|Short film edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC delivers big impact at the Sundance Film Festival
When you’re a kid, even the most mundane things can spark your curiosity. That’s the premise for Dig
, a short film directed by Sundance Film Festival veteran Toby Halbrooks. After successfully producing a string of feature films with his partners, Halbrooks decided to take his turn directing a short film based on a story he’d written. Shot in just three days, Dig
was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and was one of 15 short films selected by YouTube to go online concurrently with the festival.
Dig Premiere - 2014 Sundance Film Festival
Tell us about your background.
I was in the rock and roll band the Polyphonic Spree from 2000 to 2006. I started working for an editor in Dallas in my spare time when I wasn't on tour and found that I had a knack for it. I really enjoyed it, so I started making films with my friend David Lowery and we became partners and have been working together ever since.
Did you know that you wanted to be a producer?
My role as a producer came about organically; I never even knew that’s what I was doing. I formed a company, Sailor Bear, with David and James M. Jonathan and we produced David’s first feature, St. Nick
. David and I wrote for television for a while, then moved back to Dallas and decided to make Pioneer
, a short film directed by David that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. After that, the universe kind of opened up for us and James and I were selected as Sundance Creative Producing Fellows with David’s feature script Ain't Them Bodies Saints
. With the help of some partners, we made that movie to great critical success. We recently produced another feature in the fall of 2013, Listen Up Philip
, by Alex Ross Perry.
Toby directs the kids, Mallory, Myles, Kaitlyn and Kelsey.
What was it like to be selected as Sundance Creative Producing Fellows?
Undeniably it launched our careers. David had brilliant script, and James and I submitted and got to go. Once you’re in that family, and that’s exactly what it becomes, there’s just a huge support group. At the Sundance Resort there’s an actual lab and four other producing fellows that you get to meet. You’re there for a week talking with mentors about the project, figuring out solutions for making the movie, and just learning more about being a producer. From there they shepherd you through your whole process and give you feedback. It’s not a free ticket, though. I still had to submit to the festival for Dig
, but when they found out that I got in they all wrote separately to say that they were just thrilled.
Where did you shoot Dig
I shot Dig
in my backyard in Dallas over the course of three days and edited it during the fall when we were producing Listen Up Philip
. Fortunately for all of us, Dig
and Listen Up Philip
both premiered at Sundance this year.
John, Toby and Joe discuss a scene minutes before filming it.
What was the genesis for Dig
The genesis was that I wanted to do my own thing. Knowing how many different projects I had coming up I knew it wasn't going to be a feature, and I wanted to do something simple. David and I have a lot of kids in our movies and I wanted to tell a story about the adult world from the perspective of children. No matter what an adult is doing it seems like it has some higher purpose behind it, it seems magical, you’re always curious, no matter how mundane the task is. In Dig
, the dad is just digging a hole in the backyard and doesn't directly answer why he is doing it, which causes much curiosity as his daughter tries to figure out what he’s doing and make a connection with her dad.
The official poster image for
Dig, feature Mallory Mahoney.
What Adobe Creative Cloud tools do you use?
I started out using Final Cut Pro, but as I got more into producing I found that I was doing less and less editing. Everyone in the Dallas filmmaking community uses After Effects and Photoshop. When Final Cut X launched everyone started switching to Premiere Pro. Rob Wilson and David Maddox did the editing on the film, and they had already made the switch so I purchased Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I don’t edit that much but I needed to be able to access the files. Any time I wasn't directly in the room with them they would send over the project file when changes were made. We all had the media and could see changes immediately in Premiere Pro, make tweaks or suggestions, and send it back.
Did you learn Premiere Pro CC for this project?
It wasn't much of a learning curve from Final Cut to Premiere Pro CC. I didn’t really have to learn anything, I was able to just start using it.
Were any other Adobe tools used on Dig
Photoshop and After Effects were also used on the film. There are two shots that absolutely used After Effects. In one we had to composite something on the TV. In the other, we parked a regular car on the street because we couldn't get a police car, and the visual effects artist used the Roto Brush tool to transform it into a police car.
What’s next for Dig
and for you personally?
will be live on YouTube during the festival and I imagine a lot of people will get to see it that way, which is exciting. We’re being invited to a ton of festivals, which is really great. Any time you make a short the idea is to get as many people as possible to see it. Personally, James and I just won the Indy Spirit Producing Award, which comes with a $25,000 grant and David and I are writing a Disney movie based the studio’s Pete’s Dragon
title. It is a whole different concept than the original. So lots of great things to come!
Watch the short here:
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Captain Morgan and “got milk?” commercials cut with Adobe Premiere Pro software
A study abroad program to London is what first sparked Adam Pertofsky’s interest in the film and television business. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he moved to London where he spent time as a production assistant on music videos and commercials. He moved up through the ranks before turning his attention to editing. A move to Los Angeles eventually led him to Rock Paper Scissors, where he’s been editing television commercials and working on the occasional music video for the past 17 years. He’s earned numerous commercial editing awards, including a Gold Clio, a Bronze Clio, as well as multiple AICE and AICP awards. Pertofsky also wrote and directed The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306
, a documentary created to honor the 40th annual remembrance of the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which was honored with Academy Award and Emmy nominations.
