Premiere Pro, Adobe's powerful video editing software, serves as a key tool for film editors in bringing their creative visions to life. To gain further insights into the experiences and techniques of professional editors, we reached out to Russell Sheaffer, Sarah Taylor, and Kelly Kendrick, who graciously shared their perspectives on various aspects of working with Premiere Pro. Let's delve into their responses to uncover valuable tips and ideas for improving editing workflows.
Question 1: What features of workflows do you want to be better in Premiere Pro?
Russell Sheaffer, Producer and Co-Editor of "Playland," acknowledged the demanding nature of his editing process and how pushing Premiere Pro to its limits resulted in crashes. Despite the challenges faced, he expressed excitement about working in a dynamic environment. Sheaffer emphasized the importance of more consistent renders but acknowledged that their unique demands played a role in the crashes.
Russell Sheaffer: "On early edits of Playland, Georden West and I were nesting shots with effects inside each other, slowly building up layers in a master sequence. That led to us consistently pushing Premiere until it would crash. While I'd love to see more consistency in those renders, I also know that we were demanding that the program work far differently than intended."
Sarah Taylor, Editor for the film "Hey Viktor!," highlighted the desire for a seamless opening of AAF files in ProTools during the finishing workflow. She expressed frustration when things don't go as smoothly as expected.
Sarah Taylor: "I’d love for my AAFs to open seamlessly in ProTools."
Kelly Kendrick, Editor for "Every Body", shared her interest in exploring different workspace layouts within Premiere Pro. She mentioned her inclination towards using multiple timelines but expressed a desire to experiment with features like pancake timelines.
Kelly Kendrick: "I love having multiple timelines open, but I haven't experimented much with the pancake timelines. I also tend to work with the same set-up and would like to expand to using different workspace layouts."
Question 2: Can you share some insights into your editing process in Premiere Pro? What are some key techniques or features you often rely on to achieve your desired results?
Russell Sheaffer discussed their approach to editing "Playland" as treating everything as an archive, reworking and recontextualizing footage. By utilizing keyframing, matte, and time remapping tools extensively, they achieved a fundamentally queer construction of the film.
Russell Sheaffer: "We used Premiere's keyframe, matte, and time remapping tools heavily to (re)imagine how the film moves and weaves in time. To do that, we often combined multiple shots into seamless-looking compositions."
Sarah Taylor highlighted her use of the proxy workflow, multicam sequences for audio and camera syncing, and the time-saving transcription function. These techniques allowed her to streamline her editing process.
Sarah Taylor: "I use the proxy workflow and sync my audio and cameras using Multicam sequences... recently I’ve been loving the transcript function, it’s a major timesaver!"
Kelly Kendrick emphasized her reliance on the 'extend edit' feature and brackets for quick audio mixing. She also emphasized the value of maintaining comprehensive sequences of selects, audio selects, and old scenes for future reference.
Kelly Kendrick: "I use extend edit constantly... I keep comprehensive, dated, organized sequences of selects, audio selects... Things always come back around in some way before you finish a project."
Question 3: How do you approach collaborating with other editors or team members when working on a project in Premiere Pro? Are there any specific tools or workflows you find particularly effective for streamlining the editing process?
Russell Sheaffer and Georden West, the writer/director/co-editor of "Playland," engaged in collaborative editing by sharing the project file, allowing each other to work on the whole film. This holistic approach ensured that both editors had the opportunity to consider the impact of edits on various beats throughout the film.
Russell Sheaffer: "Instead of working on different scenes at the same time, we would hand off the whole film to one another."
Sarah Taylor discussed the use of Premiere Pro's Productions feature, which facilitated seamless collaboration on "Hey Viktor!" with her assistant, Blair Drover. They set up a media project within the production, enabling easy sharing and updating of footage, resulting in a streamlined editing process.
Sarah Taylor: "In the past, we would share cleaned-up project files... we had to relink media which can be time-consuming."
Kelly Kendrick emphasized the simplicity of sharing sequences as projects within Premiere Pro, particularly for scenes that need to be swapped between editors.
Kelly Kendrick: "Premiere makes it really easy to share a sequence as a project with anyone else on the team."
Question 4: In your experience as a Premiere Pro editor, what are some common challenges you face during post-production, and how do you overcome them?
Russell Sheaffer shared the importance of conforming all footage to a single format early on, highlighting the need to avoid the pitfall of incorporating diverse media without proper conforming. By adhering to a standardized format, they successfully avoided complications during the post-production process.
Russell Sheaffer: "Sometimes I catch myself getting too excited and pulling a hodge-podge of archival material into my project without properly conforming first – and it always comes back to bite me."
Kelly Kendrick pointed out the challenges posed by remote work, particularly regarding media sharing and feedback. However, she praised Premiere Pro's ability to facilitate relinking media and project swapping when working on a local drive.
Kelly Kendrick: "Premiere makes it very easy to relink media and swap projects if you’re working on a local drive."
Question 5: As Premiere Pro constantly evolves with new updates and features, how do you stay up to date with the latest advancements and ensure you're making the most of the software's capabilities in your editing work?
Russell Sheaffer revealed that he stays informed about the latest advancements through online resources such as YouTube videos and tutorial sites. He emphasized the flexibility of Premiere Pro's interface, allowing editors to experiment and push the boundaries of their knowledge.
