Adobe Premiere Pro has all but taken over as the editor of choice for self shooters and indie production companies. It’s subscription based, integrates well with other packages, and provides a nice smooth user experience. In the last few years it’s even been used on Hollywood blockbusters like Deadpool, Hail Caesar, and Gone Girl. Avatar used it for dailies and basic edits alongside Avid, too.
To honour the success and general joy of Adobe Premiere Pro we’ve compiled a list of where you can find tips, tricks, tutorials, and more.
Offering some of the best stock music around (we use it on our case study videos) PremiumBeat also has a comprehensive series of tutorials for editing, graphics, and more. What’s particularly great is how they meld tech savvy gear reviews with practical software advice and on-set guidance.
Jarle Leirpoll is awesome. When Deadpool was in post production he was challenged to create authentic camera shake presets that could be used on some of the film’s locked off shots. To do it he actually went and filmed some handheld footage and retro-engineered the movements from that. Which means that his presets aren’t random - they’re real. And they’re free.
While we’d all love to shoot anamorphic when we can (and when it’s appropriate) budgets are often a little too constrained to fork out for the lenses and adaptors required. Plenty of shorts and feature films opt to shoot wide and add cinema bars in post. They can be a bit fiddly to do from scratch, so Vashi Visuals have created PNGs for almost every aspect ratio out there.
These guys make plugins for Premiere Pro and After Effects. For the former, it’s PluralEyes and Colorista that we particularly enjoy. You can even buy them from us (contact Graeme Pitt) along with your Adobe license.
PluralEyes uses an advanced algorithm to synchronize audio to video without a clapperboard in sight. Perfect for run and gun productions and corporate interviews. Just drop in your files, hit synchronise, and dump out an XML all ready for ingest.
Colorista is a level up from Adobe’s built in Lumetri colour grading effect. While Lumetri’s come a long way since Adobe acquired SpeedGrade, Colorista still gives you an extra edge and a few more tools.
This almost seems like a plug. Especially because it appears again in our list of stock footage resources. But when it comes to look development, replacement skies and backgrounds, or simply usable footage then Adobe Stock is a great tool to have at your disposal. A monthly subscription can get you access to plenty of images, vector graphics, and video to use in your projects. We’re always on it looking for stuff to use or build on in our thumbnails or inserts.
It might seem obvious, but Adobe themselves have a great selection of tutorials to get you skilled up. From setting up a project to colour grading, music, and even showreel advice there’s plenty there to get going with.
This is a personal favourite. Most of Ryan Connolly’s recent content is geared towards pure filmmaking advice, but dig through their videos and there’s a wealth of tutorials, how-tos and breakdowns. And Ryan’s short films are simply epic - his latest (BALLiSTIC) is definitely worth watching.
While not strictly an editing resource, Masterclass has some great advice from directors including Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee along with insightful words from Dustin Hoffman, Annie Leibovitz, and Malcolm Gladwell. Plus their trailer videos are gorgeous.
A tour de force of resource curation, No Film School has everything from on-set etiquette tips to how to cut your first short. With advice from the pros, downloadable assets, and some great guidance their editing tips are useful when you’re between projects or need to find a quicker way to do a thing.
Similar to No Film School, but different, RocketJump has a great set of videos to inspire and train. Their in-house editor, Freddie, has even created a downloadable pack of his keyboard shortcuts so you can blitz through those edits like nobody’s business.
OK, so Rocketstock does a lot more than this, but their 4K light leaks pack is pretty neat. They even have a video tutorial on how to composite them into your shots.
Stock footage is used more than you might think. Hollywood uses it (seriously - check out No Film School’s article on that) and a number of great indie filmmakers including Ryan Connolly and Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull use stock. Here are a few useful sites:
Not everyone has access to Hans Zimmer. Or John Williams. Or Ramin Djwadi, Bear McCreary or any other composer this writer likes. When you can afford a composer then you should definitely get one on board (the wonderful Joe Rowe composed the music for our Squint / Opera case study) but when you can’t then these five options are saving graces: