Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Entry....

Hi! Welcome to the first entry on the 100 Acre Films Tech Corner blog. I plan on using this space to share any interesting things I come across the in the every changing world of film and video production. If you work in this industry, you know that the tools of the trade change all the time. I'll also use it to discuss what I'm using to create the videos I work on such as any cool plugins or software I come across.

To start things off, one of the things I get asked most about is why I edit with Premiere Pro. In a world dominated by Avid and the ever growing Final Cut Pro, why on earth would I use anything else? Don't I see the brilliance of each of these products?

Well, yes...and no.

The first experience I ever had with an NLE was Premiere 4.2. For those that used it back in those days, you probably remember something that looked like this...

Now, it was a bit rough in those days...and I wouldn't blame people for going to Avid or FCP when it was released. Premiere needed an overhaul. And in 2003, it got one. Once Adobe rebuilt Premiere and released Premiere Pro, I was sold. With every version, they improve upon it and I find that the workflow is the best around. Now, it looks like this...

One reason I love it is because I use After Effects - a lot! And the way that Premiere Pro works with After Effects is simply the best. I can create AE projects within PPro, do all the work in AE, then flip back over to PPro and see things updated. I don't need to render out any files from AE any more - just import the AE project into PPro, and it drops right on the timeline. I know that Apple has something like this with Motion and FCP, but in my opinion, Motion is no AE. The same sort of workflow exists within all the Adobe Production products - Photoshop, Encore, and Soundbooth. It all just works together so well.

Also, as we move into a tapeless workspace I find Adobe's native format support to be the best. I don't ever have to log and transfer footage like FCP does. If I have some P2 footage, I just import the MXF files right from the P2 card and I'm editing - same with XDCAM footage, AVCHD, and RED footage. Also, being able to capture on my laptop in the field through OnLocation, and then start editing in PPro right away without ever touching tape is something that I think is just amazing and a huge time saver.

I could go on and on about all the features that I think make PPro superior to FCP and Avid, but I won't - if you want to really know email me and we can talk (or argue depending on how dogmatic you are about your NLE). I think the bottom line is I feel more comfortable creating with this tool set. I know that FCP has some advantages, as does Avid. No NLE is perfect, and they all have strong points with room for improvement in areas. Avid is by far one of the most stable and robust edit tools around. And FCP is without question one of the most used and supported NLEs on the market. But there isn't anything that I can do in those systems that I can't in PPro. Oh, and did I mention that PPro can import in (and soon export) FCP projects, and (very soon) Avid projects as well?

To me, it's more about the person using the tool. It's about how creative is that person is, and if they using something that best exploits their talents. I do much better work with the Adobe tool set. It fits the way I work. I'm lucky in that I work for myself and don't often find myself (anymore at least) going into other people's shops and editing on their systems. If that's the way I was living, I'd probably have a Mac with FCP - it's just used by far more people. As much as I think Adobe has a got a better product, it wouldn't matter - I've got to eat so I'll learn what everyone is using.

So, for those that wonder just why I use Premiere Pro instead of something else, I hope this somewhat clears it up. If you haven't checked out what Premiere Pro can do, I encourage you to check it out. It's not that same editor you remember - it's in a whole different league. I'd be happy to give you a demo.