The Birth of Premiere Gal
Video production has always been a passion for Kelsey Brannan. Her high school offered a media academy that integrated technology and video production courses with the core curricula in 10th and 11th grade Social Studies and English classes. Working with video in high school led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in film and media studies, followed by an M.A. with a focus on documentary filmmaking. Today, Kelsey is a Federal Contractor, employed by Async-Nu Microsystems, working at the U.S. Department of State as a Senior Video Producer, a shooter, editor, and producer (aka shreditor), covering international exchange programs.
After creating a tutorial on closed captioning, she realized she also had a talent for sharing knowledge. In July 2016 she created Premiere Gal, an identity and channel on YouTube that encourages people from all backgrounds to harness their inner “shreditor” power. In less than nine months, she has more than 115,000 views of her videos, which include product reviews, interviews, and, of course, Adobe Premiere Pro CC tutorials.
Premiere Gal with Jason Levine
Adobe: Tell us about your job with the State Department.
Brannan: I’m a senior video producer covering international exchange programs. Whether I’m producing a promotional video on the program, or doing a short documentary on a participant’s experience, I’m involved in every aspect of production, from writing and creating a video plan to filming and editing. I’m on a two-person team and we average about 50 projects each per year. Our typical projects range from about 30 seconds to two-and-a-half minutes in length.
Adobe: Can you give examples of some of the projects you work on?
Brannan: TechWomen is an Initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In a five-week program, the initiative partners a mentor from the United States with women from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East who are involved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The State Department also sponsors a Global Sports Mentoring Program that focuses on empowering women and girls through sports. My colleague and I document the programs and interview the women who participate.
Adobe: How did you get the idea to create Premiere Gal?
Brannan: It’s federal law that we have captions on our videos, so I created a couple of tutorials for some of our embassies that needed to learn how to do closed captioning. The tutorials explained how to create closed captions and how to translate them into another language. I loved it and decided that it would be fun to start producing more tutorials on the side, so that’s what I did! I now have more than 65 videos on YouTube, more than 115,000 video views, and 3,000 subscribers and I’ve been amazed by the positive feedback.
Adobe: What types of videos do you create for Premiere Gal?
Brannan: I try to base my videos on what people want to learn and I also focus on hot topics and updates. For example, the Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.3 update included open caption capability so I created a how-to video on that feature and it’s been my most successful video to date. I now have a tutorial request form on my website where people can make requests on things they want to learn most Overall, my best videos are ones that are technically driven because most of my audience is interested in tricks of the trade and how to edit better.
I also partner with third-party providers who create plug-ins and panels for Premiere Pro. And I feature a Premiere Gal of the month, where I interview a woman in the film and video industry. Just last month I featured, Cheryl Ottenritter, an audio engineer based in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Premiere Gal interview with Cheryl Ottenritter
Each month I also host a live #AskGal Q&A, my fans can submit questions in advance by tagging their tweets with #AskGal and get the chance to win a plugin license or a product from one of my partners.
Adobe: How would you describe your style and what have you learned about creating videos for YouTube?
Brannan: In the first video I created I wasn’t on camera because I didn’t have my equipment yet. I quickly decided to try mixing up YouTube culture with traditional video editing tutorials to be a little bit more unique. I also came up with the idea of having my dog Spike as #PremierePup to get some fun dog lovers on board. Now I’m on camera in most of my videos but I also integrate onscreen recording of what I’m doing. In most of my videos I’m just on my couch with my dog having a casual conversation with my audience.
Adobe: What do you like about working with Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro CC?
Brannan: A lot of people I know are in their mid-to-late 20s, just starting out in their video careers, and they need to be able to do everything. I really love that Adobe Creative Cloud enable users to do everything with ease. I’m able to access Creative Cloud from different devices using the same account, which is really awesome.
With Premiere Pro, the first thing I loved was that it was very similar to Final Cut Pro 7 so it was really easy for me to just jump right in. I also appreciate that it has presets for exporting to the different social platforms. I use that all the time to export directly to YouTube from Premiere Pro. I’m also an After Effects gal, and I love how Dynamic Link lets me open a layer in my Premiere Pro timeline and edit it directly in After Effects.
Adobe: What advice would you have for someone else just getting started on YouTube?
Brannan: You just have to put yourself out there and see what happens. You’ll make mistakes, of course, but that’s just part of the process. People may give you a thumbs down on your video but you can never please everybody. Also, try not to get overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in the video sphere. Instead, try to focus on what makes you unique and what you have to offer, rather than on doing what everyone else is doing.
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