Russell Sheaffer: "There are hundreds of ways to achieve a similar look or effect – and my first step is to experiment and push myself past my own knowledge of the program."
Sarah Taylor highlighted the value of following creative professionals on platforms like Instagram, with Premiere Gal being one of her inspirations. Additionally, The Editor's Cut podcast provides her with continuous learning opportunities from experienced editors.
Sarah Taylor: "I follow a lot of creatives on Instagram like Premiere Gal!... I learn something new from every editor I talk to."
Kelly Kendrick emphasized the importance of engaging in conversations with fellow editors, constantly discovering new possibilities through shared discoveries and insights.
Kelly Kendrick: "To be honest, I talk to other editors, and usually, someone will say, 'Did you know you could do this?'... We’re all learning all the time."
In conclusion, the experiences of Russell Sheaffer, Sarah Taylor, and Kelly Kendrick provide a wealth of valuable insights for enhancing editing workflows in Premiere Pro. From utilizing key features to overcoming common challenges and staying up to date with the software's advancements, their perspectives shed light on the dynamic and ever-evolving world of film editing. As you explore the possibilities within Premiere Pro, remember to experiment, collaborate, and learn from the experiences of fellow editors.
To witness the editors' skills in action, be sure to check out their respective films, "Playland", "Hey Viktor!", and "Every Body".
Premiere Pro 22.3 is here and it introduces some changes that will definitely push away some season editors. So I thought I'd share my perspective on the new release. I hope you find it helpful.
This release brings the first stage of native frame.io integration into Adobe's ecosystem. And that's great news for most of us.
Basically, if you have an Adobe ID, you also have a frame.io account. And if you own a subscription (all apps or singular for Premiere or After Effects) you get an account with 2 users, 5 concurrent projects, unlimited reviewers, and 100GB of dedicated storage. That's much better than what they used to offer in their free account.
I'm on a Pro account anyway so it's not applying to me but I think most users will definitely benefit from that change.
So far so good!
This release releases the Auto Color button which is powered by Adobe's machine learning engine. It's an improvement from the old Auto button and will be helpful for beginners. Intermediate and advanced users can probably use it for low-profile projects as a starting point.
But I'm not excited about this feature because it's clearly for a different user group than me or most of CTTP's subscribers.
We want color improvements but there are dozens of more important things that could be fixed or added to Adobe's color workflow. And we're still far from satisfying solutions in that regard.
That's probably the most obvious and the most polarizing update.
The Import mode looks almost like Lightroom. We can add folders to Favorites, filer by media type, search, switch to a list view, create a sequence or bin with the imported clips, and copy selected files to another folder or a disk. Lightroom Import all the way.
I'm very used to the old layout so I was frustrated at first.
Oh, come on. You're adding a Header Bar that cannot be removed like the old Workspaces panel? Do we really want Premiere to imitate Resolve?
But before I decide if I like this change or not, I should at least try to understand why they're doing it.
First, I've heard many people complaining about Premiere Pro's user interface. Saying that it feels like software from the past decade while Resolve looks and feels like it's from this age.
Whether we like it or not, a new generation of editors starts to use this platform and Adobe needs to keep up. That's probably their first motivation.
The second one is that their fastest user group is not intermediate and advanced editors but rather video creators of all types and sizes. From single moms starting a YT channel about their life with a toddler to firemen vlogging their rescue missions.
And while it feels like Adobe ignores that professional editors are the core of their success, I think there's actually more to all of this.
Inevitably, more and more people around the world will create video content. Most successful fresh talent filmmakers in a decade will have roots in content creation. Not in a film school. That's a trend and that's just what it is. In my opinion, that's actually a good thing.
And lastly, I hope that this decision also aims at rewriting part of the code to make it better for the future. Import and export workflow are the foundations of any NLE. If together with the new look they actually took care of the code as well, it might be good news in terms of stability and future improvement to those workflows.
Mind that it's just a guess. I know nothing specific about it and actually, I would not be surprised if the new workflow in the first iteration causes more problems than it solves. I'm probably sticking to the old workflow for the time being.
But I want to stay open-minded. I don't like the approach of sticking to old and good. I like to embrace change and progression. So on occasions, I will be giving it a go. Especially on less important projects where I'm OK with taking a small risk.
Also, there are a few good things about this new header bar.
First, we finally get a workspaces dropdown menu that looks promising. We can choose between showing workspace tabs or labels. And we can change the order of the workspaces as well as hide some that we don't want to see. Definitely a good move.
The Quick Export button is now actually useful. First, you can add any preset to it. Second, we can now choose to "match sequence preview settings" which utilizes Smart Rendering.
If you don't know what Smart Rendering is, I have a full lesson about it in Editing Chef. A shameless plug. Just saying 😀
We also get a dedicated button for Maximizing Video Output (Cinema Mode) which many people didn't even know about. So that's a great addition. Although again - it doesn't affect me or most of CTTP's subscribers as we already know a shortcut and will continue using it.
But yeah - the header bar will probably be non-removable which is surprising and will meet a lot of criticism from more advanced users. It's essentially taking away part of our working area. Although most of us work on high-resolution displays these days. So because the bar is actually more useful than the old Workspaces panel, I think I'm gonna get used to it.
A small but useful update. We now have these checkboxes as shown below:
Yep - they added the same feature that I used for creating Shot Decks to After Effects. That's an appreciated improvement as I had to do cuts manually in AE many times in the past.