Adobe: You didn’t come up through the traditional “editing” ranks. So how did you become an editor and also a director and writer?
I got tired of being on the set and never seeing the end result of what I was working on, so I got into editing and then into the writing and directing side of things. I moved to Los Angeles in 1993 and got a job as a production assistant through a friend. Then I started editing an independent film at night. Avid was the predominant editing software, and I was able to learn about editing while I learned the software.
Adobe: Tell us about your work editing commercials, specifically the recent “got milk?” and Captain Morgan spots.
Every commercial we do is interesting and most have multiple media components. They are short projects. We have only two to three weeks for heavy editing. The timelines are crazy, especially when you think about a movie taking six months to a year at the least to edit.
Pete Berg directed the “got milk?” commercial and it was my first time working with him. It was a spot for the Super Bowl, and Pete did a previs of it beforehand so I was able to get the idea of what he was trying to achieve. Of course, once it is shot it is different from the animatic, but the idea is the same.
The Captain Morgan “Perfect Getaway: Chapter One” 60 second spot recently launched on the internet and also ran during an episode of The Walking Dead. It was a heavy effects project and a lot of fun to work on.
Adobe: What do you like about Adobe video tools for editing?
I spent the last seven years cutting on Final Cut Pro, and before that I used Avid. I recently switched to an all Adobe workflow, including Premiere Pro and After Effects. The practicality aspect is huge. I switched because of the integration and I love Dynamic Link because I can stay within Adobe Premiere Pro for some effects, and automatically update masks I’ve created in After Effects.
Adobe: Were there other reasons for switching to Adobe Premiere Pro?
I tried out Final Cut Pro X, and I knew immediately it wouldn’t do what I needed it to do. We’ll get four to fifteen hours of footage for a commercial and there’s a specific way assistants load and organize it. When they’re done I have my own specific process of going through footage and reorganizing sequences. I then go through and pull select sequences based on how I think the commercial will run. From that point, it’s a matter of losing what isn’t needed, and putting things together. I have a few days with the director and then more time with the advertising agency. They all want to see every take or alternate shorts; the organization element of Final Cut Pro X is just not there in terms of allowing me to work that way. With Premiere Pro, everything I need is right there, ready to go.
Adobe: What was the learning curve like in terms of moving to Adobe Premiere Pro?
It was fast. When I start working with new software I like to experiment with it on a test project first. I edited some footage of a hot air balloon ride my family took in Tuscany and Premiere Pro worked great.
Adobe: What is the biggest advantage of Adobe Premiere Pro?
The biggest advantage by far is how much time it saves me. I have been doing very heavy effects projects, and the amazing thing is that I don’t have to render at all. I recently had to jump on another project for a day and going back into Final Cut Pro 7 and seeing how much rendering I had to do was eye opening. For the “Perfect Getaway: Chapter One” spot I had some dailies that were in ARRI raw and Pro Res and the director didn’t like how the footage was colored. I just imported the raw footage into Adobe Premiere Pro and threw a lut on it to change the look. I use the trim tool all the time and love how you can scrub on the left or right over the edit point to find the exact frame. I also like to mix on the fly and it works terrifically in Premiere Pro.
Adobe: What inspires you when you’re working on a commercial project?
I get inspired by the footage, and everything else is a tool to help me realize my vision. Editing is what I do and what gets me excited. Being able to go fast is important, because when an idea strikes you want to get to it without waiting. Premiere Pro helps me realize my goals and what I want to do more quickly.
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Fourth feature update this year for Adobe Premiere Pro
Creative Cloud is always evolving and ongoing updates are one of the most popular benefits for users. In a fast-changing industry, Creative Cloud members always have the latest versions of the pro video tools as soon as they are available, including feature enhancements and optimized performance.
This morning updates for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, SpeedGrade CC, Prelude CC, and Adobe Media Encoder CC will begin rolling out. The new video updates will become available to Creative Cloud member over the next 24 hours. A new After Effects CC update will follow soon.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro CC has seen four new releases in this year (June
, and now, December) – all within the 6 months since the CC version was announced. Guided by user requests, the Adobe Premiere Pro CC December 2013
release adds Open CL performance enhancements, media management improvements like multiple Media Browser tabs, new editing enhancements for even greater workflow efficiency, and delivers more intuitive voiceover recording.
“Adobe is committed to delivering the best professional NLE in the industry,” said Al Mooney, senior product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro. “Video pros need tools that keep up with ongoing developments in film and broadcast. That’s exactly what Creative Cloud gives them.”
After Effects CC, the leading motion graphics and visual effects application, is evolving faster than ever with Creative Cloud. “Our team turned around this release in a matter of weeks based on direct feedback from our users,” said Steve Forde, senior product manager for After Effects. “With regular Creative Cloud updates, we’re able to continually evolve and enhance our feature set. Your tools just keep getting better.”
