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The world has changed dramatically over the years. Video has become an important part of our lives, whether we realize it or not—from having 500 channels on television to watching streaming media clips come through our computers at home and at the office. Even my wedding gift from my wife was a mini-DV camera. She knows how much I love to shoot video (and probably did not want to be embarrassed on our honeymoon in Hawaii with me lugging around my Beta SP camera everywhere). The point is, acquiring, editing, and distributing video has become commonplace for many. It's grown in popularity as a profession. More people today dabble in it as a hobby, shooting and editing their own home movies.

Whichever route you choose to take, programs such as Premiere are easily adaptable for all extremes. Adobe has made the program as simple to use as possible for the amateur while offering all the professional features and tools needed to compete with the Avid systems of the world. The versatility that Premiere offers gives you all the features you find on systems that cost thousands more. I know many people who use Premiere on a daily basis. The quality of their productions are always top-notch. Like any nonlinear editing system, as long as you have good source material, a capture card, and as much RAM as you can afford to shove in your computer, Premiere allows you to completely customize and control your editing session from start to finish.

Premiere's flexibility makes my job of covering the program that much more difficult. With so many directions you can take, from all the different acquisition formats to the endless possibilities of distribution methods, I can cover only so much in the best detail possible. I want to offer everyone a challenge when reading this book. This book is not written to tell you how to edit. Instead, it's written to introduce a number of the tools and techniques available so that you have complete freedom to produce your video any way you envision. If your hands are tied because the program doesn't offer you the means to create, you can blame the program. My job is to introduce all the power that Premiere has to offer and to show you the ways (usually several ways) to accomplish your goals. I have taken numerous experiences from my career as a video editor and have applied them here where relevant. From tips to warnings, this book covers all the basics and branches through the more-complex techniques of video and audio editing using Premiere. Push the envelope. You'll be surprised at what Premiere can do.

The Fundamentals

This book is written for people who have some video basics and background. This is not video 101, although some of the topics covered are for beginners to Premiere. People who have edited before and are ready to bring their skills up to the next level will get the most out of this book. Throughout the course of this book, I introduce different features that people are integrating into real-life video productions.

You will learn the fundamentals of the following:

  • Starting and managing a project within Premiere

  • The best practices for editing a project

  • How to improve your skills and be efficient with your time

  • Adding the final touches that separate amateur video from professional productions

  • Knowing the options for distributing your projects and understanding the techniques for achieving the best results

This book focuses on some very specific topics within Premiere. You can use this book as a quick-reference, or jump-right-in-and-get-the-answer-you-need type of book. A few sections do have a bit of a basic-level overtone. The reason for this is that with a program as powerful and dynamic as Premiere, with the flexibility to develop your own work flow, you need to understand how to put together and use these examples and understand how to produce a complete package, from start to finish. By analyzing the examples in this book and formulating your own versions when creating your projects, you will begin expanding the capabilities you offer your clients and choosing from a multitude of tools to incorporate into your next Premiere movie.

Looking Toward the Future

I have been editing video for a long time. I use to do it the old-fashioned way. Never again. The advancements with computer-based nonlinear editing systems have convinced me to continue along this route. With the emergence of HDTV and interactive television just around the corner, many new opportunities will arise for video producers and editors. If you're looking for a challenging career that demands both a creative touch and technical insight, video is the industry for you. With the promise of more than 500 channels, we're all going to need some interesting content to fill these slots. Keep editing.

Expanding Applications

As Premiere makes editing easier, more people will begin adopting its power and performance. Its flexibility allows a wide array of users to begin editing whatever type of content is needed. There will continually be more of the following:

  • Video for the web— Includes integration with animations, interactivity, and high-performance digital media capabilities.

  • Corporate presentation— A shift from the overindulged talking-head presentation to something with more impact.

  • DVD movies— High-quality imagery and breathtaking sound make DVD a much better product than its analog cronies.

  • Enhanced CDs— All music CDs will have video clips, interactive games, bios, and possibly even concert footage clips to go along with the music tracks.

  • Kiosks—Information kiosks will pop up everywhere— in schools, in restaurants, and maybe even on street corners.

All these things currently exist in some fashion, but they will continue growing rapidly as Premiere introduces more features and easier ways for producers and editors to put together these types of applications.

Summing It Up

This book tells it like it is with real-life examples and real-life applications. With the way technology makes editing clean and simple, more people will be using Premiere because of its flexibility when producing movies that suit their specific needs. The great thing about Premiere is its versatility. It's hard to stop at the basics. More and more, producers are pushing the software's limits technologically and creatively, putting together some of the most amazing video programs ever produced. Again, I encourage you to read this book, use it as a stepping-stone, and then let your creativity take things one step further. Remember, your only limitations are the ones you let stand in your way. Don't let bells and whistles overshadow your message. Keep it interesting.

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