In an age of digital abundance and self-made content creators, video-editing has emerged as an increasingly sought-after skill for those looking to create original content.
On Nov. 13, the Associated Students (A.S.) Media Center held a video-editing workshop in the A.S. Annex. The workshop is one of many in A.S. Media’s weekly Wednesday workshop series, which aims to familiarize students and staff with a variety of expressive media, from podcasting to photography. Hosted by Jalia Carlton-Carew, a fourth-year film and media studies major at UCSB, the video-editing workshop focused on acquainting attendants with the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the most popular video editing software on the market.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Jalia explained how she became involved with editing while pursuing career broadcasting and video/audio journalism at her high school in Atlanta. “I started out with Final Cut X,” she said, referencing another popular editing software, “before moving onto Adobe Premiere Pro.” Jalia noted that she picked up editing knowledge working on various projects and gigs, a testimonial to the often informal education structure for many editors.
The workshop was centered on the production of a “Nostalgia Compilation,” featuring clips from classic TV shows such as “Rugrats,” “Kenan & Kale,” and “Everybody Hates Chris.” “I think we’re all going through a nostalgia for the early 2000s and the 80s right now,” Jalia said, when asked about her reason for choosing this subject. Her sentiment was echoed by the attendants who watched with rapt attention and amusement as Jalia walked them through the process of selecting and cutting clips.
Through the process of creating the compilation, the workshop touched upon key basics of using Premiere Pro, from importing to rendering, in addition to stylistic touches such as transitions and title overlays. The result of the workshop was a short video titled “Blast From the Past,” splicing together hysterical highlights from a slew of classic TV comedy scenes.
When the floor opened up for questions, attendants were curious if Premiere Pro was a film-industry standard. Despite Adobe’s household name, Hollywood still stands by Avid, a complex, non-linear editing system.
Avid’s prestige comes with a heavy price tag. The full package of Avid’s software, Media Encoder, along with additional hardware support, can rack up to tens of thousands of dollars. In comparison, Adobe Premiere Pro can be accessed through a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud for as low as $19.99 per month with student discount.
“American cinema has a very formulaic way of doing things,” Jalia said. She pointed out that Adobe Premiere Pro can perform many of the same functions as Avid, even without Hollywood’s stamp of approval. The accessibility of the program, accompanied by a plethora of internet-facilitated resources, enables amateurs and hobbyists to tackle a once niche skill and produce their own video content. Indeed, many of the workshop’s attendants only had editing experience with iMovie — a more basic software costing $14.99 on the Mac App Store— and were interested in developing their skills with a more advanced program.
Jalia has hosted a few workshops in the past, but she noted, with a laugh, that this was the first without technical difficulties. Upon being asked about plans for future workshops, Jalia expressed her interest in conducting a workshop on color grading, the process of altering the color of a video to improve its appearance. She intends to host a video-editing workshop once every quarter as part of the Wednesday workshops.