Rich Alderson Limited

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A Year In The Clouds

When I was first setting up the business in early 2013, I needed an affordable software solution that was flexible, useful and bang up to date. Fifteen years earlier I had learnt my craft on early Meridien Avid systems, and later graduated to Final Cut Pro whilst editing BBC drama. But now editors like us do so much more than just edit, and I knew that along with a professional non-linear editing tool (NLE) we also needed After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and potentially some of the other lesser known creative tools. I kept thinking about Adobe Premiere as an option, but remembered years ago trying to help a director who had lost his way with a short film, and finding Premiere very counter intuitive after years of Avid and FCP.

But I had also heard the rumblings in the industry suggesting that a change was coming. Premiere could now work with native formats removing the time consuming transcode often necessary for FCP, and some people whose opinions I valued were actually saying it was rather good. At this point the Adobe suite was on CS6, and I downloaded the trial version to see for myself, testing Premiere initially on a fairly simple edit that didn’t have a tight deadline, aware that if it let me down I could always revert back to FCP. I was very pleasantly surprised, and had no more difficulty with the transition than I had between Avid and FCP years before. Indeed, it is quite clear to the experienced editor how the current incarnation of Premiere has ‘borrowed’ some of the best bits from both Avid and FCP.

The complete CS6 suite was around £2,800 at the time, but Adobe had recently rolled out the monthly subscription option in readiness for the upcoming CC (more of this shortly). A few months earlier Adobe had been offering discounts to FCP users switching to Premiere, picking up on the large amount of dissatisfaction around FCPX at the time. I phoned Adobe sales and pleaded my case as a new business, and low and behold they honoured the old deal and offered a hefty discount for the first year. Now we just needed to download the Creative Suite – all of it – onto the two Apple Macs that were running in the edit setup at this point.

Soon after this Adobe rolled out the CC versions of the software and announced the end of the disks in a box option, a move that seemed to divide an industry. Many long term Adobe users seemed to feel let down by this inability to ‘own’ the software, although in truth the only thing you ever own then and now is the licence to use it! There were concerns about being able to use the software offline without an internet connection. In reality your computer needs to connect with Adobe once a month to verify, but if you are accessing the regular updates and utilising others features such as the included cloud storage then this is never an issue.

The integration between various applications has been a real bonus for our workflow, with a very easy Premiere to After Effects and Speed Grade round trip. Although buggy at first, the regular updates from Adobe seem to fix any issues very quickly. We have also found that many of the other creatives we work with are using Creative Cloud, and so working together on projects has become easier than ever. We have also occasionally used other apps such as In Design to open client files, and Audition to do some some basic audio clean up.

Adobe Creative Cloud certainly has it’s critics, but for a business like us it has proved to be the perfect creative toolset. It helps us to be even more lean and creative in our workflow, and with the addition of 20Gb cloud storage and a superb set of fonts included, it just keeps getting better.

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