Covering live sports broadcasts requires speed, cost-efficiency, and flexibility—and that’s where Will Newell excels. For 10 years, he’s done graphics, editing, live outdoor interviews, and broadcast delivery preparation for events including the U.S. Open and Formula 1 racing. Although he’s used Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro, his freelance business now relies on a Mac and Adobe Creative Cloud, including Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Here, Newell shares his experiences and talks about why Adobe Creative Cloud is an affordable, powerful option for a freelancer.
Adobe: How did you get your start?
Newell: I worked at an editing facility in Manchester, England in the machine room, as a runner, and then as an assistant editor. I moved to London a few years later and began freelancing. Sky Sports contacted me to do features, openers, closers, and so on. I hit the ground running working regularly on content for football, rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, and even darts matches. I went to Australia in 2012 for the first Sky Sports F1 race and have been doing primarily outdoor broadcasts ever since.
Adobe: How does Adobe Creative Cloud help you do it all?
Newell: Most clients, including Sky Sports, want three things: cost-efficiency, reliability, and synergy between editing and motion graphics. To meet all these needs, I created my own set-up with a Mac and Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a very affordable option for a freelancer. I’m running the full suite of Adobe apps. My clients are very happy to hear that I’m editing on Adobe Premiere Pro CC because it’s powerful and works so well with the other Adobe apps. I also find that many clients themselves are running Premiere Pro, so it makes it easy to share projects and work collaboratively when needed.
Adobe: How tough was it to move from Avid to Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Newell: The switch was very easy. I am more of a timeline- and mouse-oriented editor versus a keyboard shortcut editor. Premiere Pro CC is similar to other editors but it’s more intuitive. I learned it mostly on the job but also did tutorials online. There’s also a fabulous community online to answer questions. The way Adobe software works in terms of keyframe implementation, parameters, and so on makes learning easier.
Adobe: Tell us about the first project you did using Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Newell: The first time I used Premiere Pro CC on a project was with the U.S. Open tennis tournament last year. It was a two-week event, and I arrived a day or so before I had to start delivering content. That gave me time in the initial set up of the kit to get used to it, and once you start delivering stuff you just get on with it. I enjoyed discovering little features in Premiere Pro as I went along and it was also great to collaborate with colleagues who have a good knowledge of the software.
Adobe: What type of content are you creating for Sky Sports and Formula 1?
Newell: For any given race weekend for F1, there are three qualifying rounds on Saturdays, and races on Sundays, each of which have an hour and a half build-up before the host broadcaster starts. So we do an opener, a trailer, maybe an editorial story about the location of the race, or perhaps a story about a rivalry between two drivers. Almost everything involves graphics work, such as animated menus, text effects, montages, or manipulating stills or footage in creative ways.
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects have always been my go-to-tools for graphics and effects. Increasingly, I work with producers who want certain looks or effects they see in high-end promos and advertisements. After Effects is the essential tool to deliver those types of effects in the time frame needed. I started learning it about six years ago and can use it to deliver things quickly and efficiently.
Adobe: What other types of work are you doing?
Newell: I worked on a commercial spot for a tennis event in Washington D.C. involving a lot of stills, animation, and 3D work in CINEMA 4D. I really enjoy creating a 3D base in CINEMA 4D on top of which I can do compositing elements in After Effects CC that are changeable. That’s key because you always have clients coming back with edits, so being able to make changes in After Effects and render out quickly is essential.
Adobe: What other apps are you using in Adobe Creative Cloud?
Newell: I use Adobe Media Encoder CC and anticipate using it even more. I’ve used Adobe SpeedGrade CC and it’s fantastic. It’s a very familiar interface. I haven’t spent much time with Adobe Audition CC yet, but look forward to using it to get better audio effects. Right now, I’m not a huge sound guy so the tools built into Adobe Premiere Pro CC accomplish most of what I need.
Adobe: Have you tried any mobile apps in Adobe Creative Cloud?
Newell: I previously worked with Kuler, so I’m interested in using Adobe Color CC. I always want to deliver something with the right aesthetic quality. Often when I see an animation I don’t like it is related to the color combinations. The ability to take a snapshot on a mobile device and bring the color scheme straight into Adobe After Effects CC to use on any project is fantastic.
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