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Adobe's Vision for Professional Video with Jim Guerard. Run Time: 00:12:06
As disgruntled Apple Final Cut Pro users search out options for professional video editing, Adobe Systems has been a major beneficiary of the big switch since FCPX hit the market. In her interview with Jim Guerard of Adobe Systems, Debra Kaufman finds the result of Adobe's offering for former FCP users to be a big uptick in pro video users.
As disgruntled Apple
Final Cut Pro users search out options for professional video editing, Adobe Systems
has been a major beneficiary of the big switch since FCPX hit the market. "We have had a 22 percent year-over-year growth in Adobe professional video sales, says Jim Guerard, Adobe Systems Vice President and General Manager of Professional Video and Audio." "We've seen a growth from fewer than 1 million seats worldwide in 2006 to 2.3 million in 2010." Other Adobe statistics spell-out the momentum: 45 percent growth on Mac and a 30 percent increase in unit sales from CS4 to CS5.
Just as Avid has made a play to draw in former Final Cut Pro editors [Read about Avid's Event promising commitment to professionals - Editor's note
], Adobe just finished touring the U.S. in the late spring/early summer to debut its upgrade program, open to any video professional who purchased a version of Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer and wanted to switch to Creative Suite CS5.5 Production Premium
or Premiere Pro CS5.5. For more information on the details of the switching program, click here
Jim Guerard, Adobe Systems Vice President and General Manager of Professional Video and Audio
"We drew several hundred people at each event, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York," says Guerard. "We did the event with our partners NVIDIA
and others, and showed people how we worked with Apple's Thunderbolt
. Since we were already having a lot of customers switching from FCP to Premiere before FCPX, it didn't slow down. We're going like a rocket."
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5
appeals to editors for raw speed and performance, says Guerard. "We re-architected Premiere for our Mercury Playback Engine in August 2010, with a native 64-bit GPU and the performance improvement was remarkable." Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 is also optimized for multi-core systems and is GPU-accelerated for real-time effects, color correction, faster rendering and speedy multilayer performance.
For Apple Mac users, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 can use the resources of Thunderbolt
, Apple's next generation I/O technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single port.
Adobe also created another key feature: ensuring integration of Adobe Premiere with the new generation of digital cameras. "We natively support all these camera formats from Sony to Panasonic, from RED to the Canon 5D Mark II," says Guerard. "You don't waste hours and hours of transcoding on ingest. The time and money we save people and the amount they're able to get done is huge."
The fact that Premiere is part of the company's Creative Suite also plays a role. Editors can easily integrate visual effects and still imagery into their workflow with Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop; the software also enables users to import and export projects between Premiere and Final Cut Pro projects and includes many FCP and Avid keyboard shortcuts.
With the upgrade program, anyone switching is eligible for a 50 percent savings through September 30, 2011; Adobe's Premiere Pro CS5.5, as a standalone application, which ordinarily sells for $799, is $399.50 at half price and Creative Suite CS5.5 Production Premium, which normally sells for $1,699, is $849.50. For users who are leery of making a switch to an unfamiliar editing system, Adobe has resources: both documents
and a set of video tutorials
about Premiere Pro targeted at getting new users up to speed quickly.
Although the period to upgrade ends September 30 in the U.S., Guerard notes that the company introduced the program at different times in other regions, where the program will run longer. As to whether Adobe will extend the time period to switch (which Avid just did), Guerard demurs. "We don't know yet if we'll extend it, but there's always the chance," he says.
Who's making the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro? According to Guerard, the broadcast and indie filmmaker arenas are the most likely suspects. "In broadcast, there is so much happening with multi-screen delivery and distribution," says Guerard. "With Premiere, you can seamlessly take the content out to all kinds of platforms. And broadcasters know us and trust that we're dedicated to this market. They know they'll get a brand new release every year. For professional editors who count on their software application to pay the bills, they need that kind of partnership and collaboration."
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 interface. Click image for larger view
The broadcast environment is especially tricky since editing software needs to be integrated with a host of other gear, from media asset management and play-out systems to storage and on-air systems. "The breaking of that workflow and the lack of integration has left broadcasters in the lurch," says Guerard. "They need a trusted partner."
Indie filmmakers and boutique post houses have been another market that has quickly made the switch to Adobe Premiere. Two examples that Adobe Systems has highlighted include New York director/cameraman/editor David Dessel (The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
) and cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation
Dessel owns Metaphor Pictures, a Manhattan-based boutique company that focuses on commercials, webisodes, music videos, corporate videos, and documentaries. Always a techie, Dessel has always stayed current with technology; RED ONE, Sony XDCAM HD, and Canon 5D DSLR are his current cameras-of-choice. Although Dessel had been using Adobe After Effects and Photoshop software for more than ten years, he didn't use Adobe Premiere Pro, which he'd been introduced to some years before.
That's until he recently needed to master a Blu-ray Disc. Using Adobe CS, he tried out the Premiere software liked what he learned…especially that Premiere could edit the output of RED ONE camera natively. He was sold when he read blogger Chris Fenwick
's online tutorial for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. There, he realized he could natively edit and combine any type of footage, create effects or manipulate images using other programs in the Production Premium suite and then instantly see changes updated in Adobe Premiere Pro (through Adobe Dynamic Link). He also liked the fact that, via his NVIDIA card, he could edit and playback footage in real time through the Mercury Playback Engine.
Having made the switch to Premiere Pro, Dessel is now more frequently mixing formats and frame rates in his projects. You can read more about Dessel's journey to adopting Adobe Premiere on Adobe.com
. Cinematographer Hurlbut also made the switch to Premiere Pro, in order to edit DSLR footage for the upcoming film Act of Valor. Hurlbut discusses
the reasons for his switch on Adobe TV.
Shane Hurlbut on using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 to edit Act of Valor
Guerard also notes that numerous top film schools are also making the switch to Premiere, USC, UCLA, Chapman University, American Film Institute, Sheridan, and Full Sail among others. It's worth noting that Adobe Systems also has aggressive pricing for student users; qualified full-time students can save up to 80 percent on Adobe products. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 goes for $349.
"We're very excited about the future," says Guerard. "We've been on a great roll with our professional video business and we'll continue to have great new features."
Santa Monica, California USA
Debra Kaufman has been following Adobe for her two-plus decades in the industry and watched the amazing rising fortunes of Premiere as a contender in the nonlinear editing space. She is also a fan of the exciting Dust to Glory, the 2005 award-winning documentary about the Baja 1000 annual off-road race, which was cut with Premiere by director/editor Dana Brown and Scott Waugh, and marked a new era for Adobe Premiere.