Editing My bag and I 2019

Pictured is Michael Durban of Durban Media, filming My bag and I 2019 in Falmouth, Cornwall

As the director and editor of My Bag and I (MBAI), I was able to think about the editing process before we had even shot our first interview. Knowing we had a lot of video content to shoot and edit within the production schedule, I had to choose the optimal video editing software which would also give the production its’ desired results.

When it came to editing MBAI, I opted to edit with Premiere Pro CC over other editing software such as Avid Media Composer. I made this decision for various reasons but it really came down to the overall video editing needs of the production which I will detail below.

The needs of a project come first

For My Bag and I, I had to edit a 20 + 5 + 2 + 1 minute cut of the documentary as well as four social media cuts promoting the documentary which included behind the scenes footage during the production process. In total I had around 12 videos to edit and we had budgeted 3 video editing weeks to complete this task.

During this stage I had two video editing software options to choose from, the first being Avid Media Composer and the second Adobe Premiere Pro. Both editing softwares are well known within the television and media industries and for good reason. So when it came down to making a decision for my production I was torn between the two but opted to use Adobe Premiere Pro.

Why? Avid Media Composer is without a doubt one of the best editing platforms in the industry today, however in my experience as a freelancer, most editors I have come across do not have mobile access to Avid compared to that of Adobe Premiere Pro. This was certainly the case for MBAI with all crew involved including myself at the time. Should I have added a 12 month subscription for Avid to the production budget, not likely but possible if it had come down to it. This however was not the only factor I based my decision on. Premiere Pro is well known for its’ ease of use and fast turn around times for smaller projects, especially social media content. With this in mind and its’ powerful and improved colour-grading features I was happy to commit to Premiere Pro for all of our video content going forward for this project.

How did this effect the production? I was able to video edit physically at the studio as well as on the move with crew members at different locations such as Falmouth in Cornwall and up North in Newcastle upon Tyne. I will be writing another blog post on this benefit with Ocean Driven Media in South Africa where we edited a project together yet we were continents apart. Being able to edit on the move definitely helped us keep up with the production schedule of My Bag and I which is arguably one of the most important tasks to achieve in order to stay within the video editing budget and to keep your clients happy with the service you provided them with.

A frame from My Bag and I 2019, pictured is Hari Ryder from Wales who shared her powerful story with us.

To conclude this blog post I thought I would reflect on Adobe Premiere Pro’s friendly workflow between an often forgotten part of the production process which is arguably one of the most important aspects of any video production; post sound.

Without concise mixed levelling of a video edit as well as the correct use of foley, an edit can be jarring and often distract from the overall message of the edit itself. To put this into better context I contacted a good friend and colleague who I have worked with over the years called Chris Hirst-Bartlett, a qualified and talented Pro Tools user. Chris describes the benefits working between Pro Tools and Adobe Premiere Pro below:

“Premier Pro’s ability to export projects in multiple formats is a blessing when it comes to the editor/ audio mixer relationship. With an editor putting audio in place during their process to use as a guide for pacing, tone, dialogue; Premier then gives the option to export as an OMF file, which makes editing/ replacing said audio elements considerably easier for the post-sound dept.”

Reflecting back at the video editing process for My Bag and I, I can confidently assure any new content creators that by using Adobe Premiere Pro alongside Pro Tools is a sure way to progress through a large or small scale video production. I would however warn against my above statement.

Why? In a nutshell, shit happens. Be prepared by factoring in additional time into your production for when things do go wrong from an editing software point of view. Updates, bugs and other unforeseen factors may come into play during your production, so my advice is to have multiple back-ups on separate external drives as well as factoring additional time as mentioned above and you will be on your way to managing your video editing schedule successfully.

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