April, 2014 Archives
Warren Miller Entertainment keeps on thrilling audiences with breathtaking athletics, brilliant production, and Adobe video apps
Many winter sports enthusiasts recall sitting in high school auditoriums or theaters on the edge of their chairs watching content from Warren Miller, a legendary American ski and snowboarding filmmaker. Miller produced, directed, and narrated his films until 1988. His talented staff continues to create iconic films about skiing and other outdoor winter sports that are renowned for their stunning photography, witty narrative humor, and impressive athletic talent. Two of the people who’ve kept the Warren Miller Entertainment legacy alive are John Barcklay, post-production supervisor, and Kim Schneider, executive editor. Both have spent decades working with Warren Miller and recently adopted an all-Adobe workflow, including Adobe Premiere Pro software.
Adobe: Tell us how both of you got started with Warren Miller?
Schneider: I was living in my truck in Lake Tahoe, California at a ski area when I met Warren. I knew what I wanted to do from the time I was 12 years old—to ski and make movies about skiing—so there was no hesitation in taking the job as editor with Warren. People tell me I’m one-dimensional, and my answer is “Isn’t that great?” That’s how I got started, and I have been working in editing films with Warren Miller for 35 years. I’m now executive editor—it never gets old.
Barcklay: I have been working with Warren Miller Entertainment for 25 years. I started back in 1989, running film back and forth from Hermosa Beach to Burbank to drop off dailies and bring them back. I would log all the key codes on the film, a very time-consuming and tedious process. I gradually worked up through different positions to become post production supervisor.
Adobe: How has the workflow changed since the early days?
Schneider: I’m dating myself, but I used to hack frames apart with a razor blade and then tape them back together. If frames were missing, I’d have to hack up film and put back the missing frames. We would cut the film and hang the footage up on hooks that were called trim bins—that’s where the term bin that is used today in digital video originated. Using bins was never foolproof, and sometimes cuts of footage got lost or fell. It was nightmarish trying to stay organized. Then we went to videotapes, which also had their issues. We tracked videotapes of footage using arcane methods like Polaroid pictures with time codes pasted on sheets of foam or cardboard. Then we had to find a shot by going through footage to find the right time code.
Adobe: When things first went digital, what was your strategy?
Barcklay: We started out with Avid, then moved to Final Cut Pro in 2003. But then when Final Cut Pro X came around, it didn’t meet a lot of our needs as professionals. We took a look at Adobe Premiere Pro and were impressed with its professional color correction, compositing, and so on. Also, when we saw that we could throw virtually any format on the timeline whenever people got back from a shoot without having to transcode it, we were instantly sold. We can just import footage and start working. That’s crucial for us for two reasons: we work with huge volumes of footage, sometimes upwards of 200 hours, and we have to cull it down to a 90-minute feature. And, we typically have a lot of cameras running in different locations using different formats when we’re making our annual feature film, so we can’t spare the time to transcode everything.
Adobe: What is your editing process?
Schneider: We start by formulating a plan for the year. In theory I’m just an editor, but I’ve been with Warren Miller for so long I’m always involved in the planning stages. We talk about the direction we want to go, but our plan is somewhat dictated by the weather. Eventually, the footage ends up on a drive in front of me. I work offsite for a good part of the year, and I just start dragging it into Premiere Pro and wailing away on it. In a lot of ways you can put us into the music video category because we rely heavily on the soundtrack to motivate the edits. In the end, it’s all about the action – how someone turns, how deep the snow is, and the overall beauty of a shot.
Barcklay: Before everything goes to Kim, we send out the shots for a quick color-correction on the dailies. After the edit is complete, we organize the shots and remove any spots on lenses, hair, or dirt using Adobe After Effects or Photoshop. We may also transform some of the footage for YouTube, Vimeo, and tablets for our Active Interest Media publishing arm. We also use After Effects for various graphic based projects and Adobe Encore to create Blu-ray discs for our annual feature film tour and many other projects.
Adobe: Has working with Adobe Premiere Pro made editing fun again?
