'Productions' is the next stage in the evolution of a project file. And while the most benefits are for teams of editors working on shared storage, even solo editors may find it very useful.
I week ago I published a video overview of that new feature.
I need to admit, that it's hard to explain Productions to someone who has never used it. I did my best. However, if it's still unclear you should read on or use a hands-on approach. Install Premiere Pro 14.1 and play with it for a few minutes. You'll experience an AHA moment 🙂
The benefits of using Productions over a traditional single project can be summed up to 5 bullet points.
1. Easy Organization of Large Projects
It’s another level of organization so the benefit here is obvious. You may not appreciate it if you use it for a singular social media video but if you’re editing a TV show or a film consisting of multiple scenes, it becomes a big advantage.
2. Avoid Duplicate Clips
In a traditional project, you need to have a master clip imported to a project before you place it in a sequence. So when you open a sequence from a different project to copy a clip or a sequence, the master clip files would have to be imported as well. This means that quite often you end up having duplicated clips.
In Production, however, clips in a sequence can refer back to clips in the project they came from. So copying sequences between projects will no longer create duplicated clips.
This is the biggest mindshift you need to do so let me repeat it again. You don't have to import master files to a project with a sequence. Any sequence can reference back to any file imported to another project in a Production.
You can think of a Production as of a set of two project file types. One is Media Project where you import assets, and the other one is a Timeline Project that contains sequences. In these sequences, you can edit master clips imported to the Media Project.
We can reuse project files very easily. For example, you may have a project file with graphics elements for a brand. Organized into categories, prepared for different use cases and so on. You can simply import that project into every production you create for that client and access these assets easily and quickly.
To better illustrate this, here's a message I got from one of my Patreon supporters.
I hate to ask but I had a quick question re: this new feature. I just watched your Youtube video and it was great - just had a few things I need clarifying.
I want to set it up for use on my main drive without shared media. I have a few clients that have a great deal of media that we add to all the time and we create multiple projects using the media. I end up importing sequences and it creates a big mess…
If I set up the Production, should I import all of the media and assets first then add projects? I noticed you had folders organized as 01 Footage / 02 Audio… This is normally how I organize my project bins… what do you suggest as a set-up?
So he wants to use Productions for repeatable usage of assets for his clients. Very good idea.
We need to remember that a Production is a set of project files.
You cannot import anything to the Production itself. You need to do it in one of the projects in the Production.
Here's a solution I suggested.
Create Project File (or Files) and import media you want to reuse in various projects.
Do whatever works for you. Depending on how many assets are there you could do it all in one project without any sequences if you have in/out points already there, or across multiple projects for different angles/brands/use cases, etc.
You don't have to create sequences in this new paradigm but you can do it if it will help with labeling and organization. Whatever works for you.
The important thing here is that once you have set it up you will be able to bring those assets into new projects without messing around with your working project and timelines.
Once you have everything ready you should create yourself a template Production. Projects should be always brought into a Production with 'Add Project to Production' feature but you can copy the whole Production folder and reuse it for new video projects you're working on.
So make sure you add all those Projects you'll be reusing to a Production and then save it separately on a disk (or add to Post Haste if you're using it) to use it as a template.
If clips will be organized in sequences, use pancake timeline to drag them and enjoy not having to deal with clips importing to your working project all of the time 🙂
Increase in Speed
Since only the clips and sequences that are open are using the processing power of our computer, we should experience faster open and save times. The larger the project, the more difference you’ll see.
This is also the most important benefit for solo editors. We can just open and save the parts of the Production they’re currently working in.
Productions can be used on local storage but the real benefits come with using shared storage. It makes collaboration between editors, producers and directors much easier and with more reports in between.
A new collaboration workflow keeps everyone on the same page and prevents any conflicts. Whoever opens a project in a Production first, gets a ‘lock’ on it that others can see in the Production panel.
They can still open the project in a read-only state, but no changes can be made as long as the editor is working on that project.