The After Effects CC December 2013 release will offer customizable output of file name and path templates, improved snapping behavior, enhanced scripting options, and the ability to migrate user settings when updating to newer versions.
More updates for video pros
Creative Cloud offers video pros an integrated workflow across the video production applications. The December 2013 releases also includes updates to SpeedGrade CC
, Prelude CC
, Adobe Media Encoder CC
, and Adobe Anywhere for video
. Along with performance enhancements, SpeedGrade also offers expanded camera format support in Direct Link mode. Prelude CC has added support for the latest Adobe Anywhere protocols. Adobe Media Encoder now includes Sony XAVC format support, and Adobe Anywhere introduces performance improvements and diagnostic tools for monitoring system status.
Creative Cloud: one million strong and growing
There are already over one million Creative Cloud
members with more joining every day. Already a Creative Cloud member? Launch the Creative Cloud application to get started using these great new features. The new updates will be available there within 24 hours.
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and get access to 30-day trials of every Adobe creative desktop application, including the latest versions of all the video tools.
Want to learn a new creative app? Both free and paid members also have access to cool new training videos, including sample work files, in Creative Cloud Learn
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Extraneous Lyrics 2012 leveraged integrated Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects workflow
Creativity is the name of the game at Adobe, so it’s no surprise that many of Adobe’s own employees are creative types themselves. Dave Werner is one example. By day, Dave is a senior experience designer, using video and animation to help design new Adobe products. In his free time, he turns his attention to personal projects that leverage the same creative tools. Dave’s popular Extraneous Lyrics
videos are verbose versions of pop songs from the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber, Gotye, One Direction, and Taylor Swift. The acoustic send-ups feature him playing his guitar and singing—and have gotten more than one million views on YouTube. We grabbed Dave to talk about the intersection of his personal and professional passions.
Adobe: How long have you been doing video production?
As a kid, I was always doing video reports. I even played around with Mario Paint on my Super Nintendo to make animated content as bookends for my reports. Early on I recognized both the entertainment value and the storytelling value of video. Later, I created movies of family vacations—little two- to three-minute memories of what we did.
When I went to graduate school at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta in 2003, I focused on learning more about video. While I was there, I was exposed to a wide variety of design projects, including annual reports, logos, and websites, and even a 300-pound metal chair. For all of my school projects, I made videos about how I created them. Video was the best way for me to explain the challenges, mistakes, struggles, and successes I had. It was also a great way to help potential employers get to know me. I included all of the videos in my portfolio at okaydave.com.
Adobe: What was your path between grad school and Adobe?
After grad school I jumped between startup companies that make web, mobile, and social games. For four of those years, I was creative director at a make-your-own video game company. I realized I’ve been trying to give people tools to do creative things, which felt like a logical progression for me. I wanted to help people be creative in the same way that Adobe has allowed me to be creative. I eventually reached out to John Nack, who used to be the senior product manager for Photoshop and is now on the video team at Adobe. Six years ago, he wrote a blog about my graduate portfolio, okaydave.com, and I’ve kept in touch with him ever since. I asked him about opportunities at Adobe, and the same day, John got a call regarding the need for someone who could do video and animation on a special project. Now I’m working at Adobe as a senior experience designer lead. I’m working on some really cool stuff, surrounded by smart, talented people, and learning on a daily basis.
Adobe: When did you create your first
Extraneous Lyrics video?
I did the first Extraneous Lyrics
video in 2010 and posted it to YouTube under my Okay Samurai channel. After hearing the same pop songs over and over and over on the radio, my wife and I started making up different lyrics for fun. I eventually got the idea to make a video. I had no idea it would strike such a nerve. I’ve made two more versions, one for 2011 and another for 2012. I’ve tried to do things a little differently each year.
Adobe: What’s different about the 2012 version?
It’s been my biggest undertaking so far from a YouTube video standpoint. I pushed myself to up the production value to make the 2012 version look and feel more professional than someone filming in their house. Instead of inserting the lyrics like captions at the bottom of the frame, I represented them with typography that flows around me while I’m singing.
I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the video and Adobe After Effects to integrate the lyrics in an interesting way. I started with a basic font, Whitney, and then drew over it to give it a hand-lettered look. Lyrics are in every scene, and I was able to use After Effects to track my movements and have the lyrics flow in and out of the frame around me. For me, After Effects was like Adobe Photoshop with motion. It allowed me to explore some cool visual ideas.
Adobe: What made you decide to do the 2012
Extraneous Lyrics video using Adobe Premiere Pro?
I started making the videos using iMovie, and then moved up to Final Cut Pro 7. I tried a demo of Final Cut Pro X, but it was confusing. I knew I wanted to integrate typography effects from After Effects, but with Final Cut Pro it was a long and complex workflow. I couldn't move back and forth between the editing and effects without jumping through hoops. A friend from graduate school who is well-versed in motion graphics and video editing recommended that I check out Premiere Pro. He said it would feel very similar to Final Cut Pro, but the After Effects integration would be seamless and would save hours of work.
