Why filmmakers are making the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro

By Ellen Wixted
Adobe Senior Product Manager, Production Premium

Shrinking client budgets. Compressed schedules. New camera formats. Rendering movies to be viewed on anything from the silver screen to a mobile phone. Today’s post-production landscape is an obstacle course of sorts, and smart filmmakers everywhere are looking for new ways to navigate through it so they can deliver great work while staying profitable.

And these days, more and more of them are turning to Adobe for smart solutions. Adobe has long been a trusted partner to creative professionals in every field, and After Effects and Photoshop have long been essential go-to tools for film and video pros. But with the release of CS5.5 Production Premium, Adobe Premiere Pro has been attracting a lot of notice—and for good reason. Working with Premiere Pro and the other tools in Production Premium is like getting a jetpack that lifts you out of today’s post-production obstacle course and drops you at the finish line.

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With the 64-bit Mercury Playback Engine, introduced in CS5 and significantly enhanced in the CS5.5 release last month, Adobe Premiere Pro makes working on HD and higher-res projects as fluid an experience as working with SD. Plus, Premiere Pro works natively with just about any footage you can throw at it—including footage from DSLR cameras and the newest 5K RED EPIC camera —which means you can simply import and edit. Transcode? Why would you, when there’s a better workflow that saves time and means you have fewer files to manage?

CS5.5 Production Premium helps with other elements of your project too. Use powerful tools like the new Warp Stabilizer in After Effects to make hand-held footage look like it was shot with expensive cameras stabilizers, or take your titles and other motion graphic elements to a new level with infinitely flexible motion design tools. No matter what you’re doing, After Effects works hand in hand with Premiere Pro to save you time as you create and refine assets. And the same goes for Photoshop, Audition, Adobe Media Encoder, and the other tools in CS5.5 Production Premium—tight integration makes handoffs smooth, so you can stay in the creative flow and not get bogged down in the technical details.

Dynamic Link is a great example of how Adobe’s focus on integration can save you hours on every project. Let’s say you’ve got an edit you’re happy with, but you need to do some additional work on several shots. Some need stabilization, others color correction, and still others compositing. In Premiere Pro, you can right-click on any clip in your edited sequence, then choose Replace with After Effects Composition. This opens After Effects, and creates a new comp that includes the clip. Do your magic in After Effects, and when you pop over to Premiere Pro, you see the updates instantly. Yep, instantly—no waiting, no rendering. You want to tweak it? No problem—just hop back to After Effects and make your changes. Pop back to Premiere Pro, and you can see them in context. The process is fast, fluid, and direct. You don’t end up with a lot of extra files to manage, and you never have to wait for a render to complete to see if you’ve got something that’ll work. And that’s just one example of Dynamic Link—it’s also used to connect a sequence in Premiere Pro to Adobe Media Encoder so you can render in the background while editing something else, and to link sequences and motion menus to Adobe Encore.

So maybe you’ll be able to work faster with Premiere Pro, but you already know another NLE? Well, we can help there, too. You can easily switch the keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro to those used by FCP 7 or Avid Media Composer 5, and then customize even further from there. We’ve spent a lot of time with folks who used to use other NLEs, and have added features that make working in Premiere Pro more familiar, such as the ability to drag items from the Source monitor to the Program monitor. Plus, you can find a ton of information designed to smooth your path here: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/switch.html.

If you want to spend more time thinking about creative decisions and less time waiting for footage to transcode or parts of your project to render, check out Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and the rest of the Production Premium suite of pro video and audio tools. You’ll find a post-production workflow that’s super-fast, highly flexible, and tuned for creativity. You might also find yourself wondering what happened to all those old obstacles.