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Premiere Pro World Conference – Year One!

Last weekend marked the first annual Premiere Pro World Conference ably organized by Adobe training partner – Future Media Concepts.  Although Premiere Pro Product Manager Al Mooney jokingly referred to it as a “1.0 beta” event, we all thought it was a great success, both for attendees and for the Premiere Pro team.

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 10.56.03 AM   photo_5Photo credit: Gene Lew

The conference kicked off on Friday, July 11th at Adobe headquarters in San Jose, CA.  The Premiere Pro management, engineering and quality engineering teams were all there, along with support team members from social media, customer care, documentation, Creative Cloud Learn, marketing and even engineers from After Effects and Adobe Anywhere.

“Adobe Day” began with the history of Premiere Pro, presented by Senior Engineering Manager Dave McGavran. First launched in 1991, our favourite editing application has seen approximately 50 releases over the past 23 years, and today comprises a whopping 30 million lines of code. A highlight of the presentation was when Senior Solutions Consulting Manager Dave Helmly launched the Adobe Premiere 1.0 on an old PowerMac G3 running Mac OS 7. Talk about blast from the past!

photo_9Photo credit: Gene Lew

Al Mooney then spoke about the future of Premiere Pro (in general terms, anyway) and attendees were introduced to different members of the Premiere Pro management team.  The managers explained a bit about how the software is developed and what role each part of the team plays in the process.

A hot topic of discussion was how decisions are made about which features we develop.  Al explained that several years ago the team decided to focus strongly on the broadcast market, for one simple reason: “because it’s really, really hard.” The rationale being that if in the end we can make it work for broadcast, we can make it work for other users (but not necessary the other way around). Today, while Premiere Pro continues to score big in broadcast (a recent international sporting event held in Brazil comes to mind), we’re also working with top Hollywood filmmakers, such as David Fincher, the Coen Brothers, and others. Heck, even Sharknado 2 was cut in Premiere Pro!

Of course, along with big name users, development is guided by the feedback of all users including web content producers, music video creators and corporate and wedding videographers. The moral of the story being this: if you have a great idea for a new feature or functionality, submit a feature request!

photo_8Photo credit: Gene Lew

Along with larger roadmap development work, the Premiere Pro engineering team also deliver “Just Do It” (JDI) features whenever they can. Engineering Manager Steve Hoeg previewed an example of such a feature – simple, practical enhancements to the application that are a part of every new release. Attendees then split into breakout sessions together with various Premiere Pro engineers and quality engineers (QEs) to discuss the JDI process and different JDIs that are currently on “the list.”  Attendees were able to provide feedback on how they thought certain JDIs should be executed and, even offer ideas for new JDIs that would address pain points in their workflows.

photo_30photo_36Photo credit: Gene Lew

The final sessions for Adobe Day were four breakout groups focused on audio, color, effects and integrated workflows. Engineers and QEs shared thoughts on each of these areas and asked for feedback from attendees as to how they believe we should be addressing each topic, where they think Premiere Pro should be going and what they would love to see in the future. Customer Experience Designer David Kuspa said, “Receiving comments and feedback from users face-to-face reminds all of us who we’re working for and how large an impact our work can have on the creative output of these professionals.”  The whole day left the Premiere Pro team with plenty of notes to take back to our engineering work and planning.

photo_32photo_24Photo credit: Gene Lew

For the Premiere Pro team one of the best parts of the “Adobe Day”, as well as Premiere Pro World Conference as a whole, was the opportunity it provided us to not only get feedback and input from attendees, but to interact with Premiere Pro users on a personal level. Everyone was just hanging out and mingling during breaks, and meals through out the weekend as well as at an evening mixer on Friday where some of our top partners joined in and showed off some their gear.

IMG_1144IMG_1019IMG_1152The rest of the conference was comprised of sessions guided by various industry experts. It’s not often that you have so many top Premiere gurus in one place, but that’s what the attendees (and Adobe staff) were treated to. In fact, the only problem for many people was choosing which sessions to join – in most time slots four sessions were presented concurrently, so whatever you picked meant missing three other awesome sessions. Presenters included luminaries like Rich Harrington, Christine Steele, Robbie Carman, Kanen Flowers, Gary Adcock, Luisa Winters, Jeff Greenberg, Maxim Jago, Eran Stern and Liran GolanJerle Leirpoll travelled all the way from Norway to be here!

Attendees were able to attend sessions to develop core editing skills, advanced editing techniques, broadcast specific workflows, deep dives into encoding, publishing and distribution, and get answers to burning questions about hardware, workflows, and the art of editing.

Another highlight of the weekend were the keynote presentations. On Saturday Adam Epstein spoke of the unbelievably fast turnaround for the work he does with the Saturday Night Film Unit.Attendees and trainers alike were impressed withwhat Adam and his team accomplish every week – and talk about tight timelines: generally their shorts are not completely finished until minutes before they air. In one case a piece aired directly from the Premiere Pro timeline. “If someone had pressed the space bar, we’d have been screwed,” laughed Adam. In addition to the sheer entertainment value, attendees walked away from the session inspired – and with some really cool tips for how to structure their own workflows for maximum efficiency.

IMG_1177If you missed the Premiere Pro World Conference, or just want to see Adam again, you might just be able to do that! He is doing The Cutting Edge Tour this summer in  32 cities throughout the US and Canada.

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Sunday evening’s keynote focused on the demands of broadcast and how Adobe has become a key player in that world. Turner Broadcasting’sBryan Pearson showed how Premiere Pro, Adobe Anywhere and Creative Cloud workflows are used at CNN.  He shared how the team at CNN has worked closely with Adobe on the development of the Adobe Prelude and Premiere Pro workflows for broadcast. In many ways, this presentation provided an apt bookend to Al Mooney’s introductory keynote and gave concrete examples of how Adobe’s work in broadcast has helped improve Premiere Pro and the Creative Cloud video tools for everyone.   Bryan also spoke at length about Adobe Anywhere, which is fast becoming integral to meeting the future needs of CNN’s international collaborative infrastructure.   CNN creates approximately 3,000 assets each day from 44 different locations around the world and the broadcaster’s input has helped Adobe define Adobe Anywhere as a workflow platform that allows distributed users to access content and projects across standard networks, wherever the users may be located.

All told, it was a fantastic event packed with learning, insights, and inspiration. We heard amazing feedback from many attendees during the conference and the sentiments seem to be echoed across the web.

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The first annual Premiere Pro World Conference was a meaningful experience for the Premiere Pro team, too.

We work so hard on this product and it was wonderful to see the passion, and meet so many people who care about it as much as we do.

photo_18Photo credit: Gene Lew

Hope to see everyone at Premiere Pro World Conference in 2015!

See more photos from the first annual Premiere Pro World Conference here

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