Project Locking lets multiple editors work on the same film or video. Any project can be opened on one of 3 states:
Open, Read Only
It's also worth mentioning that old Project Locking feature has been removed from Premiere. Productions naturally took its place and overtook with more powerful locking capabilities.
Here's my video about Project Locking feature in Productions Workflow.
Obviously collaboration is the biggest benefit for those editors working on shared storage. They can work simultaneously in the same Production and project locking prevents any potential conflicts.
They offer high end shared storage hardware for editors worldwide as well as well-known ShareBrowser app for managing media assets. If you're in the market for such a solution, be sure to check their website and book a demo.
Preferences settings for working with Productions
Adobe recommends setting a few things for working with productions. Let’s list them here.
First, in Preferences > Media, uncheck the following:
write XMP ID to files on import
write clip markers to XMP
Enable clip and XMP metadata linking
Next, in Preferences > Collaboration
make sure Enable project locking is checked
enter a User Name that others will see when you open a project
Last but not least, make sure that ‘Import Workspaces from Projects’ in Window - Workspaces is unchecked.
This last setting is very important for Productions since you’ll be dealing with a number of projects and you don’t want to reset the workspace every time you import a project to a Production. If you leave that option checked, every time you open a project that was saved in a different workspace, you’ll have to redo your panel setup. Not something you want.
It’s actually one of the best practices I talk about in my Bulletproof Premiere Pro eBook which is all about best practices for stable editing workflow. Give it a go if that’s something you struggle with.
More about Productions in Premiere
This new feature is now the third option you can start a project in Premiere Pro.
However, there are a lot of small considerations or things to know when working with it. Especially if you're very used to the traditional approach.
For example, one of my viewers asked my the following question:
I think it's very good of him to ask about it. Does the new way of referencing clips work with the Project Manager feature?
Turns out it does. At least in the way that Project Manager works. And I truly believe that this feature would use an upgrade.
However, even if it wouldn't work, you can still Generate Master Clips for any timeline project in your Production.
Let's have a look at 10 things you really should know for working with Productions.
Let's quickly list the main takaways.
Master clip effects
Whenever you want to add, remove or modify a master clip effect in Production, you need to open a project that contains this clip in a read/write state.
Generate Master Clips for Media
Generate Master Clips for Media command in the Edit menu is very useful if you want to migrate a sequence from a Production to a traditional project.
It has to be used on a selection of clips on a timeline. So whenever you have a project containing sequences but no master clips and you want to save it in a standalone state, you should select all the clips in a sequence and choose Edit > Generate Master Clips for Media.
Slider to make icons bigger
There’s a slider in the bottom left corner of the Production panel which you can use to make things bigger and more readable.
Adding Projects to a Production
Whenever you want to add a project to your Production, you should use the ‘Add Project’ command. You can find it in the Production panel menu or when you right-click inside the panel. Then simply choose a project on a disk and Premiere Pro will make a copy of that file and place it in our Production.
Holding Cmd/Ctrl while double-clicking a project will open it in Read Only mode.
Duplicated IDs and .txt file
Whenever Premiere Pro finds duplicated project IDs in the Production folder, it will create a .txt file that lists the duplicated projects. This way you can quickly resolve that issue. The .txt file will disappear when the duplicates are gone.
Reassociate Master Clips
If master clips you want to edit from one timeline to another have been moved from the project they were in, you might be forced to use the ‘Reassociate Master Clips’ command.
You can think of it like the ‘Link Media’ command but specifically for a new way of referencing the master clips inside of Productions.
There’s a file with .prodset extension in a root folder of any production. Do not remove or modify this file. It stores Production settings and other information Premiere Pro needs to run your Production successfully.
Let me know if you have any questions about this new workflow. The comments section under the videos is for you. I try to reply to every single one.
Oh, and let me share with you a funny video my friends have sent to me after watching the Productions overview video. They really DID smash the like button 😀