I made the transition from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro before I came to Adobe, and it was super easy. The tool feels powerful and natural, and at no time was I confused. I could have tons of layers of video and still sync everything to the music, and then add motion graphics over the top of that. If I wanted to go between two clips and see which is the best take, it was easy. I was able to jump right in and everything felt natural, quick and efficient.
Adobe: How long did it take you to complete the project?
It took about three months to do six songs. I like to spend the bulk of my free time with my wife and two-year-old son, so anywhere I could save time was great. The features in Premiere Pro helped me be as efficient as possible. I did a lot of editing and visual effects on my laptop while commuting on the train to and from work. I squeezed in time whenever I could.
Adobe: As an Adobe employee, you may be a bit biased, but what do you like about Adobe Creative Cloud?
Creative Cloud allows me to use five or six Adobe products at any given time, switching between solutions without any interruptions. Plus, it’s nice to be up-to-date no matter what. As a grad student, the school always had one version of software and I had something else. It’s really great to have updates instantly and always know I’m using the latest version. It’s a privilege to work at Adobe, too. I get to see new stuff and know that when it’s released it will work. I use the products daily, both at work and on side projects and hobbies. Personally, I want to try Adobe Audition for audio mixing. I’m already thinking about my next project, a Sesame Street remix. I want to push myself to try new things and bring imagination into reality.
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Customizable interface, visual effects integration, and fast rendering time impressed long-time Avid editor
Born in Rome, raised in Switzerland, and son of director Andre de Toth, Nicolas de Toth is a second generation film maker. After studying acting for six years Nick worked in production, occupying various positions, from gaffer and grip to production manager. His editing career started as an assistant editor, working with Academy Award-winning editor Neil Travis for eight years. He’s now been editing on his own for 10 years, with film credits including Stoker, This Means War, and Wolverine: X-Men Origins. The windows of time between feature films are small, so Nick only spends about 5% of his time editing commercials. He recently had the opportunity to edit a commercial for MagnaFlow, and chose to work with Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Here, he talks about his first experience with Adobe’s video editing software.
MagnaFlow's 2013 Andretti Commercial
Adobe: What made you decide to try Adobe Premiere Pro?
I was aware of Premiere Pro for a long time, but I hadn’t given it a fair shot. I’ve worked with Avid since it was trying to dethrone Lightworks. Though Avid has been the de facto editing system in features, I think it’s important to stay on the lookout for software that is evolving and reinventing itself. For the last seven years, I’ve been lucky enough to work on consecutive projects at 20th Century Fox and even luckier to become friends with Ted Gagliano, President of Feature Post Production. He mentioned that Premiere Pro has made significant strides. When a side project materialized for me, instead of going to Final Cut Pro, I decided to try Premiere Pro.
Adobe: As a long-time Avid and Final Cut Pro editor, how was the learning curve for you?
I expected the learning curve to be much steeper than it turned out to be. The interface was malleable, so I could customize it to make it more Avid-like. I’ve worked with Avid for 15 years, so there is comfort in finding a familiar layout. Ultimately, my editing requirements are rather basic, including cutting and timeline editing. Finding something that does as well if not better than what I’m used to working with is encouraging.
MagnaFlow's 2013 Andretti Commercial
Adobe: What are some of the things that you think Adobe Premiere Pro does well?
I was impressed with the color timing functions in Premiere Pro. I also thought that the manageability of visual effects and the ability to interface with powerful visual effects software was better in Premiere Pro, which makes sense given the tight integration with Adobe After Effects. Overall, it was very nimble and I never found myself waiting for anything like I do on occasion with Avid. When I’m rendering certain effects, this wait time can interfere with the creative flow. Editing is somewhat like writing. If your process is interrupted you can lose your train of thought, and with it your overall creativity. Premiere Pro was more fluid than I expected.
Adobe: Tell us about the project you worked on using Adobe Premiere Pro.
The project was not terribly complex, but I only had a couple of weeks to work on it. We had a lot of dailies for a 30 second spot, so there was a lot of footage to quickly review before bringing it into the project. I liked being able to use the Media Browser and the Hover Scrub feature to scrub through clips before deciding to bring them in. Avid has a rudimentary version of this, but it is not as smooth.
I also received ProRes files of the dailies, which were not graded, so they had a flat, raw look. With the Lumetri Deep Color engine in Premiere Pro I was able to take a lookup provided by ARRI and nondestructively apply it to the footage. It didn’t bake the color in, so when I went to color correct the spot, I was able to turn the lookup on and off. This was cool, because I wasn’t backed into a corner based on how the dailies were graded.
MagnaFlow's 2013 Andretti Commercial
Adobe: How did you prepare the final commercial for delivery?
I used Adobe Media Encoder and the experience was very good. Creating the final files is usually something an assistant will do, so I don’t have a ton of experience. I found it to be a foolproof and seamless process. With Avid it is much slower and less straightforward. I posted the commercial for review at a lower resolution and then delivered the final files in the highest possible resolution. Outputting in multiple qualities was easy. The entire experience was good; I was pleasantly surprised and would use Premiere Pro again on future projects.