That's it. What are your thoughts about the new release? Disappointed? Frustrated about the header bar? Happy with the direction they're taking with it?
Let me know 🙂
His style, acting style, unconventional dialogues, and most importantly his amazing films made him a huge inspiration, not only to me, but to countless emerging filmmakers.
Jim constantly questions the Status Quo of making movies with big production companies and shows us that there are better alternatives. That you can greenlight a project yourself, without being at the mercy of a few people in a room who don’t give a shit about your film.
The Beta Test was crowd-funded. Jim and PJ McCabe, his co-writer and co-director, used Wefunder to gather the budget for the film. The campaign was a huge success.
When I heard Jim was crowd-funding his new film, I knew right away I wanted to be part of it.
I invested $100 in the production of his feature film. My first time investing in a film. Now I just regret not contributing more 😉
Today, I want to talk about The Beta Test, though.
A few disclaimers before we go further.
The film starts in an unexpected way. We’re almost like “wait, am I watching the right film?”.
In the first six minutes, we’re not seeing Jim Cummings or his onscreen wife, Virginia Newcomb.
More than that - the opening scene is actually not building up a narrative that much. It is connected and referenced in the plot later in the movie but in general, you could say that this first scene is its own sketch.
Something fun. Something to get us in the mood. Something impressive right at the front door. You could actually watch a film without this scene and would not miss a thing from the narrative.
That’s the first unconventional choice Jim and PJ made.
They are extremely efficient with shots in that first scene. I didn’t realize until the second watch that most of the scene is actually a one-take shot.
The contrast of cuts is so obvious here. That’s a very common cutting pattern used when approaching a climax of a scene or section of a film.
And the climax is unexpected, very visual, and very satisfying (in a weird way).
I’ve heard somewhere that Jim was inspired by the opening of Touch of Evil. Where we’re aware of a bomb under the car and waiting for the explosion.
The 911 call, in the opening scene, does the same thing. We know there's gonna be a domestic dispute. We just don’t know how bad it will be 😀
Using long shots is crucial here. Any additional cut would diminish the feeling of anticipation. They want us to experience it in real time because this way the tension builds up. We’re active observers of that first encounter.
The scene is followed by a data scrolling montage before cutting to the titles and finally revealing our characters. What an opening to a film!
When editing short films myself, I realized how important it is to introduce the audience to the grammar we’ll be using in a given film.
For example, if you want to use slow-mo shots later in the movie, it’s good to create such expectations and visual language early in the film. You don’t want to overdo it, of course, as constant repetition is the worst enemy of every editor. But you don’t want the audience to be like “Why the f*** am I watching this slow-mo sequence 100 minutes into the film”.
So that opening scene sets a few things up from that visual language side of things:
Montages are usually used for one of two reasons:
1. To compress time and show progression
2. To show a thematic bond between characters and/or places
And we get a few very good montages in The Beta Test. My favorite one is with the “that’s exciting/we’re excited” montage about 26 minutes into the film.
It’s showing progression, leading to signing on a packaged client deal but also using the theme to thread it all together. We get a sense of who Jordan (Jim’s character) is when working with other people. We see how fake his interactions are. How everything is centered around getting someone to sign on the dotted line.
Now onto something that I bet wasn’t their first choice.
Something that we could consider a mistake or a jarring edit, in a place that doesn’t call for it, can be found 56 minutes into the film.
They’re cutting between very similar camera angles, which is usually disorienting to the audience.
A rule of thumb is that you never cut between the same shot sizes if the camera angle changes by less than 45 degrees. It’s an approximation of course and the rule is often broken to achieve a feeling of unease and to disorient the audience.
In this case, I don’t think the moment actually called for any of these but I think it’s this way for two reasons:
If the moment was cut faster, the pacing would feel a bit off.
It’s a sacrifice we sometimes have to make. You’re choosing a “greater good” (or less harm) solution. To me, it’s always interesting to see “mistakes” like that because I always know there was a compromise the filmmaker had to make here. And discussions that lead to it are never easy.
Compare it to this cut where Jordan has his first imaginary interaction with a strange woman:
We’re cutting from a close-up to a medium two-shot. This cut works well because there’s a change in the shot size.
The cutting pattern that can be noticed a few times throughout the film looks like this. We have quite a long shot that is almost interrupted by an abrupt cutaway or change in shot size. I think it’s very effective in what it does. It really makes us understand Jordan’s emotional state.
When using this pattern they reuse the same sound effect a few times. In the shot below we can hear the sound of plates hitting a table.
The exact same sound effect is used in the later scene (below) when reusing the same cutting pattern even though there are no plates in the shot! But it works because we have experienced this audiovisual manipulation already.
David Mamet, in his book, On Directing Film, makes a point that each shot should have a clear purpose and not be too polluted with aspects that can make the point unclear (it’s a very simplified description).
For me, there’s one shot that doesn’t meet the criteria. Namely, the shot in which we get info about the packaging agreement.
It’s on-screen for a very short moment and out-of-focus with other text on it. The shot just didn’t work for me. I’m not sure if scaling in would solve the problem. And the fact is that maybe my experience would be better if I saw the film in a theatre rather than on my computer screen.
But I think a cleaner shot, focused on what’s important to deliver for the audience would work better here.
