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Filmmakers and Adobe Premiere Pro aficionados shine at the American Cinema Editors Student Competition
Each year, the American Cinema Editors (ACE) present the prestigious EDDIE Awards for the best-edited films in the business. To encourage young, up-and-coming editors, ACE also hosts an annual student film editing EDDIE competition. In 2015, two student editors, Aneesa Mahboob and Ben Stringfellow, used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit their films—and became two of the three competition finalists out of a pool of 100 students. Here, they talk about their experiences using Adobe video tools to create their standout film projects.
Adobe: Tell us how each of you got into filmmaking?
Driven by a love of storytelling and a fearless nature, filmmaker Dave Basulto’s packed career has taken him from Wall Street to Hollywood and beyond. A California boy, he started out working as a stockbroker back in the 80’s with an office on the 65th floor of the World Trade Center. Living and working in New York City was an adventure and the money was good, but when someone called to see if he wanted to be an extra in Rocky V, his curiosity got the better of him.
“I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into,” Basulto recalls, “but as soon as I heard the word ‘Rocky,’ I just had to give it a try.” It was his first time on a film set and he loved the feeling of being around actors and the crew so much that he soon decided to drop everything and become an actor full-time. So, to the great chagrin of his mother, he packed his belongings and headed west for Hollywood and a great future. He refers to that decision as “a leap of faith.” There would be more of them.
“I didn’t make it big, but I made a decent living for 10 years” he says. “On the TV front I had appearances in Cheers, Mad About You, News Radio. In films I got to work alongside stars like Jon Voight, Steven Seagal, and many others. One of my favorite roles was in American History X where I tormented Edward Norton’s character in jail.”
This post is part of a series where we challenge filmmakers to transform the atmosphere or feel of a short video clip, by using custom Looks created with Adobe Hue CC. Show us what you can do with the same footage by downloading it here.
Color and light have a huge impact on the art of filmmaking. They set the mood and tone (no pun intended!) of a scene, and guide our experience of the story. To illustrate this phenomenon, we caught up with Jason Levine (@Beatlejase) and asked him to use the all-new Adobe Hue CC to capture three custom Looks and apply them to the same set of video clips using Adobe Premiere Clip to see how creative looks alter the feel of a piece.
Here’s the original montage:
Look #1: Desert Sunrise
When & Where did you capture this Look?
This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 6:15am, in April 2015.
Adobe collaborates with agencies to produce stunning video using Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with creativity, which is why it made perfect sense to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a standout commercial of exceptional artistry. Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) produced and Rock Paper Scissors edited the fantastic spot—an animated montage of the work of artists from all over the world. It aired during the 2015 Oscars and has been watched nearly 1.9 million times on YouTube. The commercial won two AICP awards, a D&AD Graphite Pencil, two Cannes Cyber Lions, and continues to receive rave reviews from creative professionals and dreamers worldwide.
Contributors to the project included Alex Amado, Senior Director, Creative & Media at Adobe; Timothy Plain, Producer and Tod Puckett, Director of Broadcast Production of GS&P; and Video Editor Grant Surmi of Rock Paper Scissors, who all enjoyed working on this fast paced, captivating commercial created with Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: Why did Adobe want to make a 25th anniversary spot for Photoshop?
New York based agency fuses music, story, and technology into a psychedelic immersive app using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams and Google Cloud Platform.
Rapper Azealia Banks’ latest single “Wallace” is as inventive as her music and her entire persona. To showcase this innovation, the brand agency COLLINS created an immersive app that lets viewers become part of the video and control Azealia’s movements. Custom software designed by COLLINS tracks the viewer’s facial movements through their web camera, allowing Azealia’s audience to physically interact with the webbased video. About halfway through, the viewer appears in the video behind Azealia. Fans are embracing the experience in droves and posting hundreds of “selfies” of their coappearances with Banks on social media.
Here, we talk with Director Nick Ace and Director of Experience Design Brett Renfer, both of COLLINS, about their roles in creating the unique app and music video experience, with help from Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
Adobe: Tell us more about your backgrounds.
Renfer: I studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and then went on to work at Rockwell Group, an architecture and design firm. As the Director of Experience Design at COLLINS, I have done everything from responsive architecture to interactive music videos. My job here is to create anything that one or more persons can experience in an immersive way. I love the convergence of physical and digital worlds and learning how people interact when the two come together.
From pitches to prototypes… The applications in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams support every stage of Senior Post’s award-winning projects.
Feathered jackets. Dancing presidents. And of course the ubiquitous tongue. In an electrifying five-minute video for the music video site VEVO, Miley Cyrus connects to audiences by introducing the people and ideas that make her live performances uniquely Miley.
For VEVO, this rare behind-the-scenes look needed to be as dynamic and eye-catching as Miley’s performances. The content channel turned to long-time collaborator, creative studio Senior Post, to give the video the energy it needed. The studio combined music, interviews, and backstage footage to create Miley Cyrus Bangerz (VEVO Tour Exposed). It earned the team a 2014 CLIO Award. With high energy and a keen eye for details, this award-winning video is typical of the work from Senior Post.
Expanding creative focus
Josh Senior began Senior Post with a simple goal: to raise the bar on digital services by providing clients with top-quality video editing and post-production work. Although the Brooklyn-based studio initially focused on the editorial side of video production, Senior Post quickly expanded into finishing services that deliver the crisp images and perfectly synced sound that turn a great video into an extraordinary one.
“We got our start working with brands like VEVO and VICE on music-related content and online videos,” says Senior. “We spent our first few years improving our work and making a name for ourselves for high-quality execution. Winning the CLIO Award was a real game changer, opening the door for production opportunities. We’re now able to offer a one-stop solution for branded content—handling production, editing, and finishing under one roof.”
Working with a team
As the studio’s workload grew and diversified, so did its workforce. The studio works with half a dozen people on an average week, with about fifteen people on set for a shoot. Rapidly scaling the team up and down gives Senior Post the ability to take on a large variety of work across a broad range of budgets.
“We never wanted to price ourselves out of opportunities, and the dynamic flexibility of our business model is the perfect parallel for Creative Cloud,” notes Senior. “We use Creative Cloud throughout our creative process, but our numbers have been growing dramatically,” says Senior. “Just a few years ago, we used two workstations. Now we have five. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams was the next step for our growing business.”
With Creative Cloud for teams, Senior can assign and reassign licenses to freelancers working anywhere. Working on the same Creative Cloud apps and versions keeps collaboration running smoothly. Team members can share assets quickly and easily, no matter where they’re located.
Since the Adobe apps work together seamlessly, different elements of a project can be worked on simultaneously and pulled together for a faster production workflow. Editors cut video in Adobe Premiere Pro CC while sound editors mix the audio track in Adobe Audition CC. Animators import assets created in Adobe Photoshop CC into Adobe After Effects CC to create smooth animations.
“Importing a Photoshop or After Effects file into Premiere Pro that automatically updates as we make changes in the original programs makes combining different types of media much simpler and more efficient,” says Joanna Naugle, Senior Post Lead Editor. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, I can support my teams from anywhere to keep workflows running smoothly and deliver the best content for our customers,” adds Senior.
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams apps contribute to every stage of a project, starting from pitches and prototypes. Working with Adobe InDesign CC, Senior can pull together assets created in any Adobe app to develop an engaging pitch. The smooth workflows and easy integration with Adobe apps enables Senior to use Premiere Pro CC to add assets onto a timeline and quickly prototype video projects.
“Power windows in Premiere Pro CC enable us to quickly set looks and provide an idea of how the story will evolve in a visual way,” says Senior. “Being able to serve clients with moving prototypes helps us better convey our ideas compared to static storyboards. We can deliver more persuasive client presentations that accurately reflect our creative vision.”
Senior is looking at more ways to use mobile apps, such as Adobe Shape CC or Adobe Premiere Clip, to expand creative workflows. “I used Adobe Color CC to capture the color palette of a client’s office and bring that back into the project,” says Senior. “It was an amazing way to tie the video to the client’s brand. I love how the Adobe Creative Cloud mobile apps open up new possibilities for us creatively.”
Delivering original video
After spending years polishing skills on branded content, Senior Post now has the time and opportunity to focus on original works. “Long-form content, by nature, tends to involve very busy periods followed by lulls in activity,” says Senior. “This cycle is a huge asset for us, as we can use the downtime to work on our own projects.”
From narrative comedies like Eavesdropping to the documentary series Life on Mars, Senior Post’s original material has been as varied as its branded work. The studio also encourages its employees to pursue their own ideas, using company resources to help bring dream projects to life. “By reinvesting in our talent, we’re keeping employees engaged and building a team of highly experienced and creative staff,” says Senior. Projects are often featured on Instagram and Facebook, enabling the studio to control distribution to highly engaged audiences.
Looking to the future
For Senior Post, the next big project on the horizon involves a narrative feature entitled 5 Doctors. The studio will handle digital imaging and related workflows, which will require deep involvement throughout the filming process.
