Drafting in Premiere Pro

When it came time to make this week’s assignment, a short video in Adobe Premiere Pro, I thought I would make an informative video about writing productivity during Camp NaNoWriMo, a writing experience in which I participate each year. I packed my gear for the beach and kept telling myself I would write while there.

This didn’t happen.

Instead, I spent time outside and in, with family and friends, and generally enjoyed the escape to the coast. I filmed that experience, inspired by the sights, sounds, and collective joy in the experience. These are the moments that fuel writing, too, that give writers something from which to work. I think this is also a reminder that when you are engaged in a business, even a creative one like writing, breaks are important, breaks are fuel for the next creation.

It was a day of procrastination, but the necessary kind. Thus, my video subject.

When at the coast, I filmed many 10+ second videos of my subjects from different angles. I wanted to tell the story of:

  • A day spent with others,
  • A beginning, middle, and end of activities
  • A beach theme
  • An immersive experience.

That is all well and good artistically but I needed to draft a storyboard to make sure that I could take raw footage and organize in a way that not only told a message, but told one to someone who hadn’t been there for the moments.

I used my establishing shot of an empty beach at the beginning and is a starting point for the scenes on the beach and children playing. I used the crab shell at the beginning to establish a sense of place but then also when transitioning to the middle, a time when setting up for a gathering is happening while a child is playing video games. The cake serves as a transition between the middle and the end sections, with persons enjoying the gathering and ending with champagne. After ordering the shots, I edited each down to approximately 2-6 seconds.

For audio, I knew I wanted to keep the singing and the “home video” look of that shot, so that was preserved to match that scene. I added guitar music written and performed by my spouse that would play throughout the video. Lastly, for the first half of the video with beach scenes, I used Pacific Beach Waves 2, by microsome, available in the public domain through Creative Commons (now openverse). I faded the ocean in first and then the guitar, then also used Constant Power to fade out the music at the end as well as into and out of the birthday singing.

For the title, I used the Captions and Graphics panel to create the text after I downloaded a font I wanted from Adobe into the Creative Cloud. After adjusting its position, adding a blue stroke and a shadow, I used the effects to select Dissolve. I added rolling credits over the last two shots of the champagne glass.

Lastly, I added some transitions between clips, including Cross Dissolve, Non-Additive Dissolve, and Dip to White.

Here’s my draft, let me know what you think!

All footage obtained with permission.

3 thoughts on “Drafting in Premiere Pro

  1. Hi Erin! I loved the shots in your videos. There is such a poignant feeling to your video that makes me long for time with loved ones. Each shot was so beautiful. The first one with the reflection of the sky in the sand, and the shot of the crab shell that returns later in the video just to blow away, were set up very well. I also love the way you chose to end your video. The shot of the class of sparkling wine and the running credits was a great creative choice. I think your video could benefit from balancing the audio a little more. It was hard to hear the music you chose over the sounds of the waves. I think you could also include a few cues to make the story you are trying to tell a little clearer. Maybe that is more text in the beginning or some narration. I like to think about how someone who is unfamiliar with my topic or this class in general would interpret any of my content. Look at your creation with the perspective of fresh eyes and consider if they would understand the purpose of the video.

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  2. Hi Erin,
    There were some beautifully set up shots in your video! I loved the music and the beach footage. They evoke the sense of peace that one can only get by spending a carefree day on the beach. The transition to the footage at home is slightly jarring, but the shots themselves are good. I agree with Margaret that the video itself needs more cues to explain the story (and that shift in particular). I think silent-movie like text screens could work well here, or you could go with a calm narration. I am left wondering, “What happened to the beach? Whose birthday is it?”

    I love the ending with the champagne also, but I would suggest to have your credits scene up for a bit longer, for a calmer transition to the end. Maybe show the credits after a dip to black? The video starts off calm and mellow, but that ending seems to speed things up. Overall, I think you covered the calm sense of a nice, slow day, similar to the channels that show the slow train rides across the countryside. Nice job!

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  3. In reviewing the video, I appreciate that I can still relive the enjoyment of that day at the beach and don’t regret procrastinating in that way. That said, one viewer suggested that text could be used differently to cue what is happening. I think I could also accomplish this with a more accurate title that would be less abstract for a viewer who isn’t me. One critique shared that they would like to have a better balance between the sound of the waves and the music at the beginning with greater emphasis on the music. This is an interesting consideration as I wanted the waves to be the opening focal point and fade into the music. I will play around with that transition.
    I also noted that the Non Additive transitions I used were not playing well given the duration and the multicolor shots for which I used them and this was a hiccup for other viewers as well. I am going to delete those and use more of the “Dip to” options I used elsewhere. I think it is important not to have every transition be the same, but too many types isn’t helpful, either.
    Additionally, it was suggested I show the credits after a dip to black or extend their time over the champagne bubbles to slow them down. I don’t have longer shots of the champagne bubbles, so I will experiment with looping the video of the bubbles to allow a longer transition.

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