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Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Premiere 6.5 in 24 Hours is different from the rest of the dozen or so other Premiere how-to books. Those books tend to be highly detailed or greatly simplified reference manuals using impenetrable vernacular, or they tend to be collections of step-by-step instructions focusing solely on Premiere functions. Both types fail to create lasting impressions, and they don't teach you how to make videos.

What's missing is context. I think of those books as sort of like instructing budding artists how to use a paintbrush by telling them to swab the brush in paint and slather it on a canvas. Where's the art?

My goal with Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Premiere 6.5 in 24 Hours is to help you create high-quality, professional-looking videos. Rather than simply presenting a collection of disconnected tutorials, I will frequently remind you of the big picture and what you're trying to accomplish. That said, I haven't skimped on useful nuts-and-bolts instructions. I've tried simply to present them in a logical, easy-to-follow manner that reflects the way most Premiere users approach editing.

A Collaborative Effort

In a departure from traditional Premiere how-to books, I turned this into a collaborative project. I contacted several of my friends and former colleagues in the TV and video production business who provided dozens of expert tips to supplement this book's coverage of Premiere functionality. For instance, they provided advice about shooting high-quality video, writing effectively, and creating professional voiceovers.

The timing is right for this book, both on a personal level and in the marketplace. It fits my career path to a “T.” I am an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Premiere and have extensive television production credentials—TV anchor, reporter, photographer, and editor—plus I'm a recipient of a regional Emmy award and two Society of Professional Journalists first-place awards. I've written hundreds of articles, written or worked on eight books, and have been a high school science and math teacher. I tapped all that experience to create what I think is a logical, instructional flow using readily digestible chunks of information placed in a real-world context. Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Premiere 6.5 in 24 Hours will ensure you can track how each new task fits into your project goals.

The market is primed for Premiere 6.5. Convergence may be an overused word (third only to paradigm and epiphany), but it applies. Premiere continues to bring a reasonably priced, increasingly powerful video production tool to both Mac and Windows users (90 percent of Premiere users have Windows). High-quality digital video (DV) camcorders have dropped in price. Anyone with a laptop and a DV camcorder can operate as an independent video producer or TV news reporter. And capping that off, Premiere 6.5 now includes DVD authoring.

New Features in Premiere 6.5

The opportunity to create DVDs—from home movies to Hollywood productions—on PCs is a dramatic development, and Premiere 6.5 is at the forefront of this emerging technology. DVD authoring is a major industry shift. With the availability of high-speed PC processors, large and fast hard drives, reasonably priced DVD recorders and recording media, and increasingly powerful video-editing tools, DVD creation is now at your fingertips.

Other new features in Premiere 6.5 are real-time MPEG-2 video encoding, software real-time previews of transitions and effects, a professional text-creation tool, professional “audio sweetening” effects, several exciting video effects, and enhanced support for Windows Media, QuickTime, and RealMedia.

Book Organization

Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Premiere 6.5 in 24 Hours consists of 24 “lessons.” Each should take about an hour—more or less—to complete. That's not to say that at the end of each lesson you'll have mastered its particular topic. To really become proficient in Premiere you'll need to reinforce what you've learned with practice. I'd suggest moving through a lesson, doing some additional work, and then taking a breather before tackling the next lesson.

I've tried to follow my own video production advice and keep it simple—and short—but I do know that some of you want higher-level Premiere and video production tips. So I've scattered such advice throughout all the chapters in the form of tips, notes, and cautions.

By buying Premiere you've joined the ranks of more than 750,000 video editors who recognize a high-quality video production product when they see one. Now, with the help of this book, you will soon be able to fully exploit all the powerful tools Premiere brings to bear. The ultimate goal is that you'll create videos that shine.

Premiere is a cross-platform, Windows/Mac product. Virtually all functions and commands are the same for both platforms, with a few exceptions (PC commands are on the left, Mac commands are on the right). We have made an effort to note all instances when commands or keyboard shortcuts differ. As a general rule of thumb

  • Alt equals Option,

  • Ctrl equals Command,

  • Enter equals Return, and

  • Backspace equals Delete.

Conventions Used in This Book

This book uses the following conventions:

Text that you type and text that you see onscreen appear in monospace type.

A note presents interesting information related to the discussion.

A tip offers advice or shows you an easier way to do something.

A caution alerts you to a possible problem and gives you advice on how to avoid it.

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