In his celebrated career as a filmmaker, Philip Bloom has worn many hats, including director of photography, editor, director, and everything in between. Over the past five years, he’s become an expert on budget filmmaking, as well as a trusted resource for information on the latest gear for shooting and editing film projects. Recently, he talked with Adobe about his experience testing the latest version of Adobe Premiere Pro.
Adobe: When did you first start learning to edit video?
Bloom: I was trained to edit approximately 15 years ago using a tape-to-tape workflow. I initially learned how to use Avid at work, and became very familiar and fast with it. For personal work, when the first version of Final Cut Pro came out, I began using that because it was more affordable than Avid.
Adobe: Why did you start looking at Adobe Premiere Pro for editing?
Bloom: With the more recent Final Cut Pro releases, I felt the hardware wasn’t being utilized to its full potential and the software should have been faster. Time is important and doing things quickly is a huge benefit in my line of work. I started exploring alternatives and purchased Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.
Adobe: What did you think when you first started using Adobe Premiere Pro?
Bloom: In all honesty, I thought it was ugly and not very intuitive. Avid was good but it lacked integration with third-party plug-ins. When Final Cut Pro X was released, it became even more difficult to do what I wanted to do. I was a bit stuck, but then I upgraded to Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and felt it was much better than the previous version. Still, I kept going back and forth between Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.
Adobe: What finally convinced you to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro?
Bloom: I got to test a prerelease version of Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and felt like I was finally making a natural progression from Final Cut Pro 7. It was intuitive and looked clean. After working with it on two or three different kinds of projects, I was comfortable using it. When I tried going back to Final Cut Pro 7, it was like taking a big step backwards.
Adobe: What do you like most about Adobe Premiere Pro CS6?
Bloom: It’s really a long list of little bits and pieces. Overall, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 feels more fluid. The interface is cleaner and simpler to use, which makes it an easy transition from Final Cut Pro 7. I spend 90% of my year traveling and I often have to edit on my laptop so the ability to go full screen is very important. The enhanced audio controls are simpler and much easier to use. I love the integration of Warp Stabilizer, which I would Dynamic Link to in After Effects when I was using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. It’s great to be able to link to other software, but it’s also nice to be able to do everything in a single program because it conserves resources.
Adobe: What do you find different about working in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6?
Bloom: Initially it can be tricky to move from one NLE to another. The analogy is like driving on the right versus left side of the road – you know you can do it, but you need to get your head around it each time. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, I actually felt like I needed to re-learn how to do things, but it was like I was now learning to drive properly. I realized that the way Final Cut Pro did things worked, but I never realized how clunky the implementation was. The way Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 works now makes more sense and seems more thought through. It’s like Adobe took what was great about Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro and put them together.
Adobe: What would you say is the best thing about working with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6?
Bloom: The ability to play various formats on the timeline is wonderful. I’ve recently been editing native footage from the new Canon 5D Mark III. Even with a totally new format like the Mark III, Premiere recognized it and let me work with it natively, whereas other NLEs would not recognize it and try to convert it. Another documentary I’m editing has a mixture of footage, including RED Epic, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, and Canon Cinema EOS C300. If I was working in Final Cut Pro I would have to transcode everything to ProRes, which would take a long time. I also just shot a documentary on a boat using a Canon C300 and was able to just offload the cards, throw the footage on the timeline without transcoding, throw on some color grades, and do rough edits in my cabin. The ability to edit these different types of footage natively is huge.
Save up to 40% off all Adobe video products when you switch from Final Cut Pro or Avid by Nov. 22. Learn more