Premiere Pro CC 101 – Part 14: Timeline Organization

A new Premiere Pro CC 101 tutorial

By Kevin P. McAuliffe (doddleNEWS)

This lesson in Adobe Premiere Pro CC is going to be a little different: We’re going to talk about organization. Now, I’m not talking about Project/Bin organization, I’m talking about timeline organization. Of all places to stay organized, this is where you really need to make sure you have your ducks in a row.

I’ve taught editing for a long time, and one thing that always amazes me is when editors have video clips on 15 different layers. No. One layer, maybe two or three, if you’re doing some effects work, but for basic cuts/dissolves/wipes, one layer is more than enough. It’s not only to keep yourself organized, but if you’re working on a project with other editors, or there’s the possibility you might be sending your project off to someone else, this is a must.

As for audio, if you’re working on a relatively simple project, then keep it simple.  Eight channels of audio, broken down as follows – VO(‘s) on channels ½ – On-Camera Dialogue on channels ¾ – Effects on ⅚ – Music on ⅞.

Now, I’ve edited for close to 20 years, and I’ve always used this method, and it’s never steered me wrong.

Track Layout

I’ve had editors who say “Well, I don’t have effects in my piece, just a lot of music (or no VO, and just a lot of on-camera dialog).” No problem. Simply use the tracks that don’t have any audio on them, to ping-pong the other audio, back and forth on.

Many editors will ask why I set things up this way, and I always tell them the same thing. I tell them that when you call me at 3:30 in the morning, looking for a specific music track I used in my piece, I can tell you (half asleep) that the audio is on track seven and eight about 15 minutes into the edit, as all my audio is always organized the same way, every edit I do.

Click here for Kevin’s Premiere Pro CC 101 tutorials

Kevin P. McAuliffe is one of the Senior Editors at Extreme Reach in Toronto, Canada. His current clients include Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, and E1 Entertainment, to name a few. You can follow him on Twitter @kpmcauliffe.

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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