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Senior Post chooses Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing for web, broadcast, film, and music video content
Josh Senior founded Senior Post in September of 2012 on the principle that at the heart of every project is great storytelling—that makes clients look good. That was nearly a year ago, and Josh still has the napkin he used to sketch out his initial ideas. He has lots of napkins, but that one is special. The company focuses 75% of its time on video editing and 25% on motion graphics work—100% storytelling all the time. We talked with Josh about how his studio is able to accomplish so much—from trailers and teasers to web series, corporate videos, music industry highlights, and branded content—and why he is using an all Adobe video workflow through Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: Tell us about Senior Post.
Senior Post is an experiment. It is the name of our post house located in Brooklyn, New York. We founded the studio in September 2012 out of necessity. I was working as a freelance video editor and producer, and had multiple post‐production jobs to manage at once. I was in desperate need of organization and structure. When my clients all wanted to book me on the same days, it created logistical challenges outside of just post producing content. What came out of that challenge is Senior Post; comprised primarily of Joanna Naugle and myself. We share a studio space with New Flint, Inc., our production company partner. New Flint is the production company for Senior Post, and Senior Post is the post house for New Flint.
I’d been working on the aesthetic of a company that I hoped to create, and it has been great to finally see it come to life. We currently have two full time people who are always editing, and at any given time we can bring in six or seven editors for a day, week, or however long is needed for a project. That flexibility has allowed us to take on all types of projects at varying levels of budget and resources. We love that.
Adobe: Do you only focus on web video production?
When we started Senior Post, we positioned it as a digital post house. Our experience comes from online video. We are as passionate about end delivery as we are about packaging, and there aren’t a lot of vendors that only work on web content, so we’re in a good place. We do some broadcast and commercial content, as well as more cinematic endeavors such as short film and documentary editing. That said, our expertise and future is as a web video post‐production house and we like that focus. By offering consultation services and working with New Flint, we can provide a broader agency offering if needed, which is convenient if that’s what a client requires.
Adobe: How do you work with VEVO?
Senior Post is a preferred vendor of VEVO. We partner with them often, but not exclusively, operating as an outsourced post house and production outfit in conjunction with New Flint. VEVO does some video production in house, but often partners with us to help with throughput and creative for more complicated shows, such as web series and special music industry events. One example of a project we worked on recently for VEVO is a VEVO News HOT97 Summer Jam interview series. HOT97 has been the most popular hip hop and rap station in New York for years. They make hip hop history. Every year, the station puts on an epic festival for rappers that includes hip hop and R&B artists, and VEVO turned to us for help with an interview series in association with the event. We were given a room, a list of people to interview, and simple instructions: “make it cool.” We worked with VEVO and HOT97 to tell the right story, while maintaining the highest possible production value.
Adobe: Why did you decide to work with Adobe Premiere Pro?
Before we started Senior Post, I had only used Premiere Pro for personal projects. As we established our company and our clients became savvier, turnaround times became tighter and integration with motion graphics programs became more critical. These factors pointed us toward Premiere Pro.
The Hot97 Summer Jam video series was the first time we used Premiere Pro for something professional and it was also the first series that we produced soup to nuts, from pre‐production to end delivery. VEVO gave us full access to tell the story. The series was shot on 5D Mark III cameras, which are perfect for the web. They aren’t RED cameras but they can shoot in an ideal web format, and they aren’t news cameras, but they let us get creative and cinematic with the look of our content. With Premiere Pro, we were able to edit the footage straight from the camera. We wouldn’t have been able to do this project if we had to do a day and a half of transcoding. Using Premiere Pro, we were able to deliver an eight video web series within 36 hours of the shoot—it was really special!
Adobe: What are some key features you like in Premiere Pro?
As former Final Cut Pro users, we just mapped our shortcuts to match what we were accustomed to and within a short time frame we felt like we’d been using Premiere Pro forever. Premiere Pro is particularly great when you have a client sitting in on an edit. There’s a performance element in that situation, and editors are not really performers. It’s nice to find a happy medium where the program isn’t an obstacle to the workflow or storytelling capability.
It’s awesome to look at the clip thumbnails, Hover Scrub through them, and set in and out points all in the Media Browser. These functions allow our assistant editors to take more ownership of projects and integrate themselves more seamlessly into our teams. I also like the Adjustment Layers in Premiere Pro that let us come up with a look and apply it across all of the clips. Although we often color grade our content before delivery, having a conversation about looks while we are reviewing our edits is really helpful. I learned that I really like trying new programs to see what parallels and what doesn’t. It was a good first dance with Premiere Pro.
Adobe: How do you output your video?
For the HOT97 Summer Jam job we had output specs, so we simply created a preset in Media Encoder, exported the footage, and then uploaded it to the client’s FTP. We also host content on Vimeo or transfer files using a file sharing service. We don’t deliver anything physical.
