What Do Most Video Editors Get Wrong When Setting Up Long-Form Projects in Adobe Premiere Pro?

Posted on by Larry

Last week, Adobe released a detailed Workflow Guide on how to optimize Premiere Pro for episodic and feature film editing. This is an outstanding guide. It is helpful, focused and provides lots of tips on optimization and process. Here’s a link to your free copy.

Link: Premiere Pro Workflow Guide – Episodics & Feature Films

However, when it was released I was puzzled. What made episodic and features different enough that Adobe decided to create this Guide. So, I reached out to Morgan Prygrocki, Senior Strategic Development Manager at Adobe with some questions.

Here is our discussion.

Larry: What practice do most editors get wrong when setting up to edit long-form projects?

Morgan: We are living in an age where there’s access to so much information to help users learn software applications. Whether it’s produced by a manufacturer or authored and supported by the user community, there is an incredible amount of useful information online. With complex workflows in the post-production industry, there are countless variables, options and opinions resulting in numerous choices that users are required to make along the way. Our team is always learning through all of our valued experiences working with creative professionals. It’s clear with so many sources of information that it can sometimes be challenging to navigate for our user community.

The film and television team at Adobe that most commonly directly interacts with customers working in long-form content decided to build the Premiere Pro best practices guide based on the collective knowledge we’ve gained throughout years of interaction with post teams. We decided to dedicate a chapter in this guide in response to some of the most commonly seen workflow questions or missteps we often encounter.

The chapter titled “Before Getting Started” is a collection of tips and recommendations to read BEFORE getting started on your project. While some of these topics are also covered in other areas of the guide, we decided to present these here as well to ensure the decisions that are made at the start of your project, will not affect your ability to perform certain tasks or impact performance later on down the line. Most of the tips discussed in this chapter are designed to ensure the retention of metadata, proper settings, simplified turnovers and best performance.

Larry: What makes editing episodic media different from stand-alone projects?

Morgan: When working in Premiere Pro on stand-alone projects, it’s easy to get used to having full autonomy over your project, and perhaps you’re working solely within the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications.

One of the biggest distinctions in making the move from stand-alone projects to episodic projects, is that you are almost always working with a team of editors and assistant editors working in parallel. That means that a commonly understood best practice needs to be followed to ensure a smooth transition into a variety of third-party applications at various stages throughout the post-production process.

This begins with good organizational practices and planning. When producing 5 or 10+ hours of finished content per season, you’re working with terabytes of media, usually from multiple cameras and various locations. Taking the time to plan your workflow in a methodical way will enable more effective media management, version control, enhanced performance, and frictionless turnover into other applications, which will not only save you time, but that time saved often results in a better edit.

Larry: How does Adobe Premiere Pro help?

Morgan: Over the years, Adobe has made strides to foster better team collaboration and better performance for complex projects. In April of 2020, Premiere Pro introduced a new framework for organizing multi-project workflows specifically designed for longer-form editorial called Productions.

Think of Productions as the evolution of a stand-alone project file. What used to be a single Premiere Pro project file is now a Production folder, and what used to be a bin inside the project, is now a component project inside the Production folder. Each of these projects contained within a Production have the ability to reference each other, which not only allows for some flexible organizational options, but also prevents against the creation of duplicate clips. This keeps projects organized, smaller and easy to work with.

The end result is a highly organized and efficient workflow where editorial teams working on shared storage can avoid edit conflicts, scale efficiently, and benefit from faster open and save times by breaking up what would normally be large projects into smaller component projects. This also provides the flexibility to create reusable projects such as those dedicated to sound effects.

Larry: Thank you, Morgan, for sharing your thoughts. I especially appreciate the section on decisions to make before you start editing. A little planning solves a lot of problems.

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4 Responses to What Do Most Video Editors Get Wrong When Setting Up Long-Form Projects in Adobe Premiere Pro?

  1. Mike Janowski says:

    Larry, thanks for this.

    My group has been using Productions for about a year now, and frankly, I would not want to work any other way. Recalling the dark ages of collaboration, with the bicycling of hard drives and endless copying of files, trying and generally failing to mirror sets of drives for each editor, gives me the shivers!

    Productions also cures a glaring flaw in PPro, namely, the duplication of media references when copying media from one project to another. That alone is worth the price of admission! I urge you to investigate Productions further.

  2. gloria messer says:

    Larry, would you recommend productions for 30 min to 1 hour video programs?
    and can you recommend any articles & tutorials for education on productions? Thank you. xox Gloria

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