Documentary films often tackle current events to give audiences a deeper understanding of diverse topics and differing points of view. The SXSW Film Festival 2015 lineup of documentary features includes many films that seem to have anticipated what would be topical for this year’s audiences. Although the subject matters vary, an Adobe Creative Cloud workflow is common among many of this year’s documentary features at SXSW. Here, we look at four films that could have come directly from today’s headlines.
Searching for peace amidst growing violence (Peace Officer, Documentary Feature Competition)
The documentary feature Peace Officer from directors Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber explores the changing behavior and perception of police officers in the United States. The film focuses on Dub Lawrence, a former Utah sheriff who in the 1970s founded the same SWAT team in Utah that killed his son-in-law in 2008. After meeting Lawrence and learning about his mission to understand what happened, Christopherson and Barber decided to make a film that investigated this and other cases characterized by volatility and violence.
Over 120 films at this year’s SXSW Film used Adobe video applications, including 60 edited on Premiere Pro
What a difference a year makes. Last year at the 2014 SXSW Film Conference & Festival a respectable 23 films had been cut with Premiere Pro, including gems like Evaporating Borders by Iva Radivojevic and The Immortalists by Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado . This year the total has more than doubled with 60 films showing this year edited in Adobe’s professional NLE. Similar growth in Premiere Pro and Creative Cloud usage was seen at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival [add link to Sundance story] and 2014 ended with a bang with the release of David Fincher’s Gone Girl, edited entirely in Premiere Pro with over 80% of the film including effects assembled in After Effects”.
“We’re really excited to see our growth at SXSW, especially given how this event cuts across genres to showcase artistry in so many different disciplines,” said Al Mooney, product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro. “Premiere Pro is increasingly becoming the go-to NLE, both for established and up-and-coming filmmakers,” he explained. “Editors tell us they feel right at home very quickly and the tight integration with other Creative Cloud applications, like After Effects and Photoshop make this an incredible creative environment to work in.”
Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015
For filmmakers attending SXSW, Adobe will be hosting a Creative Camp on Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th with two sessions focused on video content creation and storytelling.
Below is a listing of films showing at the SXSW film Conference & Festival that incorporated Premiere Pro CC in their post-production workflow.
Narrative Feature Competition
- THE BOY Director: Craig Macneill, Screenwriters: Craig Macneill, Clay McLeod Chapman (World Premiere)
- Creative Control Director: Benjamin Dickinson, Screenwriters: Benjamin Dickinson, Micah Bloomberg (World Premiere)
- KRISHA Director/Screenwriter: Trey Edward Shults (World Premiere)
- Uncle John Director: Steven Piet, Screenwriters: Erik Crary, Steven Piet (World Premiere)
Documentary Feature Competition read more…
Originally posted to the Adobe Conversations Blog by Bill Roberts, Senior Director of Product Management, Creative Cloud Video segment
In 1934 the Academy Awards introduced a new category: Film Editing, awarding an Oscar to Conrad A. Nervig for his work on the movie Eskimo. Often called “the invisible art,” editing has made movies possible since they first began, but the field still struggles to gain the appreciation from the general public that it deserves.
At Adobe, however, we have always been big fans. To honor the art of film editing on the eve of the 87th annual Academy Awards, we’ve put together a quick visual timeline spanning 1890 to 2015. Conveying a sense of just how far we’ve come in relatively little time, this overview features a selection of the major milestones that have taken editors from the earliest manual splicing methods to the advanced digital editing software of today.
Bill Roberts is the senior director of Product Management for Creative Cloud, Video Segment, at Adobe. He has worked in professional video and audio for over 20 years, with the majority of his career focused on developing software tools for creative professionals. Bill’s career spans time spent editing for Canada’s largest private network, CTV, through to developing software for leading visual effects artists at Discreet Logic / Autodesk and helping broadcasters adapt to changing technologies and workflows at Avid. He is an expert on video, film and file based workflows and the impact that the Internet is having on both content creation and consumption. Bill is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto and resides in Montreal.
Famed Hollywood concept designer directs/produces sci-fi short using Adobe Creative Cloud
David Levy is an acclaimed art director and concept artist to the videogame and film industry. His credits include Avatar 2, Tron: Legacy, Ender’s Game, Prometheus, and Tomorrowland. He has now debuted his own short film, PLUG, which introduces the concept for a TV series he hopes to get off the ground. Levy not only funded, co-wrote, and directed PLUG, but also taught himself visual effects to finish it. He produced the 15-minute short from start to finish using Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: Tell us about PLUG.