The studio is also working with VICE’s creative agency, Virtue Worldwide, to produce a series of pre-roll ad spots for SUBWAY, providing full production and post to a top tier client. By leveraging collaboration through Creative Cloud for teams to its fullest, Senior Post was able to deliver eight pieces of content back to Virtue Worldwide within two days.
“We’re closing the gap between post and production work,” says Senior. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is an essential piece to help us increase collaboration while keeping workflows efficient. The apps are allowing us to align more closely with the agencies that engage us, and present a unified package to our clients. Having that extra time to refine stories and beats really makes everything a lot more polished by the time clients’ lay eyes on the work.”
From nature conservation to corporate promotions, Adobe Premiere Pro CC helps tell stories
Based in Hanover, Germany, TV Plus GmbH is a production house that creates programs for public television, but also for commercial broadcasters and corporations. Since its founding in 1997, TV Plus has produced hundreds of live shows, fictional dramas, children’s entertainment, late night programming, and documentaries.
Editor and videographer Manuel Sanchez has been a major contributor to numerous productions, including BINGO!, Germany’s first and only environmental lottery game show, Recht So!, and many corporate image films. Today, Sanchez uses Adobe Creative Cloud to produce a variety of video projects for the company.
Adobe: How did you start your career and how did you come to work at TV Plus?
Sanchez: I was educated as an editor and camera operator and have enjoyed a steady career of both for ten years. I’ve been with TV Plus since 2008. We have broad-based production experience for online and offline media. We also excel in other areas, including placement, search engine optimization, and evaluation of audiovisual content. TV Plus produces television series for the international market and builds advanced image campaigns and commercials for clients.
Video production pros gain clients and recognition for amazing video production work using Adobe Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro CC
For twin brothers Phillip and Kevin Harvey, having grown up in Moscow, Idaho, it was hard to imagine they would one day be standing on top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington with Dave Matthews, or in the middle of CenturyLink Field during the NFC Championship celebrations. The path that led them there was paved with both luck and hard work.
After moving to Seattle and starting their own video production company, the two were tapped by the Seattle Seahawks to make videos chronicling the run up to Super Bowl XLIX. Combining creativity and the video applications in Adobe Creative Cloud, the resulting videos successfully channeled the excitement that gripped the northwest.
Adobe: Tell us about your background and how you got into the video production business.
Phillip Harvey: My brother actually moved to Seattle 10 years ago to study acting. He and some fellow students had the idea to start filming videos as a platform for their acting. That’s when I decided to make the move as well, and I joined the group. I wasn’t very interested in being in front of the camera, so I concentrated more on writing and shooting at the time.
Director and Editor Christopher Henze creates his first feature film using Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Christopher Henze learned the ropes of documentary filmmaking from veteran Jeff Gibbs, Co-Producer of Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11. When Gibbs challenged Henze to decide what movie to make, he advised him to focus on something personal. At the time, Henze’s wife was pregnant, and it hit him that he could make a documentary that would honor the journey of pregnancy.
40 Weeks includes interviews with women that touch on a variety of physical and emotional topics throughout their pregnancy journeys. In creating the film, Henze ultimately wanted to help women have safer pregnancies and healthier babies. He chose to work with Adobe Creative Cloud, taking advantage of the editing flexibility offered by Adobe Premiere Pro CC. In addition to completing his first documentary feature film using Adobe Creative Cloud apps, Henze and his wife have also launched the website bigbelli.com to continue providing resources for pregnant women and new mothers.
Adobe: When did you first become interested in filmmaking?
Henze: I realized I was supposed to be a film director when I was 10. My dad is a still life photographer who at one time wanted to become a director of photography. I spent time around movie sets with him and remember asking about the person who was telling everyone what to do. My dad described what a director does and I said, “That’s what I’m supposed to do!” I feel like I’ve been on a path my whole life to reach this point of directing a film.
Adobe: How did you get to the point of realizing your dream?
Henze: Early in my career I worked in marketing and advertising, which led me to create my own company. I met Jeff Gibbs shortly after the release of Fahrenheit 9/11 and started working with him on his next project. He took me under his wing and taught me how documentary films were made and how to tell a story. I applied this knowledge to my film, 40 Weeks, which I saw as a way to give back to my wife and all women.
Adobe: Why did you switch to Adobe Premiere Pro?
Henze: I was an Apple Final Cut Pro 7 user and when Final Cut X came out I was really excited, but quickly realized it wasn’t ready for anything professional. The logical switch for me was Adobe Premiere Pro. It wasn’t a big leap to go from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro, which was great.
