Making a movie is always a group project, whether the credits at the end of the film include just a handful of names or a cast of thousands…or tens of thousands. In this digital age, it means you’ll have a team, or more likely, many teams that need access to footage, music, still images as well as all the many other documents and files. But access can get messy, and dangerous, since files can be accessed then lost or overwritten. Or teams can create copies that can confuse everyone.
Teams need access and to be in sync, but they also must collaborate efficiently and securely
That’s my guess on why Adobe chose to unveil Productions, a new feature set in its Premiere Pro software, during this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Chances are nearly every cinematographer, content creator, editor, DP and director at this year’s festival has dealt with the dark side of a digital products. Namely, chaos.
Adobe says that the Productions feature set, which will soon be included in Premiere Pro, was designed to help production teams “work more collaboratively and manage projects more efficiently…whether you’re working on your own or collaborating with a team. ” In fact, Adobe says Productions was designed “with input from top Hollywood filmmakers and editorial teams, including those behind ‘Terminator: Dark Fate,’ ‘Dolemite is My Name,’ and David Fincher’s upcoming film ‘MANK.’” It’s Adobe’s way, the company says, to ensure that the feature set will meet the real-world needs of today’s filmmakers
Here are some of the key aspects of the new feature set:
- Manage complex projects: Productions lets you divide them into smaller pieces. For instance, an editorial team might organize their workflow around reels and scenes, while an agency might set up a workflow based on each client, allowing quick reference and access to relevant assets from the projects that relate to specific clients. Or, an episodic show could be grouped by season, providing access to assets like title sequences or audio elements.
- Efficient, organized and synchronized: Productions lets you re-use assets without creating duplicates, keeping individual projects light and fast. Adobe says it will use the new Production panel in Premiere Pro to provide “a command center for managing multi-project workflows.” Adobe says that this allows you to add any project, and it will become part of the project. “Whether you are working on macOS or Windows, any changes you make on disk are reflected in Premiere Pro; changes in Premiere Pro are applied on disk.” Adobe says “keeps everything in sync.
- Designed for collaboration: Although we haven’t had a chance to use the feature set yet, one keep element appears to be “Project Locking,” which “ensures that no one overwrites your work. Adobe says others can access your project and copy content from it, “but they can’t make changes until you’ve completed your edit.”
Adobe also says that it means that “multiple editors can work on different projects in the same production using shared local storage.” That’s because all projects in a production “share the same settings, including scratch disks, GPU renderer, capture and ingest settings. This provides the advantage of shared preview render files: a sequence rendered by one editor is available for all others on that project, ensuring smooth playback and time-savings for the whole team.” It also allows you to see who’s working on what so you and your team can track your progress.
Additionally, Adobe says Productions gives you control of your content. “Your projects and assets can live entirely on your local storage. Nothing is on the cloud unless you put it there. If needed, you can do all your work without an internet connection.”
We’ll be sure to review how well this feature lives up to this launch when it’s included in Premiere Pro—although we don’t yet know exactly when that will be since Adobe simply stated that the feature is “coming soon.”