Characters in The Beta Test are very enjoyable to watch. Dialogues are super smart and make you laugh on many occasions. Jordan is a grotesque character. Just like in Thunder Road, Jim used a similar formula: they put him through hell. Made him do things he would never suspect of himself and the audience LOVES to watch it. I think that watching Jordan do all sorts of crazy things and over-exaggerating his emotions is the biggest attraction of the movie.
Dialogues like the one in the hotel are just gold.
One piece of feedback that I’d love to pass to Jim would be about the ending.
Again - this coming from a guy who has never worked on a big-scale narrative project (in other words - this is nothing more than just my opinion).
Warning: spoiler in the next paragraph.
I think the ending was confusing. We don’t really get a clear character arc for Jordan. We don’t see how everything he experienced changed his mindset or way of thinking. We basically see him being tempted once again (and I needed to replay that waitress note on a bill shot a few times to be sure that I read it correctly). There’s also a moment where we cut under the table to Virginia’s character holding a hand on her belly. I didn’t get the purpose of it and I’m on the lookout for hints on how it ends at this point.
In some movies, it’s fine to portray the character as unchanged (for example in Mother, 2020) but here, it’s just confusing to me. I don’t get this “goosh” moment that we often crave for in the ending of a film. No catharsis there.
Tom Cross (editor of Whiplash, La La Land, First Man) says that he usually edits the last scene first. So that he knows where everything is heading. I bet he still adjusts this last scene but that’s his thinking.
That would be a challenge I’d love Jim to take on for his next film. To leave us with a more complete story.
Even though I agree that it can be open for the viewer. Like in Once Upon a Time in America (my personal favorite open-for-interpretation ending). I’d love to have the feeling that the ending of Jim’s film was also carefully planned from the early scripting stage.
Overall I’m extremely proud of what Jim and PJ accomplished with their modest budget. It’s an amazing film that brings smiles/tears/thrills to thousands of people already and its scale is only gonna grow from here.
I’m also proud to be an investor in the film.
I always experience something special when watching Jim’s films. I watched The Beta Test two times already and I bet there’s gonna be another one. Plus, I’m preaching about his films not only here but in my face-to-face interactions, as well. Not because I get something out of it. But because I love them and I believe in what Jim is doing to the film industry and filmmaking community.
BTW, a few people asked me about how I got him on a Zoom call. The reality is not sexy. It wasn’t just because I supported the project. I just reached out, took my chances, and followed up. A few times.
Sometimes it’s about the right timing. When working on a feature film, the last thing you want to hear about is an interview request from some random YouTube creator from Poland.
But once the film is ready… that’s a different story.
So while it took me some time, I kept asking because I genuinely cared. Not because I wanted to interview him for my YT channel. That’s just a side product. I just wanted to talk to the guy who created Thunder Road. A film I fell in love with. It has been and still is, a very emotional film for me. Pretty sure I’m gonna rewatch it ten more times before I die.
As a tribute to The Beta Test, I created this shot deck poster. I’m currently working on a video where I’ll explain the process behind creating it so stay tuned!
I started my adventure with creative artwork in photography.
Once I bought my first digital camera, Nikon D100, I embraced programs like Photoshop Camera RAW or Lightroom. Not only could I edit pictures with them but also manage thousands of photos in an easy way.
When I transitioned to filmmaking and eventually editing, I was disappointed to see that filmmakers don’t have a go-to media management app everyone seems to use on a daily basis.
Here my quest began. I started looking for media asset management (MAM) software designed specifically for videos to make my workflow more efficient and enjoyable.
Today I want to show you one of those. A product developed by SNS, the company behind EVO shared storage servers. It’s called ShareBrowser, and it has been rebuilt from the ground up this past year to address many of the feature requests they got from their clients.
ShareBrowser is primarily designed for teams of editors working on projects simultaneously e.g. with features like Premiere Pro Productions.
It has a modern design that's easy to use, plus many new features and improvements that make editors’ lives easier. And it comes included with the EVO media server, so you don’t have to pay extra to organize the media you’re storing. Here are my top 5 features of the new ShareBrowser MAM system.
The first one is an option to easily download the preview files that EVO generates for you in the background. It has always been a feature of any EVO configured with the Slingshot automation engine, but now you can access that preview file with two mouse clicks.
These preview files work great as proxies you can use for a remote workflow (read more about remote editing with EVO and Nomad) or editing on a slower machine. And now you can access them from your browser as well. This brings us to number two, which is the ShareBrowser web app.
The ShareBrowser media asset management app can be accessed not only locally, but also through the web. So you can add tags, comments, etc. from anywhere you are.
Now both the local install and the web app have a user-friendly and modern user interface. Both look pretty much the same.
The web version is just a bit restricted because not all of the features can be translated to this platform. Still, the ShareBrowser web app allows you to comment, add tags, create preview files, download those proxy-ready clips, and so on, without direct access to media. That’s truly amazing.
We can also toggle between the List and Gallery View both locally and in the Web App. Both are useful depending on what kind of metadata you need to access and how visual you are.
Personally, I like the List view more because I learn about a clip before I even click on it.
Something I really like that is available through the full software client is the copy, paste & verify feature. I run it in cases I really want to make sure that what I copied is exactly the same as for the source.
And once I’m done adding tags, client name, etc. we have a lot of exporting options to choose from. We can export metadata to an XML file or send logged footage to NLE, whether it’s Premiere Pro, Resolve, Final Cut Pro, etc.
