Spikes Journal

How to Premiere Pro like a pro!

We’re in the era of digital video, and it’s a mess. – Steve Jobs 
24 April 2019

Whatever your interest in video production, be it a casual creative outlet or serious career ambition, sooner or later you’ll need to decide on your primary editing software. You have options & it’s a minefield 🎬

I’d like to just cut through what took me several years to come to understand. I hope it helps someone..

Let’s just set the scene & take a quick peek into the pro world. One person man’s the camera(s), someone else focuses on audio, there’s maybe a lighting specialist, special effects dude, makeup, the producer, script writers, technical staff, fluffer, pizza fetcher, coffee maker and then… the talent!

Set out on the journey of creating your own videos, on any scale & yeah! you do all of the above (maybe not the fluffer) AND have to promote your work too 🍕

You become a Jack of all.. master of none. Steep learning curves are all over the place, new creative options you never dreamed of, are spoken in the same sentence 😮 Technical words spewing from every orifice & it’s not made any easier when you open up your video editor.

So, let’s do Premier Pro like a pro! Yes?

Video shoot Spike Blogs #spikeblogs
Efficient Simplicity

So, we’re capturing media – video, audio, B-roll, samples and starting to make sense of the world through the eye of a film producer, but what next? Well, here comes the point to my post..

Faced with all this technical stuff, theory, creativity, tech and science! we adopt a place to bring it all together. To turn our random clips of video and audio, into a coherent and captivating work of art.

We do this processing on a PC and we use mystical magic called video editing software for this joby. 

Now, for novice users opening Premier Pro for the first time, it’s nearly always overwhelming. I mean there’s already a realisation dawning that light is everything! sound is actually mega important and a B-roll isn’t something we devour in the early hours of the day! 🍔

So, the last thing we need is software that resembles the diagnostic cockpit of the SS Enterprise 👽

… but it does! In fact, I imagine the Starship would be somewhat easier to interpret at first glance.

It looks anything but efficient and simple.

 Like a pro.. a Premier Pro!

 ..breath, cos Premier Pro is surprisingly not nearly as complex as it first appears 👀

Why? Well, probably because Premier Pro can evolve as you do. That’s the beauty of this sandbox. It can create a simple 10 second Instagram post or produce a feature length 4K film in 5.1 surround sound.

I’m not going to dig into any detail here. I just wanted to say, if your sat on the Premier fence, not sure if it’s too complex or will take too long to learn, don’t! Jump back up on that pony… 🐴

Giddy up..

Premier Pro is a tool like any other and its purpose is to do your bidding! You don’t need to learn a whole host of features and skills to use Premier Pro, you JUST need to know how to do, what you want to do.

Time & perseverance naturally teaches you all the rest! I promise..

It’s OK to come up with a creative idea and then go find out how to achieve that in Premier Pro.

There is no need to learn about tools and techniques before you have the creative need in mind!

The single piece of advice that inspired me to write this post is this: start with a simple, short video clip. Approach Premier Pro as though you were in control and it is simply there to ‘enable’ your creative desires. 

Make Premier Pro your bitch! Take control… she has many tools and features you will likely never need nor use and any time spent trying to understand them early on, is simply going to make you drop the reins.

Good practice!

Decide to make a simple clip, a few seconds long. Save it! Save a backup copy as a good practice too.

When you have that, work out (with the help of YouTube) how to organise your raw media files.

Try to add a video transition maybe? Perhaps fade the audio at the end of your clip?

Take breaks! Drink coffee.. think about what you want to achieve NOT what Premier Pro offers you.

Start a fresh clean project and change the resolution or render your clip to a different screen ratio?

You are creating! So the path forward is now a simple one… like a pro… RINSE & REPEAT

Google and YouTube are your best friends & have some excellent tutorials that build confidence fast! 

Come up with a slightly more challenging creative project and work through. Make that happen! 

Don’t try to learn Premier Pro. Learn how to create your video.

That’s the money shot right there…


P.S. If you get stuck with Premier Pro or feel like throwing in the towel, message me. If I can help or point you toward useful resources then it would be my pleasure. Stick with it & one day your sure to thank me!