Adobe Premiere Pro: A few efficiency tips, assembling your clips

Today, I’m doing something a little different. I’m creating a guide that is not only something I wanted to share with you, but also as something that I can reference myself.

Recently, I’ve been jumping back into editing. Although it is something that I love doing, post-production is also something that I can go months without doing. However, with the new wave of projects I’m working on, I’m finally able to jump back into editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.

I’ve been an Adobe user since I began working with their software back in college. When I began photography as a hobby, I started with the basics in Photoshop and Illustrator. Through that, I was introduced to many of their related programs.

From a video editing perspective, I was “classically trained” in Final Cut Pro. This was when the software was a fantastic and powerful editing too. Not the stripped down Final Cut Pro X that was released a few years later.

However, when I was working from my dorm, I had no access to Final Cut. My solution was to test out the alternatives. I found Adobe Premiere Pro to be a very effective editing tool for the jobs that I needed done.

After graduation, Premiere Pro became my primary tool for video editing. It wasn’t until I started diving deeper into local video projects that I was able to heavily utilize this tool. Unfortunately, there came a time that I had to step away from post-production.

Which brings me to my point. When I haven’t used certain software in a while, I tend to just forget all of the shortcuts and tricks that make my job a little easier. I’ve decided to go back and refresh myself on some of the basic shortcuts, not only for me but also for any new or amnesic users.

Let’s start with the basics. I’m sure I’ll touch base on some more advanced techniques in the future. For now, let’s look at the simplest commands and organizational methods associated with assembling video clips in Premiere Pro.

Storyboard those clips:

For any project that requires organizing a variety of clips into a coherent story (through the power of editing), it might be beneficial to separate those clips into a storyboard WITHIN Premiere Pro.

How? Basically, if you look on the bottom left of your screen, you’ll see all the clips for your session. There is also the option to create Bins (Folders) for your clips in order to better organize them.

Editing clips in the Source Monitor
In terms of organization and pre-Timeline actions, I just wanted to provide a quick rundown on some of the commands available for editing in the Source Monitor. These are the ones that I discovered to help with my efficiency.

Command Name
Mark In/Set In Point
Mark the beginning of your clip selection in source
Mark Out/Set Out Point
Mark the end of your clip selection in source
Shift +I
Go to In
Move to In marker in source
Go to Out
Move to Out marker in source
Overlay Selection
Replaces current position on Timeline with Source Monitor selection
Insert Selection
Inserts Source Monitor selection into the current place in the Timeline

With these tools, you can make selections from the Source Monitor. These selections can help to trim down a particular clip without any editing in the Timeline.

These buttons associated with the shortcuts are available right below the Source Monitor.
Once you have your selection, you have your Insert and Overlay tools to place your selection into the Timeline.
Assembly for screen real estate!
And in case you couldn’t tell from the previous screenshot, there are various ways to assemble your workspace. If you happen to be working on a small display and can’t quite cram the Source Monitor in with the Program Monitor, there is also a very nifty Assembly tab at the top, which will toggle the layout to only display the Assembly monitor, freeing up some space for any preliminary clip management and trimming before jumping into the Timeline.

So, those are just a few items I learned with clip and time management in Adobe Premiere Pro. Of course, some of these could also apply to any nonlinear editing tools, so hopefully this information can be a learning experience for all just jumping into editing or needing some productivity tips.
As I learn (or relearn) more, I’m hoping to return with some more items in the future. Thanks you for stopping by!
Until next time!

Author: Steven E. Croner

Hey, everyone. How are you? I’m doing pretty well. My name is Steven. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for a few years now. What sort of projects have I been working on, you ask? Well, I’ve assisted with several indie film productions in that time, mostly directly behind the camera or working with camera operations. It has been pretty fun. I’ve also been working on several other projects individually. This website is a collection of those projects that I do on in my spare time. Please click on the links above to learn about some of the work that I do in digital media and writing. I hope you enjoy my collection, which is a combination of old, archived work and new content I am compelled to share with you. Please feel free to interact, engage, and help me make some friends and colleagues in the creative media communities!

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