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Master Multicamera Techniques is a must have book for editors

Even if you don’t edit multicam concerts you’re bound to learn something new.

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Quite a few months ago I had a long conversation with editor Mitch Jacobson about multicam editing. The point of this conversation was to, hopefully, provide some good information on multicam editing for what was then his upcoming book about the topic. That book has finally gone into print and I picked up a copy not long ago and began reading it. Besides the much appreciated contributing writer credit that Mitch gave me (and a lot of other people who helped pull the book together) the book is a treasure chest of all things multicam.

You may have seen a presentation from Mitch at NAB or the Editor’s Retreat. As the owner of Category 5 Studios and the editor behind many multicam shows from Paul McCartney to the Rolling Stones to the Montel Williams Show (!) he’s very knowledgeable about the subject and quite fun to talk to. At 449 pages there’s tons of good information in the book from cover to cover. The subtitle says “from pre-production to editing and deliver-ables.” Thumbing through you’ll see a few more screen captures from Final Cut Pro than Avid Media Composer but the book isn’t FCP centric as there’s lots of Media Composer discussion as well. Besides those two software packages there’s information on a lot of other programs too from database managers to color correction.

There’s also technical discussions ranging from cameras to computers to sync hardware. Throughout the whole book you’ll also comes across tips, technical discussions, interviews and case studies. And while live concerts and events are the usual types of programs that come to mind when you think muliticam there’s great information in the book about multicam techniques and cutting sitcoms, EPKs, weddings and (one of my main topics of discussion with Mitch) music videos.

The best part of the book is the DVD.

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One of the best bangs for the buck is the included ProRes footage from Paul McCartney and Elton John concerts.

But the best thing about the book and what editors new to multicam editing will find most useful once the reading is done is the companion DVD that includes footage from two separate concerts by two legends: Paul McCartney and Elton John. It might be the best legally available, big time practice editing footage that I’ve seen since the old Highlander: Uncut package was sold.

The Paul McCartney footage is 13 angles of 720 23.98 ProRes (Proxy) media including dolly, jib, handheld and various crane cameras as well as master audio and bonus angles from a different show. The Elton John footage is five angles and one linecut of standard def ProRes LT.

The book is currently up on Amazon for around $35. While I didn’t get a big, fat royalty check for the small contribution I made to this book fell free to buy a copy via this Amazon affiliate link! There’s also the ability to look inside the book as well as some customer reviews on the Amazon site. Mastering Multicamera Techniques also has a Facebook page and there might be some coupon codes available over there.

Here’s a snapshot of what all is available on the companion DVD:

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If you want to learn about multicam editing then this is the book for you. As an editor who’s cut a lot of multicam over his career I’m still learning as I make my way through the book. Happy reading, happy learning and happy editing!


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Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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