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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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keeping order to footage from 2 cams

I use the A1 as my primary camera and would like to use my hv20 a little more to cut in with the A1.
My question is in relation to matching the timing of the clips.
Even though the footage is spread over two cams it would ultimately need to end up chronologically on the one timeline.

Ideally the hv20 would have free rec timecode but it doesent.
I dont need it to be frame accurate. just to know in what order the shots should slot in.

Eg. the dancing. if i use the a1 for some tripod shots and the hv20 for walkaround handheld. When editing it may be difficult to know what order each cameras footage needs to slot in with each other at.

Does anyone have a technique for this?
I was thinking perhaps have the clock time up on the hv20 and crop it out later. Then I was thinking of a clapper board but thats just one more bit of hassle i could do without.

Can anyone think of a better solution?
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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #2
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Its really not hard to sync two cameras in an atmosphere like that. its even easier if you turn them both on at the same time, they are already within a few seconds of each other. a loud noise, a camera flash from a guest, would all give audio/visual cues to sync to in post.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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Does anyone have a technique for this?
Just match up the audio waveforms or find a camera flash. It's really no big deal. Also, keep both cameras running as long as you can otherwise you'll be making lots of cuts.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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Sorry guys, I haven't explained myself very well.
Both of these cameras would not be running at the same time.

Imagine the scenario where I shoot one particular dance with the a1 and then another with the hv20. i then shoot another with the a1 and so on....
what i end up with is a tape full of dancing done by the a1 and also a tape full of dancing done by the hv20.

how do i know what order to place these on the timeline so the first song of the night is first followed by the second song second regardless of what camera it was shot with.

See where Im going with this?

The obvious answer to me would be to point the cam at my watch at the start of each time i press record on each cam.

Im just wondering if there is anyone else with a tried and tested system.

Thanks,
Ger.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
I use the A1 as my primary camera and would like to use my hv20 a little more to cut in with the A1.
My question is in relation to matching the timing of the clips.
Even though the footage is spread over two cams it would ultimately need to end up chronologically on the one timeline.

Ideally the hv20 would have free rec timecode but it doesent.
I dont need it to be frame accurate. just to know in what order the shots should slot in.

Eg. the dancing. if i use the a1 for some tripod shots and the hv20 for walkaround handheld. When editing it may be difficult to know what order each cameras footage needs to slot in with each other at.

Does anyone have a technique for this?
I was thinking perhaps have the clock time up on the hv20 and crop it out later. Then I was thinking of a clapper board but thats just one more bit of hassle i could do without.

Can anyone think of a better solution?
I'm going to give a lo-tech technique here. I've done a lot of multicamera editing using very simple setups. I used Sony cameras like the DCRTRV25E and various versions of iMovie from 2 onwards.

(1) If you are doing a shot where all the cameras can be left running, 1 sync point is all you need (flash is good but it doesn't have sound - a clapper or even a hand clap helps to sync sound if its being recorded on all cameras). It doesn't even matter if the cameras are started at the same time, as long as they share the sync point.

Simple arithmetic will let you count min:sec:frames back and forward from the sync point and a piece of paper will let you keep tabs on what's going on.

eg CAM1 starts 01:02:03 before the sync point, CAM2 at 00:35:04 and CAM 3 at 00:15:06. From there you can dump the footage up to the sync point and cut out the same amount of time on each camera after it as well if you want. That way each camera starts at 00:00:00:00. You get very good at doing the sums in your head!

Maybe I've been lucky, but in umpteen years of using consumer Sony DV cameras and bog standard JVC DV tape from Costco I've never known the sync to drift on SD DV edits for the max 63 minutes the cameras run.

(2) When I was starting and stopping cameras, by syncing the clocks on the cameras to the nearest second before the shoot, the clock time of the start of each clip could be seen when editing (even in iMovie) and keeping tabs on the chronological order was easy. Frame accurate syncing was possible with a little detective work.

When using proper editing software this all becomes much easier and much faster as the footage can all be placed in different tracks and synced.

There is no need to have clock time visible.

I hope I haven't insulted anyone's intelligence with this post and I'm well aware this is NOT a workflow for professional use.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #6
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Then always leave the second cam running on the tripod as wide angle.
You always will get some good staff within the frame.
On the other hand, switching between cams not using the second, just for the sake of switching them, doesn't make sense to me. Use one camera and everything will be in order.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #7
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Yea I know what you mean Konrad and why you mean it.

But there could only be one reason I can think of these days to be doing this and its because the hv20 is on a merlin and the a1 isn't.

If im doing 2 weddings some weeks and have a hv20 tape with lots of nice flying shots it would be handy to know exactly where they fit into the body of the main tape without having to actually watch the clips.
that takes time.

Sorry Colin I seem to have missed your post somehow. I relaise that because of the hv20 then low-tech may be the only option. Point 2 that you made may be just what i was looking for. So there seems to be some kind of record made to when the clip was originally created recorded into the avi eh? and this is apparent in some editing programs. I must look into this further. Thanks.

Last edited by Ger Griffin; February 16th, 2008 at 06:59 PM.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #8
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You can always get quick release plate for merlin and use a1 with merlin and keep hv20 as wide angle in most crucial times (first dance, bride & father etc.)
You just can't put too much on your a1 then.

That's the way I do it, but I'm using glidecam smooth shooter. Anyway, I only put canon lamp on my camera, so merlin would work for those shoots. As the matter of fact, I'm actually thinking about getting merlin, as I can always use it on the fly vs glidecam 400, which is pretty heavy to carry around without vest (which sometimes I don't want to put on for just 5 min).
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Old February 16th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #9
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I have to admit I was and still am a bit confused by the shooting workflow-but to each their own.
Anyway, why not simply write down the song titles in the order they are playing. Low tech and simple.
Don
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Old February 16th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #10
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Thee finger snaps at an equal time frame (appx. three seconds apart) will ensure you can discern the sync point in the edit, in addition to verifying any shift in audio.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #11
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When I'm confusing someone like yourself Don, thats worrying.
The fact is I haven't shot one wedding yet with the merlin.
My first is in march.
I just figured since I'm a one man operation I would have been a lot better off with the Hv20 on that thing to pull out of my bag every now and again and use for a shot or two here and there and continue on as I used to normally with the A1.
Im just trying to predict & solve any problems which may arise with this workflow.

I suppose the QR plate could be the way to go. I heard its hard work with the A1 & Merlin though. Just figured this could be a better way to get a lot more flying shots a lot easier with the hv20.

All input greatly appreciated.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #12
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Ger - I swap my A1 back and forth between tripod and Merlin using a quick release plate. After a little practice you should be able to re-balance the merlin in under 30 seconds.

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Old February 17th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #13
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well, I'll go back to my first approach. Write down the song you're shooting and the one either before or after. Quick, down dirty and simple. Now you know for sure where it goes in the timeline.
Don
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Old February 17th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #14
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I personally leave the cams all running.Easy sync and sometimes catch some non central footage.The cost of tape is cheap and trying to remember where I am in some sort of timing solution is not what I want to be concentrating on at that time.This is my solution, may not be for you Ger.
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