Levy: The story is about a woman, Leila Dawn played by Natalie Floyd, who is the last human on Earth. Much like the Tarzan story about a boy raised by apes, the girl was raised by robots. She embarks on a journey to find out what happened, ultimately discovering human life and a new reality of what happened on Earth.
Adobe: What prompted you to create PLUG?
Levy: In my work as a concept designer, I developed new universes, but always for others. I wanted to do it for myself. Over the years, I learned shooting, editing, and directing skills. I knew I could make a film on my own, although a full feature film seemed out of reach. More than anything, I wanted a change.
In-house video team brings fans closer to the action than ever using Adobe Creative Cloud
From athletes to rock stars, Rockstar Energy Drink is made for people who live active lifestyles. Available in more than 30 countries, Rockstar has sold billions of cans worldwide. Like its name suggests, Rockstar is a brand built on excitement and action, and the company reaches its audience by sponsoring a wide range of sports and music events all over the globe. Rockstar’s video team delivers intense videos that capture the thrill of speeding around the BMX track or hurtling down snow-covered peaks.
Travis Valtierra on Switching to Premiere Pro:
Production team uses Adobe Premiere Pro CC to turn 3,000 hours of documentary footage into 10 compelling television episodes
Chris Moore, executive producer of Project Greenlight, has long been fascinated by the way different creative visions can take projects in wildly different directions. The Chair is a documentary series that follows two directors as they develop their first feature-length films based on the same original screenplay. Over the course of ten episodes, viewers are invited to join Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci as they each bring their own artistic vision to life.
Rob Henry, who’s recently partnered with The Chair’s DGA-award winner Anthony B. Sacco and Director of Photography Dan Kavanaugh to form INTERSECTION, led the creative team in editorial, which was tasked with cutting thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes footage into ten, hour-long episodes. The team, including Editors Dave Henry and Jon Berry and Graphics Artist Austin Brown, began the project working with Avid but soon realized that Adobe Premiere Pro CC would allow them to handle the massive amount source footage more efficiently.
After airing on STARZ in 2014, the series is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Starz Play, and Starz On Demand and is available to purchase on DVD February 17, 2015.
Japanese broadcaster, Nippon Television Network, implements a cost-effective solution based on Adobe Creative Cloud to create a dynamic and efficient workflow for ultra-high definition 4K broadcasts.
When the first 4K channel in Japan, Channel 4K, began test broadcasts, it started by airing live musical performances, travelogues, and sports broadcasts provided for free by members of the Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum. Since then, broadcasters have started to produce their own 4K programming , but the equipment remains costly. In addition, transcoding and outputting programs takes a great deal of time.
Originally a format developed for feature-length films, 4K was not intended for television programming where high volume production is valued. To begin introducing original 4K content in the broadcast space, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) developed a 4K programming production workflow using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.
Environmental conservancy uses Adobe Creative Cloud to highlight impact of projects around the world
Building upon a foundation of science, partnership, and fieldwork, Conservation International (CI) seeks global solutions to problems that threaten the health of the planet’s ecosystems. The visual storytelling team at CI uses video as a primary way to communicate how the organization’s projects protect nature, empower communities, and shape public policy. Peter Stonier, Senior Director of Visual Storytelling, and John Martin, Director of Production at CI, rely on Adobe Creative Cloud, including Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC, to aid their visual storytelling efforts.
Adobe: What is the mission of Conservation International?
Stonier: CI is an environmental organization with two distinguishing features. First, our mission focuses on conserving the environment for the well-being of humanity, not just for the environment’s sake. We believe that nature doesn’t need people, people need nature.
Second, because CI started as the international arm of the Nature Conservancy, our work tends to be outside the U.S. and Europe. We are dedicated to preserving the remaining natural ecosystems vital to the health of the biosphere, many of which are in the developing world, around the equator.