Schneider: For me, it’s almost like playing a video game. The way we do it now has given me the longevity I needed. The computers just have to get faster and faster to keep up. Filmmakers are now able to bring excitement to editing, a part of the filmmaking process that’s usually not considered that glamorous. I remember the days when we laid pieces of film on top of each other and crammed them into a projector or sent them off to an optical house. We wouldn’t see the results for a week, and they were often not even close to what we were imagining. Today, we can composite several shots and see the results in 10 minutes—it’s amazing. The speed and professional features, combined with the ability to instantly work with any format on the timeline—all these facets have completely transformed our workflow for the better.
Adobe: Do you have any favorite features in Premiere Pro?
Schneider: I’ve never sat in an editing room with a monitor two feet away from my face. Instead, I work on a three foot by four foot screen that’s eight feet away. In my ultimate world I would edit in a movie theater. The one keystroke I use all day long is when you hold your mouse over the media browser and hit the tilde key and the frame goes full screen. I also like using the Bend Mode in Premiere Pro for compositing. My presets are all there and I can just cycle through them all the time and try new things. I’m convinced that many of the things that happen in digital that are truly amazing come from people’s mistakes.
Adobe: Do you think you will continue along this path for a while?
Schneider: This is a phenomenal line of work and I like what I do. I work with extremely passionate people throughout the industry but the people at Warren Miller are the best. The cameramen are on the side of a mountain shooting when they could be in a studio making $5,000 to $10,000 a day. It’s amazing to be able to marry our passions into a career. The work on the films we’re doing really conveys the passion people feel for skiing. We have a 75% return rate of audiences every year, and viewers range from 8 to 88 years old. It is something we’re privileged to be part of.
Watch the Ticket to Ride trailer
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Production company creates immersive experience for well-known DJ artist at art and music festival using Adobe Creative Cloud
Plastic Reality is a production company known for branding and other video work for big corporate clients such as BP and Unilever. But unlike most corporate video companies, Plastic Reality has a wild side, called The Happiness Labs, focused on producing experiential content and graphics for live events and installations.
In creating new realities and immersive experiences, The Happiness Labs raised the bar for British DJ, musician, rapper, and record producer Fatboy Slim at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Tim Fleming, executive producer of The Happiness Labs, shares how Fatboy Slim’s otherworldly stage experience came together.
Adobe: What makes you excited about working with bands?
Fleming: I worked at an advertising company at the beginning of my career, but then I had the chance to work with big-name artists and tour with various art collectives. I was excited to be working with people who were very receptive to new creative ideas. Layering visuals and lighting was becoming a big part of these shows and I started to think about how video content could further enhance the experience.
Today bands think about shows as a whole experience with intricate props and designs from the moment they kick them off, but it wasn’t always that way. Seeing how these shows were being constructed as an experience, especially in the electronic music space, and being a bit of a party boy I thought it looked like a lot of fun.
Adobe: How did you get connected with Fatboy Slim?
Fleming: I’ve had a longstanding relationship with Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook. He is a superstar DJ and lovely bloke all at the same time. When I started with him around 2000 or 2001, he was already famous for his videos. His record label had seen the work we’d done with some artists, and asked us to submit a treatment for his upcoming video, “Star 69.”
A while later, Norman was approached to do a show on Brighton Beach. It was one of the first large outdoor shows with a DJ and his team knew they would need some content for the show. They liked what we’d done for “Star 69,” so they asked us to work on the show. The first Brighton Beach Boutique show had 60,000 attendees, and the second one had 250,000. From then on I was on the bus and the next stop was a show in Brazil for about 350,000 people.
Adobe: How would you describe the Coachella show?
Fleming: Coachella in 2014 has a big focus on electronic acts and electronic dance music. The performance at Coachella was an evolution of everything we’ve been doing over the last several years to turn watching a DJ into a magical experience that transports audiences into another realm with incredible lighting, imagery, effects, video, and graphics. The heart of his show is focused on his hit track “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Adobe: Tell us more about “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Fleming: Well there’s an interesting story around where the actual lyric for “Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat” came from. In between shows I was editing some shots for Norman and he sent me a mail at around midnight when I was still working, asking how it was going. I sent him a one line reply saying, “Eat, Sleep, Edit, Rave, Repeat.”
Next thing I knew he sent me a demo titled “Your Tune.” Then he got RivaStarr and Beardyman involved and the whole thing grew into a monster to the point where, a few months after this email conversation, we’re getting photos sent in from people who have tattoos saying “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Adobe: How did this idea translate to Coachella?
Fleming: Coachella originally approached us asking if we would like to do a show based around the four seasons. The set at Coachella is 60 minutes long, so the festival organizers were looking to split it into four parts and use a bunch of physical effects, such as fire, snow, and rain, to accentuate the different seasons. We had a think about this and obviously loved the idea of the different physical effects but thought the four seasons might be a bit like doing opera.
We got Team Fatboy together over a good lunch as we usually do and started throwing some ideas around. We realized we could re-work “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” into “Heat, Sleet, Rain, Repeat”—job done! We got to keep the physical effects but incorporate them into Norm’s global smash hit.
Adobe: What special elements are included in the Coachella show?
Fleming: As well as building a boom box that has ice, fire, and rain built into it we used a 3D model of Norman’s head that was shot at Pinewood Studios. We inserted it in with other graphics and 3D elements around the head. It appears every couple of bars in the song. All of the mapping was done and put together in After Effects CC, along with the textures and finishing.
We also put Norman in the middle of the screen in a 9×9 matrix and created accompanying video content and original graphics, including a fun fruit machine. All of the video content was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It was great to be able to throw multiple codecs and file types right onto the timeline in Premiere Pro CC and have it work seamlessly.
Adobe: How do you pull off these surreal experiences?
Fleming: We combined a well-researched history of being the last one on the dance floor with other techniques, some involving big rig or prop installations and others requiring software. We’ve always been big After Effects users. CINEMA 4D and After Effects are at the heart of everything we do and their widespread adoption throughout the creative industry is a reflection of the quality results that can be achieved. Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC are also key to our workflow and we appreciate having all of the tools available to us in Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: What do you think of the closer integration between Adobe After Effects CC and CINEMA 4D?
Fleming: The forthcoming era of deeper integration between CINEMA 4D and After Effects CC is very exciting and we are really looking forward to seeing how it enhances our workflow. We really just find them a joy to play with and encourage all younger artists who are working with us to learn this combination. We’re also excited about the option of rendering in the cloud so we don’t tie up local resources.
Adobe: The shows you put together have an entirely new look. What is it you’re trying to accomplish?
Fleming: EDM shows tend to look very polished, high-def, and fast moving. We wanted to do something a little different to set us apart. That’s why we shot some original content for Coachella in black and white and slow motion and edited it in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. In one shot, we have people jumping around that we filmed with a slow motion camera. So the look is a bit different than your classic EDM footage. We also slapped Norman in the face with a fish and filmed that in slow-mo!
Adobe: What are the benefits of moving to Adobe Creative Cloud?
Fleming: We work with small teams plus many freelancers. Our Adobe Creative Cloud for teams membership helps us move seats around so artists working in different locations are all on the same version and have the software they need when they need it. We’re also looking at trying new tools like Adobe Prelude CC for ingest, at no extra charge. That’s a big bonus.
Adobe: What’s in the future for you?
Fleming: Fatboy Slim has the World Cup coming up in June in Brazil, followed by the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. Norman is trying to go for the world record for the most consecutive Glastonbury Festival’s played, so he can’t miss it! There are other festivals planned during the summer months as well, so we’ll be busy.
Our work has become so diversified that we’re going to continue to use Plastic Reality for our corporate work. But now we’re developing The Happiness Labs for the fun, experiential work we’re doing for bands and brands. We’re looking to develop content for immersive, virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and Thalmic Labs MYO. There’s a big shift in the way content and storytelling is being developed, and we intend to be at the convergence of the amazing new wave of tech and tools and the never-ending desire for a good story that we humans have.
Tim would like to thank long-time collaborators Chris Cousins, Joe Plant, and Bob Jaroc, as well as Mike Sansom at Bright Fire Pyro for working on this year’s content.
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Today the Adobe pro video team kicks of our presence at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas. NAB is the biggest North American tradeshow of the year for us and we’ve been looking forward to this for months.
The product teams have been working tirelessly on all the new features that were revealed last week and we can’t wait to show them to you. If you’re coming to NAB, be sure to stop by and say hello at the Adobe booth (SL3910 – in the Lower South hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center). Check out all the new updates at the demo pods and ask questions. We have a packed schedule on our main stage too, where you can get presentations on what’s coming next to Creative Cloud for video and see some of the fantastic things other filmmakers, post houses, and broadcasters are doing with the Creative Cloud tools (hint: if you want to see AMC’s Walking Dead zombies, come by to see Sam Nicholson from Stargate Studios).