A side note: there’s also the Share Browser Premiere Pro panel that basically gives you access to your MAM within your editing workspace. You don’t have to switch between programs to import your logged footage into a working project.
There’s also a great feature of automatic tagging based on AI (artificial intelligence) computer learning algorithms. Imagine how you could add metadata and keywords to hundreds of hours of videos in an automated way. Objects and activities in the scenes are automatically identified and are easily searchable by anyone with access to the ShareBrowser database. Amazing feature.
To use it you have to have an Amazon AWS account, and since EVO uploads proxies to Amazon to enable its Rekognition tool to work, you’ll be charged by Amazon based on how much data will be processed. But because they’re sending specially sized proxies, this shouldn’t be expensive.
And as expected, filtering features utilize not only tags but also comments and metadata. So things like name, codec, frame rate, modified date, resolution, and so on are all searchable in the media asset management system.
We can even add custom metadata fields. They can be both text type and list type which can include multiple-choice lists.
This is a very cool way of adding categorization and data that is specifically important to you and your projects and footage. In this new update adding and managing these custom fields is easier than ever.
A completely new feature in ShareBrowser is showing media status with file transparency. If a given file is offline it will appear as transparent.
A tape icon status will also show you if a file has been archived to LTO with ShareBrowser’s StorageDNA integration. You can even restore these files with one click of a mouse. If you archive in the cloud, your cloud volumes with Amazon S3 and other cloud storage options are also searchable in ShareBrowser.
It's nice to know that the software can manage media across multiple systems, both on-premise and in the cloud.
Both local and web versions of ShareBrowser allow us to create bins. They are like virtual folders you can organize your files into. Bins can be private for a given user or shared with other collaborators. Essentially, bins are a way to categorize and share files without copying or moving them.
For me, it’s a great way of collecting reusable broll clips I record for my YouTube videos. For example, for my standing desk video, I knew I would want to reuse some of these clips in future videos. But I didn’t want to copy them to each project’s folder. ShareBrowser’s Bins solve this challenge masterfully.
What’s new with bins? You can now use them with Nomad, a piece of software created by SNS that allows for easy remote workflows.
Basically, Nomad allows you to pick a location you need to download proxy files from (like a ShareBrowser bin or a Premiere Pro project file) and it does all the heavy lifting for you. So even if your files are across multiple volumes, Nomad will quickly find them for you and download them to your remote location. The main advantage is that it retains the original structure of those source files when they're retrieved locally.
Let’s say I'm going on vacation with my family in a couple of weeks. I can download all the media for my project in advance and take it with me so that I'm not taking up tons of space on my machine with source media or trying to connect back to my server from a different country.
That’s what I like about the new release of ShareBrowser the most. There are other improvements like new Preferences options, etc., but they are more cosmetic changes.
Watch the following video for more details:
Also, let me tell you what I’d love to see in the next release.
Firstly, I’d love to see a Smart Bins feature. Meaning bins that are being updated in real-time based on a user-specified rule or query.
And secondly, a default cloud storage for preview files (like something that Adobe has as part of their subscription plan). I would just love to be able to get access to preview files from anywhere in the world even if the EVO unit is down.
I’m only suggesting these improvements because as someone who already loves these five ShareBrowser features, I want to love it even more 🙂
So... Does ShareBrowser fill that gap I felt when transitioning from photography to filmmaking? It definitely does.
I only wish they release a standalone version one day. Maybe then we’ll be able to talk about a go-to solution for managing media for video enthusiasts. At the moment you have to buy into an ecosystem though which makes it more professionals-centric.
Have you ever used MAM software? What are your favorite features that you just cannot live without? Let me know in the comments!
Even though I made a lot of videos about Premiere Pro features and how efficient you can be in that NLE, I made it obvious that there are things about Premiere that I don’t like at all.
Like for example, Markers panel experience. I also complained many times that they are not improving features they introduced a few years ago like, for example, the Team Projects workflow.
So I need to admit that I’m a bit surprised by July’s 2021 update. Not only it introduces some improvements to Team Projects but also "kills" a whole market of third-party audio transcription services.
We already knew S2T is coming to Premiere within its new Text panel. I actually had early access to that feature and I already used it on a few projects I worked on (for example Jim Cummings interview).
What we did not know, however, is if it’s gonna be a paid-on-top feature and on what terms. And I’m just super excited that it’s free as a part of the Creative Cloud subscription.
So now Adobe will brag in press with headlines like Premiere Pro: The Only NLE with Auto Captioning. I can’t blame them though. It is an unfair advantage they should use in their marketing. No questions asked.
If you’d ask me a few months ago what is the way to go for timecode-based transcribe you can use for editing, I’d say Transcriptive 2.0 from Digital Anarchy.
Now I’m not even considering it as an option. It’s always better to use native tools instead of a third party for stability and support reasons alone. And now it’s even cheaper because Transcriptive has a pay-as-you-go pricing model on top of the one-time payment for the software.
With the new Text panel, it becomes the most powerful captioning tool on the market. We can save styles of captions to reuse in the future, we have an option to name speakers in a transcript, display pauses as [...] in the transcript if you need that indication and so many more.
As a reminder, here’s a video about the Text panel I did a few months ago:
We can also adjust and quickly update captioning Track Style by using the Push Style Attributes button. We can either choose to update ‘All captions on track’ or ‘Style in project’.