Small video production company delivers big value for variety of customers with Adobe Creative Cloud
London-based Fraktiv and geebeebee media are two separate parts of the same company. Fraktiv is the post production-specific arm, focusing on TV and film, and geebeebee media is the production arm, mostly for sports work. Oli da Costa is the founder and managing director and is active as an Adobe Community Professional. Ever since he founded the company in 1999, da Costa has relied on Adobe for his design and video applications, and today embraces a workflow across all digital content based on Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: How did you first discover Adobe creative software?
da Costa: I actually studied aeronautical engineering at university and was researching the aerodynamics of Formula 1 racing cars. As part of my research, I needed to shoot videos of airflow simulation around cars from several angles. To do this, I put model cars in a water tunnel and released dye into the moving water to simulate how air would flow around them, as it was much clearer to see than in a wind tunnel. For that project, I taught myself how to edit video using Adobe Premiere Pro and how to use the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop to trace the paths.
Adobe: How did you move from engineering to operating your own production facilities?
da Costa: After university, I went decided to apply my engineering mind to learning software and ended up going into media production instead of engineering. I started freelancing and now I operate my own company. Fraktiv and Geebeebee are two halves of the same company. Or you could say one company with two brands.
My first client was the university where I had studied. They hired me to do design and production, digital publishing, and video promotions. I liked the variety of work because it gave me opportunities to learn new software.
Adobe: What Adobe Creative Cloud software do you use?
da Costa: Over the years, I’ve used a number of applications, from Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and InDesign to Adobe Premiere Pro and Illustrator for media production work. I still use Dreamweaver on a weekly basis for client web projects, and occasionally work in Adobe Flash Professional and Edge Animate, but video is now the mainstay of my work so I primarily use Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop.
To keep my skills up, I attend as many Adobe events as possible. I try to keep track of new software developments, such as Adobe Muse, Prelude, and SpeedGrade. Even though I don’t use these applications on a daily basis, I want to have the knowledge to use them if I need them.
Adobe: Do you have any favorite features?
da Costa: I probably use Dynamic Link between After Effects and Premiere Pro the most. I normally create work in After Effects and then bring it into Premiere Pro where I match it up with live action footage, adding titles, or motion graphics over video. The tight integration between After Effects and Premiere Pro drives my workflow while allowing me to be creative. I also use the masking and tracking tools in Premiere Pro to apply effects or color corrections to specific areas in a clip. Time remapping in Premiere Pro is useful for our action sports work at Geebeebee. I can time ramp video from regular speed to slow speed and back to regular. Adobe Premiere Pro is the only software that can do this in a creative, straightforward way.
Adobe: How do Adobe Creative Cloud applications help in your day-to-day work?
da Costa: I recently managed media output for a pair of major international biking events in France and Canada. All of the videographers and editors used Adobe software, so we were able to implement some great workflows, such as shared video assets, titling, and encoding presets. Because everyone was using the same files in Premiere Pro, we were able to establish a style and hard code it into the files so it was carried all the way through.
Adobe: Tell us more about your action sports work.
da Costa: Action sports give us a free reign over creativity that we might not get with corporate projects because of branding standards or other parameters. We do a lot of the action sports projects on spec. The sky’s the limit creatively. We can use props and actors. It all comes down to budget.
Earlier this year, we completed a project for Velosolutions, a Swiss company that builds pump tracks – which are like skate parks for bikes – all around the world. To promote the opening of the newest park, we worked with champion German freerider Timo Pritzel to be in a quirky intro where he’s a teacher who invites students to ride their bikes because it’s more fun than math and English.
We’re also getting into a more cinematically-styled approach as well as 4K workflows since we started working with Sony FS700 super slow-motion cameras. Along with Premiere Pro and After Effects, we’re able to deploy high-end techniques and workflows and bring Hollywood production values to the action sports world. We put together videos that wouldn’t have been achievable two years ago.
Adobe: What other projects have you worked on recently?
da Costa: A few months ago, I worked on a feature documentary starring John Hurt for ITV, where I helped to train an editor moving from Avid to Premiere Pro. The documentary was about the famous poets who wrote during World War I, and whilst assisting with the online edit, I also created the show’s title sequence in After Effects. At the moment, I’m completing a series of animations for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, illustrating the firing mechanisms of the very first rifles. That’s what I love about my work, there’s loads of different things coming my way on pretty much a daily basis, from action sports and TV work to installations and online advertising.
Adobe: What are you most excited about for the future?
da Costa: I’m excited to do more 4K projects. Adobe tools such as Premiere Pro will help us take our work to the next level in terms of working in 4K/UHD resolutions and high-end formats like CinemaDNG for editing, visual effects, and grading.
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud