Guest post: Carleton Cole
There’s an old axiom for everyone who works in video, “Editing is all about work arounds.” There’s never been a “one size fits all” approach to editing, be it be film, tape, and now so-called non-linear editing, meaning Premiere and Final Cut. However, I think those living on the outside have a distorted view that there is.
One of my latest is challenges is dealing with Microsoft Teams. No question during the pandemic, programs like Zoom and Teams took off. On the corporate side Teams has become pretty much the standard, not that it’s a better program, but because Microsoft Office with all its ancillary programs, Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc., owns the market. So faced with reality, I’ve been working in Teams quite a bit.
In many respects, the program is fantastic. Being able to record meetings from across the country, and in fact throughout the world wide web, is a huge advance. Remember in the news business, it wasn’t that long ago we had to ship film or tape on buses, trains, or planes to get the story on the air. Thankfully satellite technology, and later the internet, changed that so now, with Teams, you can record a conversation between two experts and create a pretty decent video.
But for whatever reason, there’s a drawback with Teams: The program repositions the interviewees, even in mid-sentence. Let’s show you what I mean. In the top image (above), the recording shows the two principals, screen left and screen right.
Note: I’ve closed my video output so you can see my icon, which I will crop out in the editing process.
But about two minutes into the program the principals shift sides. Teams does this, and for no apparent reason. Then 30 seconds later, Teams shifts the principals back to the original position.
It’s enough to drive you crazy.
(Click to see larger image.)
So, here’s the work-around. In FCP, or Premiere, you can resize and reposition the raw video in each cut. I’ve added “Barn Doors,” font, and a background à la the old ABC news program “Nightline” to make the video work.
Yes, you will get jumps in the picture, but since it’s a Teams call, the jumps look more like internet issues, rather than “jump cuts” which were the bane of news editing throughout my career.
Carleton Cole is a 1980 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He spent more than 30 years in broadcast news, 26 years at KHOU-TV in Houston. For nearly 10 years, he’s been a Digital Media Specialist at David Weekley Homes. You can contact him at email@example.com
4 Responses to Workaround: Editing Microsoft Teams Videos in Final Cut Pro
The problem with Teams is there’s no control over the compression / quality, if wanting to record conversations and use the recordings for other purposes. That’s why when recording interviews we always use Zoom, at least that way you can have more control over pinning speakers (to stop annoying shifts) and control the compression and ensure better quality is recorded.
I don’t disagree with what you say. However, in many situations, the editor has no control over the conferencing technology used. If you are stuck editing Teams videos, it’s nice to have this workaround in your back pocket.
If you’re going to do this a lot on many programs, set up the effect in Apple Motion adn export it as a custom effect. Otherwise, once you set up the first fix, you can copy/paste attributes to keep doing in within the same program as often as you like.
Great point. Creating a motion template can save a ton of time for something like this.