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|| News Item: Posted 2009-04-02

VJ for PJs
Two Camera Set Up: Getting Rid Of The Umms

By Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times

Photo by
Have you edited a video where you wish you had a second angle to cut to?

Recently, I've been shooting a lot more of my interviews with two cameras (three in the studio). There are a few reasons for this - a variety of angles; when you only have a short time with the subject but more importantly the second angle gives you an editing point.

You want to edit out your subject's "umms" and stutters and belches, unless it's a cagey politician, but you want to avoid a jumpcut. I wrote about a very easy work around in this Sports Shooter article:

One of the drawbacks to the above article method is, you have to work in standard definition.

Shooting with two cameras gives you the advantage of another angle and working in high def.

Final Cut allows you to create multiclip sequences but I do it another way - I stack the clips on top of each other and use the razorblade tool to cut through to the different footage I need.

Before I start the interview, I have the subject clap once to "slate" all the cameras. I use that audio mark to set in points before dragging the footage to the timeline. Make sure you don't stop any of the cameras or you'll be in for a miserable time trying to align them.

Why not just use Final Cut's multiclip feature? Because Final Cut requires that the compression method and frame rates be the same. The footage from my main camera and the second camera are brought into FC using different codecs and some rendering is required. Also, I found it easier to do split edits with the footage stacked on top of each other.

You can convert the footage to have it all be the same but depending on how much footage you've shot, it can be a time-consuming method of exporting from the timeline with the desired compression and frame rate and then re-importing them.

When I'm ready to edit, I place the main camera footage on top and place the secondary footage below. I keep the good audio track and discard the rest. As I'm watching the interview, I use the razorblade and make the cut when I feel a change of angle is needed; for emphasis or to cut out the "umms" and stutters and belches.

(Myung J. Chun is a staff videographer at the Los Angeles Times. You can see samples of his work on his member page: and his space at He is also the "video guru" for all of the Sports Shooter educational programs and is on the faculty of the upcoming Sports Shooter Academy VI.)

Related Links:
Myung's member page

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