Every editing journey begins with a round of ‘selects’. The faster I can get through that round, the faster I’ll get to the fun part of editing – crafting the story. I’d like to share some workflow tips that I’ve picked up over the years that help me breeze through the selects process while staying organized for quick footage reference in later editing rounds.
Tip #1: macro on a gaming mouse for fast clip ‘nudges’ to upper track
I use a Logitech G502 mouse for editing. Using the Logitech G Hub app, I set one of the mouse buttons to execute a macro to perform these steps:
- Edit all
- Move playhead one frame backwards
- Select clip at playhead
- Nudge clip up one track up (repeat if there are two camera angles)
Make sure that only your video tracks are on and not your audio tracks. Otherwise, you may start shifting audio clips unintentionally.
I’ll use my shortcut (v) to “edit all” for the beginning of the clip I like, then simply click the mouse button that has my macro. So far, I’ve found it to be the fastest way to skim through a string-out of footage and make selects.
Tip #2: “Show Duplicate Frame Markers”
Another handy feature in Premiere: “show duplicate frame markers”. This will place a colored bar at the bottom of the clips in the sequence that have a duplicate frame in the same sequence.
This is super useful when your b-roll options are thin and you need to quickly know what b-roll has not been used in your edit so far. Copy and paste the current edit somewhere at the end of your b-roll string-out, and you’ll quickly see what footage hasn’t been used yet.
Tip #3: metadata display – “Video Usage”
Another useful way to quickly know what clips haven’t been used in a sequence (or find out which sequences they have been used in) is the “Video Usage” column. It’s not one of the default columns that appear in your Project panel.
- Right-click one of the column headings and click Metadata Display
- Toggle down the Premiere Pro Project Metadata
- Check the box for “Video Usage”
Now, you’ll be able to quickly see how many times a clip has been used in a sequence. It also includes a drop-down you can click to see which sequences it has been used in.
Bonus Tip: Turn OFF the video track when making sound bite selects
Footage is increasingly getting more “K”s (we shoot in 8K now), which means even bigger files and more chances that Premiere may struggle to playback footage in real-time. You wouldn’t want to render the entire timeline (could take forever, and take up even more space). Lowering the resolution can help, but you’re also viewing the footage at a lesser quality.
My approach: turn off all the video layers! You don’t need to watch the entire interview if it was shot well. This will allow real time playback and speedy Premiere performance. You will also be able to focus more on the quality of the sound bites as you build your story edit (at which point you can turn the video back on to see if there are any visual issues that need to be covered with b-roll).
Hope these tips can help you out in your editing projects. I’m all ears if you have any tips of your own you’d like to share.