What is a multicam production
• Multicam is a method of filmmaking and video production. Several cameras—either film or professional video
cameras—are employed on the set and simultaneously record or broadcast a scene. It is often contrasted with
single-camera setup, which uses one camera.
• Generally, the two outer cameras shoot close-up shots or "crosses" of the two most active characters on the set at
any given time, while the central camera or cameras shoot a wider master shot to capture the overall action and
establish the geography of the room. In this way, multiple shots are obtained in a single take without having to
start and stop the action. This is more efficient for programs that are to be shown a short time after being shot as
it reduces the time spent film editing or video editing the footage. It is also a virtual necessity for regular, high-
output shows like daily soap operas. Apart from saving editing time, scenes may be shot far more quickly as there
is no need for re-lighting and the set-up of alternative camera angles for the scene to be shot again from the
different angle. It also reduces the complexity of tracking continuity issues that crop up when the scene is reshot
from the different angles. It is an essential part of live television.
• Drawbacks include a less optimized lighting which needs to provide a compromise for all camera angles and less
flexibility in putting the necessary equipment on scene, such as microphone booms and lighting rigs. These can be
efficiently hidden from just one camera but can be more complicated to set up and their placement may be
inferior in a multiple-camera setup.
• While shooting, the director and assistant director create a line cut by instructing the technical director (or vision
mixer ) to switch between the feed from the individual cameras. In the case of sitcoms with studio audiences, this
line cut is typically displayed to them on studio monitors. The line cut might be refined later in editing, as often
the output from all cameras is recorded, both separately and as a combined reference display called the q split.
The camera currently being recorded to the line cut is indicated by a tally light controlled by a camera control unit
(CCU) on the camera as a reference both for the actors and the camera operators.
• The recording is simultaneous through the whole show as it is live. There are approximately 7
cameras used. There are different camera angles used. There are medium shots of the people’s
faces to show there facial expression/ emotions and body language. There are 2 shots to show
someone’s remark and another person’s reaction to that. There are also sometimes audience shots
to show the reaction from them. Communicating meaning to the viewer The show starts off with
the com-pair introducing the host - Dermot O’Leary. Then Dermot O'Leary clearly introduces the
show and lets the audience know what is going on e.g. He says what the theme is on that week.
Then the first contestant is brought onto stage to perform, feedback is given to them and the
number to call to keep them in is put on the screen. This is so the audience knows what number to
call for there favourite performance. This process happens for all the contestants. Then at the end
of the show Dermot O'Leary informs the audience of what the result show will consist of e.g. who
will perform and how the elimination will work. Visual Style, The X-Factor shows a lot of previously
shot footage in the form of VT. They show A VT of all the contestants before they perform. This
different form of broadcasting makes watching it more interesting. They also show other forms of
previously shot footage. There are a few visual elements, one is when the contestants are
performing and there name & number to call comes up on the screen in the colours red and white.
And also when the host talks to the audience, the background of the stage is red and white with the
'X-Factor' logo. Maintaining viewers interest the producers don’t want the viewers to lose interest
so they use a variety of shot types and angles and they make the programme fast passed so that
the viewers don’t get bored and switch off. Also another reason why people continue watching is
because of the talent on the show and people want to see how the contestants do. They make the
audience want to see how the contestants progress by using VT and music to gain emotion from
• Friends is an American sitcom and is a good example for a multiple camera
production. Sitcoms usually employ this mode of production because they
tend to feature common environments rather than a variety of locations.
These environments are on-set locations rather than in real locations, and
therefore Friends is more fitting for this mode of production. For example,
in my link above, Rachel and Phoebe are in the Cafe. This setting is used
quite often in Friends and is a common, recognisable set. As the two girls
have a conversation they use a medium shot not only is this to show the
conversation, but its also to make it clear to the audience that Rachel is
pregnant. The camera switches to individual medium shots quite a lot
until they use a long shot and zoom out when Chandler walks in. Friends
maintains the viewers interest by including a live studio audience. This
would mean that multiple camera is the more of an advantage and a
logical method for Friends to be filmed in, as single camera production
would disrupt the flow of the programme for the audience. However,
having an audience could be a constraint of the studio as it could lack
space for the actors and could limit the size of the room they work in.
Why are they used
• Multi camera is used for a variety of different reasons, for example multi
camera could be used so that less editing is used, because when using
multi camera, it allows for editing on the fly, which is basically editing as
you go along, whereas if it wasn’t multi camera then an editor would have
to come in and do lots of work and it would take a lot of time. Another
reason is that it covers a lot of area and allows for many shots from
different angles, of one particular area, which might be useful for shows
such as strictly come dancing which will need to focuses on the dancers
from different angles. Multi camera is also used to capture emotion and
reactions, this is because it can be instantly switched from camera to
camera, for example, in deal or no deal, the contestant could have just
been offered a very generous price, so the camera would want to capture
their reaction and emotion with a close up. In short multi camera is used
so that it can always be focused easily on the centre of attention in that
point in time, a plus is that it is also cheaper and less time consuming.
Advantages and disadvantages
• Of course the first most obvious advantage of multiple camera productions is that is a much quicker process. With
multiple camera set ups, it allows you to record the action in multiple shots and angles all in one swift process.
This is a necessity for shows that can't take their time in filming if they have to output their show on a regular
basis these are programs such as soap operas, which normally output their show once a week and sometimes
even have live performances.
• Multiple camera productions can also be cheap, just like single camera productions, but for a different reason. This
is because with a multiple camera mode of production, it means you can produce a film or television program in a
shorter amount of time, which can make it the cheaper set up.
• Multiple camera productions also tend to capture the best performances from the actors and actresses. This is
because, unlike single camera productions, you do not have to repeat each scene. Repeating a scene may make
their performances worse as they are being forced to act out the same bit over and over. It isn't uncommon to find
directors even record rehearsals because performers put most of their effort into their first few tries. However, it is
also possible to find these performers are being secretly filmed in rehearsals because there is pressure on them to
act well when they are put in front of the camera and the crew, which ultimately could even make their acting
• multiple camera productions are the much quicker process, it does still take a long time to set up at first. With
more than one camera unit employed, as the same with other equipment, it means it will take longer to set it all
• The aesthetic is also not as good with multiple camera productions because unlike single camera productions
where the equipment is reset after each shot to fit the atmosphere of the next one, with multiple camera you
must stand by the aesthetic from the beginning as the equipment is already set up.
• Another disadvantage of multiple camera productions is that the locations in which the footage is shot, is less
believable, because with this mode or production, the scenes are generally filmed on-set, rather than a real
location, which otherwise would add depth and aesthetic to the film or program.
• The camera operator is responsible for physically operating the camera
and maintaining composition and camera angles throughout a given scene
• Audio mixing for film and television is a process during the post-
production stage of a moving image program by which a multitude of
recorded sounds are combined into one or more channels.
• Vision mixing is a device used to select between several different video
sources and in some cases compositing video sources together to create
special effects. This is similar to what a mixing console does for audio.
• A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. Generally, a
film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes
the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of
• A floor manager is a member of the crew of a television show. The floor
manager is responsible for giving information from the director in the
control room, to the crew on the studio floor, and then back to the