserved for the expensive end of the production industry.
If you didn’t go to the “trouble” of matching timecode then the only way to synchronize multicam clips was manually.
This all made sense before the democratization of production. Cameras were expensive anyway. And then came Pluraleyes. Pluraleyes was the first application I became aware of (go on, tell me it was in Sony Vegas first) for synchronizing multiple cameras using the common audio as the synchronizing method.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got the expensive cameras, or a couple of DSLRs with separate audio, synchronizing by audio means anyone can do multicam, with all its advantages. Multicam makes it much easier to edit, having two angles (or more) to select from to disguise an edit point in an interview, for example.
Success is bound to be copied, and indeed now the functionality is built into new apps like Final Cut Pro X (although not in a batch process, which Pluraleyes still supports) and open to anyone. That and Final Cut Pro X’s great implementation of multicam editing, makes multicam really easy.