Christine Steele: practitioner and trainer extraordinaire
Real-world experience with Adobe Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro CC fuels training expertise
Steele Pictures Studios is based in Los Angeles, California but its Founder Christine Steele works all over the world. Together with other directors, producers, and editors she creates broadcast television content, feature films for theatrical release, and web content. Documentary work is one of her main passions, and luckily it is also the bread and butter of much of her professional work. In addition to producing content, she also loves teaching and training others in the field on how to get the most from the video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: How has working in the industry influenced your training and consulting services?
Steele: Providing boots on the ground, real-world content has been a spring board for me in terms of teaching, training, and sharing knowledge of how I use Adobe Creative Cloud to create content. When I train, consult, or teach I try to relate my real-world experience to the audience or attendees so they understand that I really get what they are doing. That provides a really balanced experience for them because I’m not just looking at these tools from the perspective of someone who makes software or teaches from a book. I’m actually sharing my personal experience with the tools.
Adobe: What have you been doing recently?
Steele: This last year I helped approximately 120 editors and producers at ABC transition to Premiere Pro from Final Cut Pro. I also went to Sydney, Australia and helped the BBC edit teams transition to Premiere Pro on Adobe Anywhere. That was really exciting because it was the first time that I got to spend days working with people creating content using Anywhere and it was a really cool experience.
Adobe: How did the BBC and ABC teams feel about transitioning to Premiere Pro?
Steele: The BBC Sydney team was a small enough group that they were excited and open to adopting a new way of working. They did have to get used to not being able to load media directly onto their workstations and instead having a point person who was responsible for that part of the process. However, once they understood that Creative Cloud and Anywhere meant that they could occasionally work from home, they were very excited.
With the ABC team, the transition from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro CC was gentle and similar to how they were used to working. Years ago I helped the team transition from AVID to Final Cut Pro 6, so many editors had experience with all three platforms. Editors with 10 or even 40 years of experience not only recognized great features from the other software in Premiere Pro, but appreciated new features that they never had available to them.
The ability to take advantage of real time playback in Premiere Pro with no rendering was amazing because it bought them time. I work with the entertainment marketers who make all of the promos for every show that ABC produces. They do a lot of effects work, and not having to wait for something to render every time they applied an effect was a huge benefit for them.
They also appreciated the ability to step over into After Effects in real time using Dynamic Link, as well as having After Effects templates with titles so they could easily change day, date, and time information.
Adobe: Are you currently working on any documentary projects?
Steele: I’ve been commissioned to co-direct Take Me Home Huey with Alicia Brauns, which is a feature documentary designed to accompany a live travelling art exhibit by Steve Maloney and Light Horse Legacy in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The exhibit is going to travel for three years, celebrating and supporting the people who were involved in that war.
In addition to traveling with the exhibit, the half-hour, broadcast-style documentary will hopefully also air on TV. It follows some of the lives of the Vietnam vets who are willing to share their experiences with post-traumatic stress and their healing process. The purpose is to inspire healing and encourage veterans of any war to talk about what they experienced and integrate civilian and military culture to foster understanding of what some of these men and women face when they come home.
Mosaic of Life is another documentary that Alicia Brauns started several years ago that I’m helping direct and bring to completion. This is another tale of hope and healing based on a holocaust survivor who has lived an incredible life of service and joy. He wrote a book about turning horrible experiences into opportunity—taking despair and turning it into hope and taking challenges and turning them into opportunities. He speaks a lot about the life of survivors and how the human spirit can get through anything and ultimately create something beautiful.
Adobe: Tell us about your recent SXSW presentation.
Steele: I taught about story structure at SXSW for Adobe and look forward to sharing that class again. Being involved in a film festival environment was really cool because I’m so actively involved in filmmaking. It was fun not only talking about Creative Cloud but also sharing the reason I’m using these tools, which is to share universal truths by creating stories and getting that content out there.
Adobe: What Creative Cloud apps do you use?
Steele: We are using Adobe Prelude, Premiere Pro, Audition, After Effects, and Media Encoder as our primary toolset. I’ve played with Adobe Premiere Clip a little bit and can see how it can be useful to my team members who want to capture footage while scouting locations.
Adobe: What’s next for you?
Steele: Next month I’ll be taking all the edit teams at TMZ to Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro. Finally, Hollywood is changing, and it’s great to be a part of that transition.
Learn more about Christine Steele’s work on Food Forward
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Visit the Mosaic of Life website.
Visit the Take Me Home Huey website