I’m also very pleased to see that they have added a few improvements to the Text panel since the previous release.
When we create captions or subtitles we can now customize such parameters as:
- Maximum length in characters,
- Minimum duration in seconds,
- Gap between captions (frames),
- Lines (Single\Double).
That’s a lot of control over how the end result will look like.
So why is this feature such a deal-breaker?
Because there are projects, especially in the non-scripted world, that benefit greatly from the searchability factor.
Searchability is a topic I discuss in one of the Editing Chef lessons. It has a tremendous impact on how efficient you can be with your edits. And if productive editing sessions are something you care strongly about, check out my course. You may find it interesting.
Finally M1 support! For all of you who deal with a non-optimized version of Premiere on your brand new Mac, it’s probably equally exciting news.
Adobe claims that it makes editing on average 77% faster. Not bad. I wouldn’t say no to such a number. I’m a bit jealous 😉
We can now customize label colors and clip names on the timeline with the option of having that change made to the source media label colors and clip names in the Project panel. It’s a new addition to Productions workflow bur for regular project files we can now map a keyboard shortcut to that command.
You may know that I love using labels in my workflows. With that new option, I might need to update the video I started the CTTP channel with 😉
Adobe keeps making the Essential Graphics panel better. With this release, we get
- support for multiple shadows for text layers,
- text background improvements,
- and expanded font substitution.
We also get a new command to Upgrade Legacy Titles. If you happen to work on old projects or just updated to CC from the standalone version, you’ll probably appreciate it.
Sounds like black magic (well sorry for that reference) but basically it means that LUT support will be better in Lumetri Color. No more bending on gradients. If you want to understand what it’s about a bit more, have a look here.
Adobe’s tool for detecting edit cuts is supposed to be up to 2x faster across Windows and macOS. And almost 3x faster on Apple M1 chips. If it’s true then it might be as fast as Resolve even for long clips.
And in case you missed my video about that feature:
All video apps will now automatically switch audio devices that were swapped out. No more going back and forth to Preferences when connecting a microphone or headphones.
Note: Device Switching is only enabled for MME audio driver support, and is not active when ASIO or WASAPI driver models are selected.
We finally have some updates to the Team Projects workflow! I use it quite often so that’s great news to me. The first update is about faster saving and it’s rolled out already.
And we have two updates in the Public Beta version of Premiere.
The first one is intelligent loading that reduces startup times from minutes to seconds.
And the second one, which is very awaited by me, is media relinking without having to go through the Team Project Media Management window. It makes the relinking process so much faster and more convenient with the search button from the regular project workflow.
A new colorized vectorscope is supposed to provide a more detailed image analysis for color grading in Premiere Pro.
Such a good release! One of those you really don’t want to postpone.
I’d argue that you still need to be super careful when updating, especially if you’re in the middle of an important project with a tight deadline. But I imagine that the S2T feature will convince a lot of editors to update to the latest version.
As a reminder, if you’re using something like Premiere 14.9, you can actually install 15.4 alongside it.
Let me know how you feel about July’s Premiere Pro release. What are the features or improvements you’re waiting for the most?
Do you know what is the best and the worst part of running a YT channel? That I feel obligated to provide you value in some way. Usually, in a form of regularly uploaded YT videos.
Right... regularly 🙂
The truth is I'm unable to post regularly at the moment. I had a bunch of plans for the channel this year. And I'll get to them eventually but unfortunately, I need to postpone these plans.
So the video about the sound editing and the Save the Cat video are coming... but I don't know when.
This brings a question. Can you postpone your editing career if life gets in the way? Will it wait for you?
I recently realized that just like I'm not able to produce as much content as I wish I could, I also wouldn't be able to accept a dream-come-true editing gig if it came down my way.
And that thought really scares me.
Let's say I get a chance to edit a short film for Jim Cummings.
Seriously, I'd be so honored and just genuinely thrilled if given such an opportunity.
But at the moment I just couldn't take it.
It really, really scares me.
Probably I have nothing to worry about. No signs of such opportunities over the horizon right now. But I need to do something to change the situation before it's too late.
If you find yourself in a similar situation one day (I know you're extremely busy as well - that's the age we live in), identify the factor that stops you from doing the things you wish you could do.
In my case, it's mainly the housing situation I'm in. We've been living in a 40 sqm flat with two little kids for a few years and it's just far from ideal. So we're moving. Which is great but also time (and attention) consuming.
Don't get me wrong. I still have a lot of time for work. But unfortunately, I need to play a game of time investment vs. return.
And things like:
- my regular clients,
- the Editing Chef students,
- having time every day to spend with my family,
will just always go first.
But I still work on some things for the Cut to the Point channel. One of them is starting a podcast with Ricardo Cozzolino. More on that very soon.
I'm talking about it all because it shows how important it is to design your editing career.
If I want to edit a film for a director I admire, I better do something to be able to grab that opportunity when it emerges.
The first step is always realizing what kind of projects you want to work on.
Don't worry - you can always change your plan later. But having a plan, and a goal is important because it will let you say "no" to some things that just don't fall into your plan.
Just remember that the way your career progresses shouldn't be accidental. Obviously, luck still is a factor but you're much more likely to experience luck if you follow a plan. If you design your career proactively.
I'm crossing my fingers for you. And for myself. Good things are coming... they just have to wait.
And one more thing.
If life does get in a way, try not to blame yourself. It can backfire and hurt both your work and the people around you.
Instead, remember that the roadblocks will vanish eventually. Try to come up with a plan to overcome challenges, and just stay positive. At the end of the day, that's the best you can do for your future self and your editing career.
Have a great day!
The title says it all - Premiere Pro 15.0 is here.
There are a few new features in Adobe's video ecosystem and I think of it as my duty to let you know about them, together with my commentary 🙂
Meaning the new Text panel I already talked about in the video below. It should make adding, customizing, and stylizing captions and subtitles a lot easier. Later this year it will be updated with the speech-to-text feature.
What I think:
This is a good step and a long-awaited improvement. To be honest, too long-awaited. I already tested this feature together with the transcription feature that is supposed to be added in a few months and it's definitely a much better workflow for captions and subtitles. Much appreciated.
Along with the option of copying individual audio effects, users can now copy and paste complete audio effects racks between audio tracks.
What I think:
So Adobe is treating it as a new feature or maybe an improvement. I think this is a joke. It's more like a bug fix in my opinion... What we really want here is the ability to apply any audio presets (including presets consisting of multiple audio effects) in a quick and easy way. Still not there Adobe...
Finally, we can replace both image and video files in MOGRTs! So when creating a new Motion Graphics template in After Effects we can now specify which layers can be replaced later in Premiere Pro.
Dozens of new Motion Graphics templates with Media Replacement are now available on Adobe Stock.
What I think:
Good step. I've been waiting for that update ever since they introduced MOGRTs. Took them a lot of time but let's not complain too much 🙂 I hope it will be a stable feature because I'm gonna use it a lot!
BTW, if you ever struggle with stability in Premiere Pro or you're quite new to this world, get a copy of my Bulletproof Premiere Pro eBook. It has helped over a hundred editors already.
allow users to share changes to projects more quickly and search in projects twice as fast as before
What I think:
Enhancements? What?! It's a bug fix! Just making something that should work the way it will work now from the very beginning. There are multiple real enhancements I could suggest to Team Projects. I really like this feature but it looks like Adobe stopped developing it which is a pain. Still - I'm glad it's finally accessible to individual CC subscribers so for that I thank you, Adobe 🙂
The optimized analysis is supposed to be four times faster for UHD footage.
What I think:
Great! Faster is definitely better in this case. Is it only for UHD footage though? I wish they would elaborate on that. I guess users will have to check it themselves...
New Captions Workflow - nice.
Media Replacement - nice.
And that's pretty much it.
I don't expect Adobe to come up with new features every time they release an update.
But their strategy in the last few years has been to drop a new feature (like for example Productions) and forget about it. I would expect them to improve these features once they gather feedback from users. And that rarely happens which is sad...
If you ask me, both Team Projects and Productions should be in constant development.
Oh - and now that we have a new Captions Workflow, I'm waiting for a brand new Markers panel. Please, pretty please 🙂
Also, remember to update carefully! If you need to work with 2020 projects, you can run both versions of Premiere Pro side-by-side (v. 14.x and v. 15.x). Just leave the second checkbox blank:
A week ago I interviewed a director/writer/actor that is my personal hero and a huge inspiration to many filmmakers. I'll post our conversation on the channel in a few weeks 🙂
I took a first look at the early access version of the speech-to-text feature in Premiere Pro.
As a reminder, Adobe announced a new Captioning Workflow coming to Premiere (at last!). You can already test it yourself in Premiere Pro Beta as I did in this video:
But they also announced an automatic speech-to-text feature meaning that there will be a button to transcribe a sequence or a clip while never leaving Premiere.
I applied for early access so that I could test it and share my findings with you.
So what do I think? I love it but there's still one question to be answered: will this feature work without limits under the regular CC subscription? Or will it be paid on top?
I do hope they include it in the plan. If they do, it will be bloody amazing.
The best thing about it is how convenient that is compering to 3rd party solutions. You simply click one button and an automatic transcript is being created.
I run a test for a short sequence (roughly 90 seconds long, 2 speakers). I just needed to select the language and what audio tracks/clips are supposed to be transcribed.
There's a checkbox for 'Transcribe In Point to Out Point only' which is quite thoughtful.
It took about a minute to send it to the transcoding engine, do the job and bring it back to Premiere. All without my input.
Once the transcript is ready you can create captions or subtitles and use all of the benefits of the new captioning workflow. For example, sending the playhead on the timeline to the moment a given word is being said, etc.
Hope you've found it helpful. Let's hope this feature will be included in Adobe's offer. It's gonna save us a lot of time and will simplify many workflows.
Is it possible to be successful strictly as an editor? Or do you have to be kind of 'Jack of all trades'?
That question was asked by Ricardo, the Editing Chef student, during our third live session in the course.
You may have found yourself in a situation when a client asks if you can work on color as well. Or maybe wants you to work on quite complicated animation, logo sequences, etc.
On one hand, it's good to know about all these things. On the other, you're not really a pure editor if you're doing everything, are you?
Also, is the client really looking for someone who can do all of it? Maybe if you say "no" he will hire someone else to do the job? I guess that happens sometimes. So how do we navigate these waters?
Sidenote: you may like doing all of these things and marker yourself as a one-man production crew. Totally fine if that's your thing. Frankly, I miss operating a camera sometimes. But what follows is what I think you should be doing if your goal is to be perceived as an editor strickly.
