Our Top 5 Adobe Premiere Pro Hacks That Save Time

Tips and tricks to maximize your time and creativity.

Time to get more done. Photo: Carl Heyerdahl/Unsplash

Time to get more done. Photo: Carl Heyerdahl/Unsplash

There are certain “best practices” that make creating and editing a video project as streamlined as possible, but if you’re just getting started out, you may not know what those practices are yet.

At Smashworks, our team has been doing this sort of work for a while, and along the way, we’ve identified some key habits that take some of the pressure off creating.

Here are our tips and tricks:

1. Do the lead work to a shoot.

This is probably one of the most important things you can do to prevent headaches and confusion for not only yourself, but any sort of team you’re working with. By lead work, we mean pre-visualize your shoots. Create a storyboard, a shot list, and a schedule. Plan out your edit so you’re not scrambling on shoot day to put the pieces together.

2. Use pre-built assets whenever possible.

For our team, that means using the Smashworks tools we’ve created to significantly cut down on work time. Using pre-built assets will save you hours of work time, and energy that could be put toward conceptualizing another project, promoting your current work, or working on that passion project you’ve been daydreaming about.

3. Edit to music.

If you’ve got a song (or songs) in mind for your project, edit your footage to them, rather than putting all your footage together beforehand and trying to pair it with a song later. It’s all about working smart, not hard.

4. Duplicate! Duplicate! Duplicate!

Work non-destructively. Duplicating adds close to no additional file size and will only benefit your workflow. Each time you want to try something new with your edit, or make an alternate version, duplicate your sequence and save it as another version. Ex: Edit 01, Edit 02, Edit 03.

This makes it much easier to experiment and come up with creative alternatives, without risking losing your original cut.

5. Edit in phases.

Tackling your projects in parts, or phases, will make it more manageable and help increase productivity. An example of this is going through and color/clip highlights in a raw footage sequence, then copy them into a dedicated 'highlights' sequence. From there, you only have to dig through your best footage as you drag the highlights into your final sequences where you handle all the editing. Labeling your footage different colors, depending on the likelihood of using the shot, is even better. This is a huge time saver and makes projects a lot easier to digest.