Streamlining the Review and Approval Process with Adobe Premiere Pro
COW Library : Adobe Premiere Pro Tutorials : Aanarav Sareen : Streamlining the Review and Approval Process with Adobe Premiere Pro
You already know that one of Premiere Pro's best features is how well it integrates with other applications in Adobe's Production Studio. Premiere Pro's integration doesn't stop at the product level - it extends into technology itself.
This article looks at how two technologies among many from Adobe - PDF and Flash - help take Premiere Pro deeper than any other integrated toolset on the market.
Corporate video, independent film, event videography, commercials - it really doesn't matter. Somebody needs to look at your work and approve it before you get paid. After they've seen your work the first time, they often ask for changes. They review those changes, and maybe ask for more. While this goes on, you're not getting paid.
Thankfully, Adobe's Clip Notes technology built into Premiere Pro makes it all happen faster.
The idea behind Clip Notes is a very powerful one, and very easy for you to use. It starts with two very simple ideas. First, the PDF technology in Adobe Acrobat has supported video for years. Clip Notes makes it easy for you to merge your video into one of these PDF files. Acrobat has also let people make notes in the free Adobe Reader since version 7. Clip Notes let you make notes in the movie itself.
Here's how it works...
Once you've got your Premiere Pro sequence ready for review, go to the Timeline menu and select "Export to Clip Notes." With a couple of clicks to define options, you can embed a Windows Media or QuickTime version of your sequence into a PDF file that your client can read with the free Adobe Reader application.
Using the same Adobe Reader, the client can watch the movie, stop when they want to, and add timecode specific comments. When they're finished, they hit Export button in the Clip Notes window. This saves the file to their disk, opens up their email application with the PDF file attached, and your name already in the "To" field. It's fast for them to send, because all they're actually sending is the comments that Premiere will then attach back to the video at your end.
When you receive the email, you go back to the File menu in Premiere Pro, and select Import Clip Notes Comments. You'll see the comments imported as timecodespecific markers. As you view the markers, you'll the comments inside, and you can make the changes you need to make, exactly where they need to be.
I'll use an example to show how it worked for me. Ever since I was a student, to becoming an intern, to now running my own business, I've been around broadcast news. We were recently in the final stages of assembling a newscast, and needed a 45 second segment edited from a live event that was still going on. The location team made their edits in the field, used Clip Notes to send us a PDF with the embedded clip for our review.
(Because the clip was saved at highest quality, the file was rather large. The location team uploaded it via our satellite, but you may want to host large files on a web service, including your website. Generally speaking, you'll find it much easier to use smaller-sized movies, which will still look great.)
We made Clip Notes comments in the PDF and sent it back. They revised the edit, sent it to us, and a few minutes later, it was on the air. The whole round-trip, including the re-edit to the time it got on the air, took just over an hour.
Most of the projects you do will be longer than 45 seconds, so the review and approve process might take more than an hour. Whether your project is longer or shorter than my example was, the time it takes you to get your project approved will be shorter. A shorter review process means that you get paid faster.
For more details, including screengrabs of every step along the way, you can take a look at a tutorial that I wrote for The Creative COW. The easiest way to get there from here is to go to the COW's articles page, and search for articles by the name of the author.
Clip Notes leverages Adobe's PDF technology, accessing its inherent video support to allow the same kind of "you're seeing what I'm seeing" support that PDF documents have given users.
Soon after I posted the Clip Notes article, I started receiving requests from other broadcast stations and facilities to develop an even more robust review system. I'd already started working on this for my own local station.
I didn't need something faster than Clip Notes. I wanted something that could provide richer feedback about things besides a specific point in time. I needed a way to customize the feedback for different kinds of projects.
I found Adobe Captivate, one of the products that came over from Macromedia. It's a very, very powerful tool, primarily for creating Flash-based online training and simulations that can be viewed in the free Flash player that nearly everyone already has.
Instead of building classroom training, I've been using Captivate to build customized review systems.
Just as with Clip Notes, it doesn't really matter what kind of video you do. You can still take advantage of Captivate. It's not built into Premiere, but it's very affordable ($599), and still very well integrated..
Here again is an example of I used it in the real world.
Most of what I do is news and corporate productions, but my company has also started making pilots that we hope will picked up by the major networks. These include script-based dramas, comedies and talk-shows. We've submitted five pilots this season, and the talk show is still in the running as I write this.
(Making pilots is a very draining process. I have no idea how anyone makes it through.)
The specific way that I've been using Captivate with Premiere for this is to export my Premiere sequences as FLV movies, then build them into Captivate presentations using drag and drop.
Part of Captivate's feature set as an e-learning tool is that you can build quizzes right inside your presentations with these drag and drop tools. You can actually think of it as building a mini-application with Flash that lets you customize how you get feedback.
Instead of quizzes, we ask our producers to rank their satisfaction with a scene in our script-based shows, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best.
(Other styles of "quizzes" in Captivate that might be helpful for client review include multiple choice and short answers. You can also choose true/false, fill-in-theblanks, etc.)
If a rating lands at 7 or below, a window pops up asking them for more details about what they didn't like, and what they think we should change. When the reviewer closes the window, it automatically sends an email to us on the production team, telling us what we need to do next.
It took me just a few minutes to build the exact review system I needed by dragging and dropping. The technology in Captivate is flexible enough that it has become an integral part of our production workflow for everything we do.
We also helped an advertising agency build a custom review system in Captivate. Advertising obviously involves a lot of input to the editor - producers, multiple representatives from both the agency and the client, and so on. Captivate helped them create standardized ways to provide comments from everyone, with faster, easier ways to get that input to the editors.
GET PAID FASTER
You've already seen in your own work that you can work faster thanks to integration between Adobe products and technologies. Now, Clip Notes using PDF and Adobe Captivate using Flash can help you get paid faster using the same integration.
Aanarav Sareen is an Adobe Certified Expert in Premiere Pro and consults with many companies on maximizing their own Premiere Pro-based systems. He is also the host of Creative COW's Adobe Premiere Pro podcast and he is also one of the host team on our Premiere Pro forum.
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