I think it’s a democratization of our industry that caused that need to be 'Jack of all trades'. More people enter the industry. Knowledge is more accessible than ever before. So it's completely natural that there are more people who know how to do a lot of things at a basic level.
I think that's desirable. If you have essential skills in color grading, it will be easier to you to communicate with high-end colorists later in your career.
But should we dilute our skills and market, sell the idea that we can do it all at a basic level?
I don't think so.
I think you should decide on what your end goal is and gradually decline the types of work that aren't serving it.
You can adjust the plan as you go. You can still learn other avenues of the craft (synergy is one of the true wonders of the universe) but having that end goal in mind will help you communicate your skills better and eventually get more work you actually want.
I'll give you an example.
Quite often videos I edit require some animations. Sometimes just simple lower thirds. Sometimes more complicated scenes.
Because I decided that editing is what I really want to do, not motion graphics, I like to communicate it with clients and prospective clients.
I tell them that while I can do basic animations and lower thirds won't be a problem, I'm not really efficient enough to do more complicated things in that area and I suggest they hire a specialist who would contribute to the project better.
I think it often reassures them that I'm the right person for the job as I treat my editing skills as something I specialize in (to be clear I still have a lot to learn and for many projects, I may not be qualified enough) but at the same time I won't tell them to hire another person if all they need is basic color correction, sound mix or lower thirds.
To sum up, I think you need to be able to do a lot of things at an entry-level. Even as a high-level editor. But it is totally possible to be strictly an editor. Just one that can do temp level work in many departments if needed.
What do you think?
The old Captions panel was in not only my opinion the worst panel in Premiere Pro. Very buggy and you couldn’t rely on a solid performance within it.
So as far as I understand they will deprecate the old panel and replace it with a brand new Text panel.
It will actually have 2 sections. Transcript’ and ‘Captions’.
In the first one, there’s a ‘Create Transcription’ button which makes me really hyped. Why?
Because it’s a ‘speech to text’ feature. Within Premiere Pro!
It means we’ll be able to automatically create a transcript for any video or audio clip with aligned pacing of spoken dialog that matches the video timecode. This feature will be powered by Adobe Sensei.
The remaining question is: will it be a paid feature? Or will the monthly fee we pay cover the expenses? It’s yet to be determined. I really hope it will be included or at least that there would be a monthly limit for free transcripts. Let’s say 100 minutes a month. Would be really sweet.
If you want to try it out, you’ll have to apply for early access.
Let’s have a short look at how this will work.
For now, it will support 12 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), Korean.
Basically, there’s a dropdown menu where you choose a language, how many speakers are involved, and what audio should be analyzed. it’s a choice between auto-detect dialog, audio clips tagged as “Dialog”, and audio on a selected track.
However, the new captioning experience is already available in the public beta which you can download from the main Creative Cloud app.
So here’s a deal. They added a new type of a timeline track that can only contain captions or subtitles.
I must say that I think that’s a brilliant approach. Basically, there’s no learning curve as captions behave like regular clips that you can trim, move, ripple edit, etc.
The new Text panel provides easy navigation and a 2-way link between captions in the panel and the timeline. So if I click on any record, it will navigate the timeline to that point. And if I playback the timeline, the specific text will be highlighted in the panel.
BTW, you won’t see this new C1 track on the timeline at first. But as soon as you drag and drop any caption file onto a timeline, it will open automatically.
Changing the look of captions is achieved in the Essential Graphics panel which users are already used to. Plus, it’s super-rich in customization features so there’s really no limit to how your open captions will look like.
BTW, Adobe says that there will be full support for closed captions as well but once the feature is fully launched. Not in the public beta.
So yeah. I’m very happy that they finally did something to make the captioning experience bearable or who knows - maybe even enjoyable for some of you.
Working on captions like with regular clips that can be batch stylized and that will even adjust when using the Auto Reframe feature is definitely something we needed for years.
I always use REV.com to create a closed captions file that I can import to Premiere Pro and bake into a video file. Their accuracy is great and it’s such a time saver.
Use my link for USD 10 off your first caption order at rev. But I really hope that once ‘speech to text’ is fully launched in Premiere, there won’t be any necessity to use external services to get good captions.
However, there are still a lot of questions to be answered.
For example, what happens when we have multiple languages? Do we have more C tracks? How do we choose which one to include in the export?
When will closed captions be part of that new captions workflow as well? Without it, it’s really just useful for social media edits. But what about embedding closed captions files? How long will we have to wait?
You may recall that in May they added hardware encoding for H.264 and H.265 on Windows. Now they top it with H.264 and H.265 hardware decoding.
What does it mean for us? That if you have clips transcoded or recorded to these codecs, the playback will be smoother. If your GPU is supported of course. I’m sure Adobe will post a list of supported graphics cards.
BTW, if you struggle with Premiere Pro stability in any way, I have an eBook dedicated to the best practices for a stable editing workflow. It’s called Bulletproof Premiere Pro and by ordering your copy you also support my channel for which I thank you.
Adobe added color management for ARRI ProRes formats with embedded LUTs. It will be especially useful for HDR productions.
HDR workflows now include support for Rec2100 PQ color working space.
ProRes RAW can now be imported on Windows with all the major GPUs.
They also added support for ProRes RAW to LOG color space conversion.