Initially, I wanted to see if Premiere Pro was robust enough to handle the workload of a major movie. I used it to edit some commercials, industrial films, and music videos and was immediately comfortable with it. Adobe’s integration with RED cameras became the tipping point for me. It was thrilling to have something I could believe in after abandoning all of my years of experience with Final Cut Pro.
Adobe: What was the benefit of working with Premiere Pro to edit 40 Weeks?
Henze: I knew I wanted to have a lot of spontaneity with the footage. I love how Premiere Pro lets you bring any type of footage into your timeline in its raw form. I had 600 hours of footage for the movie, mostly recorded raw with RED 6K and 5K cameras so I could unobtrusively capture a wide frame. I also incorporated footage from other cameras, including iPhone shots from the mothers. The movie has a feel that is very natural and the tools I used for capture and post-production had a lot to do with that.
With the ongoing Creative Cloud updates, Premiere Pro kept evolving into exactly what I needed to accomplish my film. If I had the green light to do this project six or seven years ago none of this could have happened. Technology has crested so we can edit this quantity of footage efficiently, with high cinematic quality, and put out something that is really good.
Adobe: What other Adobe Creative Cloud apps did you use?
Henze: I used Premiere Pro for assembly, SpeedGrade to color correct, Illustrator for graphics, Audition for my voice over recording, and Photoshop to look at shots in detail to make sure colors were correct. All of the Creative Cloud apps worked together to allow me to make the movie.
Framing and color can really change the emotion, especially when people are talking about very intimate and profound subjects. Shooting wide let me push in and reframe shots in Premiere Pro to help tell the story. I think the way something looks changes the way you edit it, so the closer you can have your footage to how it will look when it is final the better editing decisions you can make. I really like how SpeedGrade is integrated with Premiere Pro via Direct Link, making it easy to apply color adjustments early in the process. Even if changes are needed after the color correction is done, it’s easy to conform.
Adobe: What is Big Belli?
Henze: When we realized the untapped opportunity that 40 Weeks represented my wife suggested creating a community that puts high-quality information in front of women to help modernize the way they are being supported in pregnancy. The website focuses on the incredibly important 1,001 days from conception to two years. Our sponsors were happy to have us use part of their investment to create the community because it keeps their voice in front of their target audience.
Adobe: How does Creative Cloud help you with content for the website?
Henze: We weren’t able to include all of the interviews in the film, but we can include them on the website. We’re going through the Premiere Pro timeline for each interview and adding metadata related to what each interviewee is talking about. We have editors working simultaneously, with one adding markers and another grabbing footage. This makes it easy for us to make a short webisode about a particular topic, such a stretch marks. Premiere Pro is the hub that helps us tell different stories.
Adobe: How many people worked on this project?
Henze: We probably had 20 people working on the film, from editors and producers to casting and crew. I purchased Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, which made it easy to administer the software, especially for one of our editors who worked off site. Big Belli also has full team focused on social networking, sales, and administration, working flat out to move this forward.
Adobe: What’s next for you?
Henze: Our focus is still on advertising 40 Weeks, which is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and our website. People all over the world are buying it. We’re also ramping up to make a sequel to 40 Weeks called One, which covers the first year of a child’s life. We’re exploring creating it as a 13-part series.
Watch the 40 Weeks trailer
Visit Big Belli
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Master colorist and artist bring magic to cinema and fashion with Adobe Creative Cloud
Dado Valentic worked as a producer and DJ before discovering the world of color grading 10 years ago. The industry looked very different at that time, with only four color grading studios in London, so getting started was challenging. He learned his craft in Los Angeles before moving to London and opening his own company called Mytherapy.
Today, he holds the status of master colorist and teaches other colorists specific methods for working with color and color science. Valentic has worked on 60 feature films, hundreds of commercials, and actively engages with fashion industry clients to develop everything from online brand videos to billboards. In addition to his London facility, he recently opened a small studio in New York City, both of which employ a full Adobe Creative Cloud workflow.
Dado Valentic will be presenting the session “The New Colour Workflow” in the Adobe stand 7.G27 at IBC 2015 on Sunday, Sept. 13th at 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm and Monday, Sept. 14th at 11:30 am
Adobe: What is your ultimate goal when you are commissioned to work on a film or commercial?
Valentic: I strive to understand the story the cinematographer is trying to tell and what mood needs to be created, and then develop color recipes that convey the story’s essence. This often means adopting a more analog way of rendering and displaying digital imagery so that it looks like film.
Adobe: You have a unique color aesthetic. Can you tell us more about it?