Speaking of customers, Meagan Keane was lucky enough to moderate a really engaging keynote panel “Breaking the Rules: The Next-Gen Content Creator” at the Post Production World last weekend where customers Ryan Connolly [Film Riot/Triune Films], Kanen Flowers [That Post Show/That Studio] and Peter Salvia [YouTube Nation] talked about the next generation of media creation and bypassing traditional broadcast outlets. Stay tuned for more on the keynote and a highlight video coming soon.
In addition to the Adobe booth at NAB – where attendees can see all the goodness coming soon to Adobe Creative Cloud for video – they can also find Adobe Creative Cloud and specifically Adobe Premiere Pro being demoed in over 130 partner booths across the NAB show floor. The partner ecosystem is an integral part of bringing the fastest, most powerful, most streamlined workflows to Premiere Pro customers so its an incredibly big point of focus for the Adobe pro video team.
And there’s so much more to come! The one and only Al Mooney will be presenting at the Las Vegas Supermeet later this week, and we’ll be interviewing product team members and customers. If you’re not in Vegas, we’ll bring Vegas to you – all week long. Be sure to stay tuned to the “NAB 2014” Channel on Adobe TV for all the latest from the show!
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to NAB: we haven’t forgotten you… We’re presenting a special Ask a Video Pro session on Thursday, April 10 at 10 am PT demoing the latest innovations coming to the Creative Cloud video apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects. Register for free for “What’s coming next in Creative Cloud for video” a one-hour overview with Q&A presented by Jason Levine.
And short demo videos of the top new features coming soon can be found here:
Today we are releasing an update to Premiere Pro CC. This version (Premiere Pro CC 7.2.2) contains a number of important bug fixes and is recommended for all users. Please note that this release does NOT contain the extensive new features recently revealed as forthcoming; more information on when Adobe Creative Cloud members can expect to see that major update will be coming soon.
Users can install this update directly from the Creative Cloud desktop application.
A list of notable issues resolved in this release appears below.
- Audio could drop out during playback.
- Red frames were sometimes seen on export, particularly with XDCAM HD 422 smart rendered exports.
- Older AMD GPUs were showing performance degradation, sometimes significant.
- Erratic playhead behavior was observed when scrubbing in the Timeline in Mac OS X 10.9.x.
- Rendering a sequence could cause red frames to be generated with XDCAM HD 50 clips with Preview Rendering Setting of XDCAM HD 50 NTSC 1920×1080.
- XDCAM HD 422 QT files were sometimes not decoding properly.
- Performance issues were seen when working with growing files.
- The Locate Media dialog could not open with the correct location even though the “Path:” field started with a valid initial guess for location.
- Transitions on speed-changed multicam clips were removed when flattening.
- Multi-camera previewing could go black in Program Monitor when the selected camera did not extend to the current playhead position.
- Timeline clips’ FX badge popup menu (Motion, Opacity, Time Remapping) could be difficult to open.
- Multicam Sequences could move in the timeline when flattened if they had speed changes applied.
- Source settings were not accessible from a Merged clip created from a R3D / RED video clip.
- Smart rendering Canon XF files could result in stalls during the export
- Transitions were erased from multi-camera sequences after flattening.
- Some growing XDCAM files could play back with unwanted artifacts.
- The order of effects applied to a multi-camera source sequence could reverse after flattening.
- The display could go to energy saving mode during long periods of playback.
- Spanned CanonXF media on an XSAN could import incorrectly.
- Duplicate bins were created for each sequence imported from a single project.
- Project import could take a long time if the project being imported contained offline media.
- Occasional hangs occurred when adjusting volume in the Clip Mixer.
- Marque selection in the Project Panel sometimes selected items in the incorrect order.
- Double-clicking in the Project Panel when in list view could invoke the Import dialog unexpectedly.
- Audio from P2 media could import incorrectly.
- Export To Tape could exhibit issues if a file was growing at the same time.
- Red Rocket failures could sometimes occur with 16:9 media.
As video production workflows and requirements are constantly changing and evolving, so is Creative Cloud, with regular feature-rich releases which allow creative people to stay at the very cutting edge. Today, we are extremely excited to be able to reveal the next major update of Premiere Pro CC, which accompanies reveals of all other Adobe video and audio products, including Prelude, After Effects, Speedgrade, Media Encoder, and Audition. The update will be available to Creative Cloud subscribers in the coming months.