Adobe: What role does After Effects play in your projects?
The HOT97 Summer Jam project came with a specific set of criteria. We had to make and modify lower thirds on the fly, and After Effects made that not only possible but also really easy. Dynamic Link between After Effects and Premiere Pro is a game changer for us and dramatically speeds our workflow.
In addition to editing video content, we do a lot of After Effects projects that include motion graphics with recorded voiceovers. We use After Effects to illustrate experiences, apps, products, or procedures.
We’ve also worked with real estate companies that want to highlight their investment funds and companies preparing their marketing materials for IPOs. For all of these clients, After Effects helps us deliver high‐quality motion graphics work that enables us to tell our clients’ most effective stories.
Adobe: How do you use other apps and services in Adobe Creative Cloud as part of your production workflow?
Most of the campaigns we work on are sponsored or branded, so we receive brand guidelines with artwork that we need to incorporate in creative ways. Creative Cloud gives us all of the apps we need for various stages of a project. We use After Effects to create different types of content, including motion graphics bumpers, lower thirds, watermarks, spot animations, and animated text – basically any enhancement to the video that isn’t the actual footage. We often start with Illustrator, as that’s how companies send their brand lockups with logos and visual identities. We isolate the elements we need in Illustrator, take them into Photoshop to create TIFFs with transparency, and then transfer the visuals into Premiere Pro.
Adobe: Are you taking advantage of any other features in Creative Cloud?
Working with Creative Cloud helps us run a truly digital post house. We are able to seamlessly collaborate with editors and other members of our team using the sync and share capabilities. We’re also able to share a package of Illustrator files in an After Effects project or share a project that includes an InDesign storyboard and art created in Photoshop and broken up into folders. We’re really happy with the efficiencies that Creative Cloud offers, especially in empowering our team members to work from home.
the Summer Jam videos
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Filmmaker’s third film edited with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro
Countless filmmakers have launched their careers at the Sundance Film Festival, many going on to gain honors as highly regarded as an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. For Director Jim Mickle, having his third independent film, We Are What We Are
, premiere in the Midnight category was nothing short of an honor. After cutting his first two films on Final Cut Pro, Mickle made the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud for his latest work. The film has now been released in theaters, and we talked with Mickle about how working at full resolution in Adobe Premiere Pro not only saved time, but helped him complete the film—from first draft to final edit—in just a year’s time.
How did you come to the decision for your third feature to be a remake of a 2010 film by the same name?
I’m not a big fan of remakes, but in this case we looked at the original as more of an interesting concept, a story that could happen anywhere. It isn’t a gross out horror movie; I consider it more of a cool, artsy drama. I knew of the Mexican film because it played at a lot of the same festivals as my last film. I knew the story, and it sounded like a cool movie. Instead of Mexico City, we based the story in rural upstate New York and the main characters are girls rather than boys. We built the rest of the story from there.
What is your background in filmmaking?
I went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where I started out doing work as a grip and production assistant. Then I went on to freelance for post-production houses that mostly did corporate and documentary work. During that time I worked with Final Cut and After Effects. My first movie, Mulberry Street
, had a crazy low budget and I shot it with a Panasonic DVX 100. It got picked up and did pretty well. My second film was Stake Land
, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and earned the Midnight Madness Audience Award. In between making my own movies I would always go back to my day job, editing to pay the bills. It was really great practice and helped prepare me to edit my own films.
What made you decide to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro and Creative Cloud?
My last film was shot on RED, and I transcoded everything to Pro Res. There was a lot of back and forth between Final Cut and After Effects and I only had Pro Res 2k files. I ended up going back and redoing all of the effects with the 4K raw files, which was pretty time consuming. I started shooting We Are What We Are
at the end of May 2012, when Creative Cloud was just launching. When I heard that I wouldn’t have to do Pro Res working with Premiere Pro, I made the jump. I was able to use a 5K raw workflow for the entire film, without having to transcode.
Did you do your own special effects?
There are 60 effects in the film and I handed off 10 that were more 3D stuff. I did all of the compositing in After Effects. The film takes place during a big storm, so we did a lot of practical rain on set and a LOT of post rain in After Effects. We also made adjustments when, say, a house didn’t match the background. It’s really fun to make these adjustments while editing because if you didn’t get a shot on set you can make it up as you go along.
Were there features in Adobe Premiere Pro that are worth noting?
I used Warp Stabilizer in Premiere Pro and it was great. We have a lot of tricky dolly shots, and we wanted a really sleek look. I was really impressed with how it helped smooth everything out. I also like to do a lot of playing around with color. Even for rough cuts, I could adjust the color so it more closely matched the look I was going for. Being able to recolor a movie, reassign the ISO, and adjust the color temperature in Premiere Pro is awesome. Lastly, we did a lot of reframing and repositioning shots. I would say one third of shots are repositioned in some way. The film is a thriller, so there is a lot of zooming in. Working with raw files made it easy to push a shot to 300% without losing quality.
What do you think of the Adobe Creative Cloud offering?