Valentic: I see my job as bringing the soul back to digital imagery. Digital images are crisp, detailed, and clean, but there is often an issue because viewers do not feel an emotional connection to the still or video images. There’s a whole group of people who prefer to listen to music on vinyl records or tapes or play music through old amplifiers because the music sounds richer. The need to experience more richness and depth is true of imagery, too.
Adobe: How are you using Adobe SpeedGrade CC in your work?
Valentic: SpeedGrade over the years has been our secret weapon and inspiration. We love the ability to create stylized color looks in SpeedGrade or Photoshop and bring them directly into the Premiere Pro timeline.
Adobe: You are known mostly for color correction in cinematography, but have branched out into other areas that span both still and motion imagery. Can you tell us more?
Valentic: Everyone here at Mytherapy loves to explore the gray area between still imagery and cinematography. We have created many innovative cinemagraphs, or still photographs with subtle animated movement. Cinemagraphs are an emerging art form that really captures people’s attention. Imagine receiving an email from a brand that includes high-end still imagery with motion. It’s something unexpected that delights consumers. The disciplines of still and motion imagery are converging, and this trend really inspires us.
Adobe: What do you see happening as your clients expand into a variety of new digital media?
Valentic: Take a brand such as Vogue or GQ. They are now hosting videos online and attracting huge and exponentially growing numbers of viewers. Video content is expected today; it really isn’t optional. Brands also are repurposing assets into everything from cinemagraphs to 15-second Instagram videos, blogs, and billboards. Every visual or video has to have the same quality, look, and feel. That is where we come in. We serve clients at the crossroads of multiple media types, and it is a very exciting place to be.
Adobe: Tell us more about your workflow.
Valentic: We used to take images after a shoot and start working on them, but now our work starts on set. We start creating assets on the set, manage the look and color and feel on the spot, and match video to still imagery coloring and styles provided by photographers. We can typically provide a great-looking proof showing the look we’re striving for and obtain sign-off on the direction before we leave the shoot.
Adobe: How does Creative Cloud help with your ability to serve clients faster and more effectively?
Valentic: Creative Cloud helps us collaborate much better as a team. We do a job on set and upload it to Creative Cloud and the team in the studio can open it straightaway and start working. Especially in the fashion industry, we can work with clients who may be in New York, Paris, or London—they are typically not located in the same place. We can log in no matter where we are and get access to all of the settings and profiles of our color science, which is amazing.
Adobe: What are your mainstays in Creative Cloud?
Valentic: We use Photoshop, Premiere, and SpeedGrade day in and day out. After Effects and Photoshop are our main tools for creating cinemagraphs and we also use Prelude for data wrangling. The unsung hero for us is Media Encoder. The importance of compression for delivery of images and footage to the right devices cannot be overstated. We have to resize media files and make sure the color is perfect for viewing across a wide variety of outlets—all while maintaining metadata. Without Media Encoder, we literally would not be able to complete most of our work.
Adobe: Can you tell us more about your use of Premiere Pro?
Valentic: One of the main advantages for us is its integration with RED, our primary digital camera. It’s amazing that we can throw 6K RED files right onto the timeline without transcoding. After a client shoots a scene, we can play it and start working with it in real time on a laptop without stutters or delays. That capability was science fiction just a few years ago.
Adobe: How are you using Photoshop in your video workflow?
Valentic: We rely heavily on Photoshop to apply curves and select colors, then export files and load them onto the Premiere Pro timeline. I can apply the same transformations and color looks created in Photoshop to the world of motion imagery. The stills and motion files match exactly.
Adobe: Photoshop just celebrated its 25th anniversary. How has the software affected your work as a creative professional?
Valentic: Adobe has grown very large and could have easily fallen into the trap of being a company that does not need or want to innovate. But Adobe continues to deliver so many great breakthroughs that I typically take days off work to play with and learn new features that inspire and empower me. Adobe gives us mind-blowing features, especially in the case of Photoshop. New features in Photoshop make us want to explore. In fact, I don’t think the whole idea of the cinemagraph would have been realized without support for video in Photoshop.
Adobe: What cool projects have you worked on recently?
Valentic: We just launched a new TV screen for Panasonic in a campaign involving still and motion images. We created several motion loops for outdoor advertising, including content for a 30-meter-wide screen in a train station and large screens in airports. The challenge was interesting, because we had to create an immersive experience worthy of the screen we were promoting.
Additionally, our New York office is working on a new series of brand videos for Ralph Lauren that we’re enthusiastic about. We’re also working on an amazing feature film, Absolutely Anything, a British comedy/sci-fi that’s due out in May 2015. It is Robin Williams’ last performance, and the Monty Python team is behind it. This is a monumental film project for us, and we couldn’t be more excited.
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