The next release of Premiere Pro CC brings multiple features and performance enhancements designed to allow editors to work fluidly with the highest resolution media, achieving brilliant results faster than ever before, without leaving their editing environment.
Live Text Templates allow Premiere editors to work with After Effects comps containing text (such as lower thirds) making changes to the text without ever having to leave Premiere Pro. All animation and effects from After Effects remain in place, with only unlocked text fields being edited.
Also, editors increasingly need to be able to create masks and track them, often so that they can easily blur out a moving portion of a frame, like a face or license plate. This release brings full feathered Masking and Tracking capabilities to all effects in Premiere Pro, allowing editors to quickly place an effect mask over a portion of a frame, track it, and feather it. When more finesse is required, simply jump into After Effects for greater control.
Premiere Pro’s rich support for workflows in 5K and beyond is further enhanced, with new native support for CanonRAW and Sony SStP media. Enhanced CinemaDNG support (including Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Convergent Design Odyssey7Q, and CinemaDNG source settings), and a powerful new workflow for the ARRI AMIRA camera, where appropriate LUTs are applied on ingest at the master clip level are also available. Editors working with RED media will benefit greatly from the ability to debayer on a supported GPU, providing amazing playback performance up to full-resolution real-time playback on a workstation-class system.
The all-new Master Clip Effects feature provides a brand new, extremely powerful effects workflow. Any effect can now be added to a Master Clip, and any adjustments made at the Master Clip level will ripple down through to all clip instances used within sequences, allowing rapid changes to entire scenes.
The Premiere Pro team continues to pride itself on engaging with the editing community and solving modern workflow problems in powerful new ways. We’re thrilled to be able bring you these amazing new features soon.
Check out these videos to see the all the top new features in the Creative Cloud video apps in action:
All the other new features in this release are listed below – we can’t wait to let you get your hands on it.
- Intel Iris architectures are supported for Mercury OpenCL.
- Full support for browsing After Effects projects in the Media Browser has been added, and effects compositions within an AEP can be previewed.
- Users can specify a number of frames for the step forward/back command.
- Media Browser project browse has been significantly improved for multi-project workflows.
- A new progress bar appears over the Premiere Pro icon on the Mac OS X dock or Windows taskbar displaying render progress.
- A new Track Select Backwards tool has been added.
- An option to show transparent/alpha elements of a frame as a gray and white grid has been added.
- A preference has been added to maintain audio pitch on scrub and shuttle.
- The Cross-Dissolve transition is now preset capable.
- Lens Distortion Removal presets have been added for Go Pro and DJI cameras, and the Lens Distortion Removal effect has been ported to Mac.
- Multiple transitions can be selected at once and their durations altered simultaneously.
- Red Giant Pluraleyes workflows have been improved.
- Several issues with AAF export have been resolved.
- A Reverse Match Frame command has been added.
- Significant improvements have been made to effects and transitions parity between Windows and Mac.
- ‘Favorites’ can now be created and navigated to in the Media Browser.
- Double-clicking a track item in a sequence will automatically perform a match frame to the playhead position when it is parked on a frame within that item.
- Typekit support has been added to Premiere Pro, allowing quick access to the Typekit website from the Title menu.
- A preference has been added to allow a user’s most recent autosave file to be automatically backed up to Creative Cloud.
- Comment names are displayed in the Marker panel.
- All video and/or all audio tracks can be locked or unlocked with an assigned keyboard shortcut.
- An Export command has been added to the contextual menu for items in the Project Panel.
- Sequences in the Timeline or Project Panel can be made offline with a right-click.
- A keyboard shortcut can be assigned for the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.
- Sound roll/Sound timecode can be used in an EDL export.
- Audio clip volume keyframing can be nudged up and down with assignable keyboard shortcuts.
- Scratch-disk workflows have been improved, both when moving between platforms and when the previous scratch disk is offline.
- Searching and sorting in the Project Panel has been made dramatically faster.
- A new Set To Frame Size command has been added, preserving the full resolution of media without rasterizing (as with Scale To Frame Size).
- A new popup has been added to audio track headers to allow fast Voice Over recording configuration.
- Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus (stereo only) can be encoded on export.
- The fx badges on track items have been moved to the left of the name, and can now be disabled.
- More than one keyboard shortcut can be assigned to a single command.
- Improvements have been made to AVCi growing files performance.
- An option has been added to not consolidate duplicates on import.
- Manual sync offsets can be committed to a new Project item.
- SCC or MCC caption files can be created without needing to create accompanying media.
- Effects are preserved when using the Flatten Multicam command.
- An option has been added to create a new folder when a sequence or XML is imported.
- The Mosaic effect has been GPU optimized.
- Assignable keyboard shortcuts have been added for toggling audio and video track outputs.
- A preference has been added to disable automatic import of embedded closed caption streams.
- Users can export to AS11 content packages.
- Users can export to certain types of Quvis Wraptor DCP packages.
Join us on April 10th for a special online event to see all these new features in action,
To see a big sneak peek of all of the new and exciting things coming in Adobe’s professional video and audio applications and services, go here.
Because we’re just revealing these features now, you won’t yet have access to them through Creative Cloud, but you can make sure that you get them as soon as they’re available by subscribing now. If you join Creative Cloud before 30May2014, you can take advantage of our special promotional offer. See this page for details.
Well, it’s that time of year again when we are excited to come out from behind closed doors and show you what our team has been heads-down working on for the past several months – the next major update of Prelude CC. It has been a great year for Prelude, with it really coming into its own as a product. We have seen a real upswing in the adoption of Prelude as the Ingest, Logging, and Rough Cut solution in the post-production world. This has been especially true among news and sports productions, and we expect our new features to continue to add to this momentum. We are also continuing to look at ways of increasing Prelude’s appeal to a broader market with optimized workflows, features, and utilities, like Adobe Prelude Live Logger . Our goal with this release was to improve the efficiency and intuitiveness of key workflows within the application. So let’s take a look at the new features!
Dramatically speed up shot logging by using the new Tag panel to create customized tags you can add with a single click as you review your footage. Enrich your media with metadata without typing—or typos. Save Tag templates for sharing between machines and users, or to re-use on new projects.
Each Tag applied appears as a comment marker in on the Timeline, populated with a Tag Name and Description specified by the Tag Template button selected. All tags are fully searchable across Prelude (Project Panel, Timeline, Marker List Panel) and will also be fully searchable in the Adobe Premiere Pro CC Project Panel.
A streamlined rough-cut workflow now lets you generate assembly edits with drag and drop ease, and new trimming with mouse and keyboard shortcuts automatically applys ripple trims directly in the Prelude timeline for basic editing.
- Trim In Point of Selected Clip to CTI (Q)
- Trim Out Point of Selected Clip to CTI (W)
- INSERT Clip(s) at the PREVIOUS edit point ( , )
- INSERT Clip(s) at the NEXT edit point ( . )
- SELECT CLIP at Playhead ( D )
- MOVE CLIP(S) LEFT ( [ )
- MOVE CLIP(S) RIGHT ( ] )
Ingest panel enhancements give you more control when copying your media. Set custom values for auto increment renaming on ingest, and preview the transcoding duration and resulting file size of any shots you select for transferring and copying.
Apply File Metadata to All Destinations during ingest.
Project panel enhancements enable faster handling and organization of project items. New sorting options make it easier to stay on top of large projects. Use the Subclip Only view to quickly filter the Project panel down to the essentials.
Cycle through clips quickly for review and logging using keyboard shortcuts, Alt + P (Open Next Clip) and Alt + O (Open Previous Clip). Drag and Drop clips to the New BIN icon to create a new bin with the selected items automatically added.
We are excited to introduce these new features and enhancements for our next release. Many of them are in direct response to customer feedback and feature requests, so thank you for helping us make Adobe Prelude a better product!
Pioneering filmmaker Ryan Connolly shares his passion for Adobe video software
After graduating from film school, Ryan Connolly started out in a fairly typical fashion: creating music videos and commercials for local clients. He then went on to run the video studio at PC game company Alienware. But rather than continue following the typical path of many aspiring filmmakers, Connolly came up with the idea to create Film Riot, an online show that would let him share how-to filmmaking tips, get feedback on his work, and ultimately build an audience and a community. Today, his renegade style has earned him a loyal online following and his company Triune Films continues to produce weekly online video content as well as short films and other film projects.