The Creative Cloud membership is really awesome. I don’t know why more companies don’t offer software this way. I always knew I was working with the latest software versions, and I liked being able to store files and access them from anywhere. I also used Adobe Ideas to jot down notes for the VFX guys that I then accessed through the cloud. For independent filmmakers, it is an affordable solution that gives us access to all the tools we need to make the films that will get us noticed.
What’s your next project?
I just wrapped shooting on a new film called COLD IN JULY
starring Michael C Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson. It’s a Southern Noir set in the 80s. I have lots of post ahead and it should be coming out sometime next year.
Interview with Jim Mickle at Sundance
Watch the We Are What We Are trailer
Watch Adobe & Sundance 2013 - Part 01
about Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial
of Adobe Creative Cloud (you can download Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more)
Significant upgrades to Adobe Premiere Pro CC and other pro video tools
The wait is over: the new Creative Cloud applications are now available. Creative Cloud members can download all the latest Creative Cloud video tools including After Effects
CC, Adobe Audition CC
, Adobe Prelude CC
, Adobe Premiere Pro CC
, SpeedGrade CC
, and Adobe Story CC Plus
. Creative Cloud members will also have access to all the other new Creative Cloud applications, such as Photoshop CC and Adobe Muse CC.
Video professionals of all stripes will benefit from hundreds of new features and enhancements, providing them with better integration, greater creative scope, and a more efficient workflow. Here are just a few of the highlights:
• Editing Finesse
UI and workflow refinements in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
• Lumetri Deep Color Engine
integration in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
• Audio clip mixer
in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
• Live 3D Pipeline
between After Effects CC and MAXON CINEMA 4D Lite (included with After Effects)
• Refine Edge
tool in After Effects CC
• Shot Matcher
in SpeedGrade CC
• Sound Remover
in Adobe Audition CC
• Preview Editor
in Adobe Audition CC
• Hover scrub thumbnails
in Adobe Prelude CC
• Adobe Story CC Plus script metadata support
in Adobe Prelude CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC
You can read a more in-depth overview of the new features here. http://bit.ly/ZlzXj9
“When I saw the integration offered by Adobe Creative Cloud, I could hardly wait to get started,” said filmmaker and visual effects supervisor Hasraf (HaZ) Dulull
. “The learning curve was virtually nil. I moved among Audition, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop, but it never felt like I was jumping from compositing to editing. The whole experience felt like one big environment. What made it even more incredible was that I did it all on my Macbook Pro laptop hooked up with cinema display screen and external raid drive.”
The new pro video applications were first revealed in April at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) exhibition in Las Vegas. “The response at NAB was incredible,” said Bill Roberts
, Director of Product Management for Video and Audio at Adobe. “The Creative Cloud releases of our pro video tools are really strong across the board. With the efficient new Creative Cloud model, our teams are poised to deliver new features on an ongoing basis. We think our users are going to love this.”
“It was a no-brainer in terms of going with Adobe Creative Cloud,” said Kyle Alvarez
, whose latest film C.O.G.
premiered at Sundance and recently won the Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival. “It offers virtually effortless access to all the latest software and it’s always there for us. We use Encore, Media Encoder, Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Bridge, and After Effects, for everything from effects to movie posters—and the software really integrates perfectly together.”
While the feedback from current Creative Cloud members has been overwhelmingly positive, the initial reactions to the new Creative Cloud model, announced at MAX on May 7, have varied. “We realize that some in the community are still unsure about Creative Cloud, but as we go forward, people will realize that this approach brings us much closer to our users,” explained Roberts. “The tools and the whole model will evolve in a much more collaborative environment than was the case in the old days of boxed software and big, expensive releases.”
“The low monthly price of Creative Cloud makes it really affordable for independent filmmakers and smaller post-production companies to get Adobe software,” said director and editor Jacob Rosenberg
(Waiting for Lightning
). “So far, it’s been seamless using Adobe Creative Cloud.”
“Creative Cloud provides a backend infrastructure for the tools, including storage, Sync Settings, an easy mechanism for staying up-to-date, and access to resources,” said Steve Forde
, Senior Product Manager for After Effects. “As the digital media creation process evolves, this kind of infrastructure will become more important for our users. It’s a connected world and our creative tools should be connected, too.”
Learn more about Creative Cloud and the new pro video applications: http://adobe.ly/13872E5
Adobe is currently offering special introductory pricing on Creative Cloud: http://adobe.ly/170cRqV
Richard Jobson uses all Adobe Pipeline on Wayland’s Song
We really pushed the boundaries of what you can do with the Creative Cloud software. For me, it's almost like being in a punk band again with Adobe: SpeedGrade and After Effects are my drummer and my bass player and Premiere Pro is my guitarist, who’s been getting much better. I have my band, and now I can tell my stories.
