My Premiere Pro Workflow

I think workflow in post is all about efficiency and speed. With that in mind I'm sharing with you my personal post workflow that I use daily for editing my corporate and commercial work (just note that my workflow on narrative films and music videos differs from this).

I'm generally looking at tight deadlines or billing my clients by the hour, so my goal is always quality but also speed. If I can estimate an edit will take 10 hours but get it done in 9, my customers will appreciate the savings and be sure to book me again.

I start every project by selecting my Premiere_Template project which is a base project I have created and saved locally on my hard drive.

As soon as I open this template I immediately Save as... rename this project to whatever it should be called and save to whatever external drive the project is loaded on so that my template is left undisturbed.

My template is loaded up with a folder structure in place that I like to use for my projects. I've got folders for my Sequences, Footage, Music, and Graphics which further divides into Bumpers, Overlays, and Lower Thirds.

Creating this structure every time I start a new project would be a pain in the ass and take up too much time.

Creating this structure every time I start a new project would be a pain in the ass and take up too much time.

I also have a folder called Video Elements which is where I keep some items I've purchased over the years including Mattes and Transition Mattes from Rampant Design, some light leaks and flares, some custom made transitions and split screens, and a folder with letterbox options that I downloaded from Vashi Visuals.

From there I'll import my footage and create my first sequence which I usually call "String Out" and I'll start sorting through my footage and adding to my sequence. I'm both the editor and shooter on 95% of what I work on so I usually have a good idea of what clips I want to use before I even start.

As I string out, I'll usually place markers on clips that I really like with some quick notes for later reference. I like to turn off the visibility on Video Track 3 and place a Black Video layer on that track. As I group clips in my String Out Sequence, I'll cut the Black Video and rename it to correspond with sections like "Interviews" and "B-Roll". 

With the visibility on track 3 off my black video is effectively just a big marker that helps keep my footage organized

With the visibility on track 3 off my black video is effectively just a big marker that helps keep my footage organized

When I'm happy with my String Out I'll duplicate that sequence and leave it undisturbed in case I need to reference it after I've started cutting. I'll call my new sequence "Rough" and I'll start my cut from there. As I work I'll basically just duplicate my sequence as it moves into the next progression so that I can always refer back if I run into trouble.

These days I find myself round-tripping with Resolve. I actually think I color better in Premiere but as I continue to learn DaVinci Resolve I can see that it's features are far more powerful than what you can do in Premiere. I just need to learn how to harness that power and start viewing color the way a professional colorist would.

On occasion I'll also round trip with Audition if my project needs extra audio work.

Having my folder structure and commonly used elements pre-loaded  into a project is a great way to save a few extra minutes every time I sit down to edit. I don't want to sit at my computer and stare at these screens any longer than I have to. Generally speaking, the faster I edit the sooner I get paid.

If you have a cool editing workflow or some tips and tricks, please share.