Adobe: What makes you a rule breaker in the industry?
Connolly: My success with Film Riot lets me be my own boss and do less and less client work. Not that client work is bad, but at Triune Films we just wanted to be a group of friends having fun, doing what we wanted to do. We’ve been fortunate enough to achieve that. We don’t have a typical day or week; it really depends on what we’re working on at the time. If things get too normal I get completely disinterested. That’s why Film Riot isn’t the same thing each time.
Adobe: Your name is associated with Triune Film and Film Riot. Can you tell us how they are related?
Connolly: Triune Films is the parent company that produces Film Riot, along with our other programs and projects. Film Riot is an online training ground for how to make great effects, learn best practices for editing, and so on. We also do video challenges and give out prizes to winners. The big thing for me with Film Riot is that we’ve built an amazing community—it’s not mandatory, but it has become part of our DNA to be kind, helpful, and supportive to each other in our creative efforts, versus critical. We’ve also built a loyal following on social networks: Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
Adobe: Are there other aspects to the business?
Connolly: Yes, we have built a brand that caters to indie filmmakers, who are a passionate bunch. We sell t-shirts, color preset packs for Adobe After Effects, sound effects packs—all kinds of things that our audience wants. We’ve also started a weekly YouTube show called Variant that focuses entirely on comics.
Adobe: Which software have you chosen to use over the years?
Connolly: After Effects has always been our go-to for visual effects. For editing, I started using Adobe Premiere Pro right off, and then switched to Final Cut Pro when I went to film school. When Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X that was the end of that.
I’m now back on Premiere Pro CC and the integration among all the Adobe software solutions is amazing. It saves me hours every week because I’m not spending time rendering out sequences and trying to put them back in the timeline and fuss with them. The first time I saw Dynamic Link, I was amazed. If an edit to an effect was required, I could just Dynamic Link the change from After Effects and have it flow to Premiere Pro automatically. The integration among all the Adobe software programs seems to get better and better, too.
Adobe: Now that you have Adobe Creative Cloud, which applications do you use most?
Connolly: My main four are Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Audition CC, and Photoshop CC. Every now and again I use SpeedGrade CC for color correction and I’ve also started using Adobe Story CC for collaborative scriptwriting. Adobe Story CC, which I first tried because it was available to me through Creative Cloud, is the best collaborative scriptwriting software on the market, in my opinion. My designers also use Adobe Illustrator CC for title designs and so forth. I have to say, once I got Creative Cloud, I downloaded all kinds of software and kept thinking, “Wow, I can have this, too?” The choices were exciting.
Adobe: How big is your team and what volumes of content do you produce?
Connolly: Today, we have four full-time and two part-time employees. Two of us are editors and we have one VFX expert. The others are focused more on logistics such as shipping, customer service, and social networking. I’m the only all-around filmmaker. I focus on writing, producing, and editing, tossing the heavier visual effects stuff to our VFX artist.
In terms of volume, we produce a lot of content between our weekly shows and other projects. We’re doing about three online episodes a week in addition to short films and miniseries-type work. We recently created a short film called Proximity. There’s always a ton going on.
Adobe: How can your team keep up?
Connolly: A lot of it has to do with Creative Cloud. It’s so important to have everyone on the same software versions and be able to bounce everything back and forth on Macs or PCs. There are fewer kinks and version control issues in the workflow. That makes it easier for our small team to stay incredibly productive.
Adobe: How has your audience grown?
Connolly: We’re always looking at our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube numbers. When the numbers get stagnant, we know we need to switch gears and amp things up. We experienced gradual growth for many years, but over the past year-and-a-half our growth has accelerated. During that time we doubled what took us three or four years to grow. We now have 441,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 66 million views of our Film Riot videos.
Adobe: What’s next for you?
Connolly: We plan to get into more new media and online shows as well as publishing comic books. We’ll continue to create short films, but we really want to move into creating full-length feature films. For now, one of the most exciting things for me is to have the opportunity to be somewhat of an online presence. It has been exciting to build a community that is friendly, collaborative, and constructive for creative indie filmmakers.
Ryan Connolly will be participating in Adobe’s Post Production World Keynote Breaking the Rules: The Next-Gen Content Creator on Sunday, April 6th from 10:30 am – 11:30 am.
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