- Richard Jobson
Leveraging the complete Adobe Creative Cloud toolset, Wayland’s Song
, which premiered at Cannes on May 25, 2013, was written and directed by Richard Jobson. A former movie critic and television host, Jobson started his career as the charismatic front man for 1970’s punk band, The Skids. After working in broadcast, he began screenwriting in 2000 and was soon directing short films and game cinematics. Early writing and directing highlights included Heartlands
, and 16 Years or Alcohol
As an independent filmmaker Jobson brings a practical, can-do attitude to his work, producing movies that are technically innovative and pioneering in terms of subject matter; such as his visually powerful 2009 human trafficking short, The Journey
Filmmaker Richard Jobson speaks about Waylands Song at Adobe&Filmmakers event.
Already familiar with Photoshop and After Effects, Jobson started editing with Adobe Premiere Pro in 2011 to conform and finish The Somnambulists – an arresting portrayal of fallen service personnel, recounting their experiences in Iraq, from beyond the grave.
“Premiere Pro allowed me to go back to the original, native rushes that I shot in camera, without changing or degrading the image,” said Jobson. No other software allowed me to do that. With Premiere Pro’s dynamic link to After Effects, completing the film in Adobe software was a no-brainer for me.”
For his latest feature film, Wayland’s Song
, Richard Jobson moved to an all Adobe workflow: Starting with Adobe Story Plus, which he used for script editing, preproduction planning, and to generate detailed production schedules, all the material was moved smoothly through Adobe Prelude, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Audition, and finally SpeedGrade for finishing.
Creating Wayland’s Song
Inspired by a Nordic myth, Wayland’s Song
tells the story of a British soldier returning from Afghanistan. While the world he left behind him seemed dark and medieval, the world he returns to appears little better. He discovers that his daughter has disappeared and the film follows his search for her, a journey through friendship, tragedy and ultimately revenge.
“I have always loved a kind of graphic sensibility in my stories,” reflected Jobson. “The Wayland character has almost been lifted from a graphic novel. I love that type of thing. In all of my films I use the camera and lighting to create this quality.”
was beautifully shot on the Canon C300 by Director of Photography Andrei Austin. Offload, back-up and ingest was done with Adobe Prelude, which the production team used for shot-logging, adding metadata for use in postproduction, and pre-editing.
Adobe Prelude was used for camera file ingest and shot logging on Wayland's Song.
Visual effects and graphics were created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects, including a series of colorful, experimental sequences portraying the main character’s collapse into a seizure. “I suffer from epilepsy myself, and I wanted to visualize that overwhelming sensory experience, where mind and body are flooded with light and you enter a world of hyper reality,” said Jobson.
The film was edited by Steven Sander in Adobe Premiere Pro. Moving to a native workflow allowed for a much faster pipeline that required no transcoding or rewrapping of files. XDCAM, Apple ProRes and H.264 codecs were all mixed on the same timeline in a smooth, seamless process. The combination of HP hardware, an Nvidia Quadro 5000 graphics card and the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro eliminated rendering from the editing process and allowed instant feedback when working with complex visual effects.
“I was instantly impressed by the speed and responsiveness of Premiere Pro,” said Sander. “It seemed to handle everything we threw at it and it was great to be able to switch between Mac and Windows hardware, as needed, without converting sequences or media.”
Audio clean-up and mixing was done in Adobe Audition by musician and composer Keith Atack, who previously worked with Jobson on Heartlands and 16 Years of Alcohol. “This was a really fun and challenging project. A number of the team have a background in video game production and we tried to bring some of that dynamic to both the visuals and the sound design,” said Atack. “Audition lets me to work quickly and intuitively, allowing me as a sound designer to stay in the creative moment and get instant feedback. That was really useful for the more experimental sections of the film.”
Audio editing for Wayland's Song was done in Adobe Audition.
Grading and finishing were completed in SpeedGrade by colorist Dado Valentic at his MyTherapy facility in central London. Valentic has been a longtime SpeedGrade user.
“We actually developed the looks for the project in SpeedGrade before we started production,” explained Jobson. “This allowed us to view our shots as they came in with the creative looks applied. It was really helpful - just one of the ways that these tools allowed us to work faster and more efficiently.”
Colorist Dado Valentic talks about his work with SpeedGrade on Wayland's Song.
“Richard gave me a lot of creative freedom on this project,” said Valentic, “so I could really put SpeedGrade through its paces. I applied technical looks, which I created to adjust the camera color spaces, along with the creative looks Richard used during production. With SpeedGrade, all of these color adjustments are layered so it’s easy to combine all of them for a final result that is both color corrected and stylized with the artistic look of the film.”
Filmmaking with Adobe Creative Cloud
Jobson joined Creative Cloud in 2012, soon after it became available, and couldn’t be happier with the service and the tools. “Adobe Story Plus gives me a great place to start my projects, and with the whole package I have all the tools for production right through to finishing. This software gives me the freedom to make films the way I want to make them.”
Wayland’s Song premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival on May 18 and will see theatrical distribution in the UK and Europe in September 2013.
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud here: http://adobe.ly/ZyiScn
Join Richard Jobson for a free Ask a Video Pro online seminar at 10 am PST on June 13, 2013 - http://adobe.ly/p6ZMbd