Hey all: Im starting a new feature doc (which, for now, is essentially self-funded) and my collaborators and I are split on the Avid/Premiere question. Though were able to physically cut on either, one side is pushing for Avid because of its ease of project sharing between collaborators, rock-solid project stability, and ease/solidity in ultimately transferring to online/mix; the other side is pushing for Premiere because of its ease of use without full AE support (which we probably wont have until funded), connectivity to the rest of the Creative Suite, and ability to work quickly and efficiently with various resolutions/framerates/etc. Any thoughts from the group? Any recent experiences that have caused you to give up on one or embrace the other? Are the assumptions above correctly applied to one or the other or are they both strong/weak in those areas? Happy to answer any questions about the details of our production if they help to lead to an answer. Just trying not to unduly influence the discussion with my preference.
Shane Ross: Avid wont require relinking of any kind if you send bins of cut back and forth. As long as you have the same media, itll relink automatically. the only thing missing will be renders, which you simply re-render. Its got a rock solid offline/online workflow. But yeah, if you are collaborating, Avid has the leg up here. Tons of stills in the project? Adobe is better when dealing with moves on stills. And with dynamic linking to AE projects. But having done a feature doc that was started in Premiere…I didnt like it. The project would take forever to launch (reading all of that media…that slows it down). But there were MANY things that premiere did wrong that now they have fixed (offline/online workflow…importing sequences USED to bring in all the clips…again and again, ballooning the project size). But still…multiple editors, Id use Avid. mainly with the linking and relinking issues. Also…how will you finish/online? How much effects will you have? Plugins used? All that matters.
Jason Decker: When was it that you were working on the Premiere doc? Just trying to gauge what issues you may have had then that may not be issues any longer.
Shane Ross: Last year. On a 2015 version. 2017 fixes a LOT of issues I had.
James Fletcher: If you want access to the largest group of professional editors, Avid is the way to go.
James Fletcher: …also, its as easy to work without an assistant on Avid as it is on Premiere.
Scott Davis: James Fletcher I would add that a good AE is more important when working with Premiere. If things are not done correctly at the onset the shit really piles up by the end. Avid forces you into doing things correctly.
Christopher Alexander: Will you have multiple editors cutting different acts of the doc simultaneously using a shared storage system like an ISIS? Avid might be the way to go.
Christopher Alexander: Adobe may have recently made improvements in this area, though.
Jeffrey Williams: AVID is hands-down the better choice for long-term organization, platform stability, and the ability to share work between editors and assists.If youre running it on a qualified system, ease of use shouldnt be much of an issue. Premiere has its virtues, but long-term project management for a sprawling, open-ended feature is not one of them.
Ryan Charlie Charles: Will you be rocking script sync? That to me is a big reason to use Avid for docs. Otherwiseâ€” and I am preparing for a backlash on this oneâ€” you may want to check out FCPX. I have been cutting a feature doc on it and you canâ€™t beat its organizational abilities. How will you be logging and transcribing your footage?
Jason Decker: Script Sync is a big consideration right now. Ive only had experience cutting a web series on FCPX and trading projects between myself and the director was a nightmare. Its very possible that that has changed but, as none of us on the project have had good experiences with FCPX, I cant imagine Ill be able to sway anyone in that direction.Have you been sharing the project with others or are you solo editing?
Don Stafford: I agree on FCPX
Ryan Charlie Charles: Jason Decker mostly solo editing. I upload cuts to frame.io and get notes that way. Though I do have a 2nd editor who works off their own media drive but we donâ€™t work on the same project files.
Craig Parkes: Its a decision that should be fairly easy to make based on workflow considerations.Having done long form on both – at this point what both are really good at is really different. What both are terrible at is really different. What both are about the same at is most of the day to day editing tasks – depending on the editors comfort level.If I knew sharing bins / collaborating across cuts and organization of footage was going to be key Id stick with Avid – especially on a potentially long term edit.Avid also just forces better work practices in terms of media organization.In saying that – if a big part of the doco requires multigrouping I wouldnt wish Avid Multigrouping on anyone over Premieres multicam sequencing.Reality is whatever one you go with can be made to work great, IF you know exactly what workflow you are going to encounter. Both can be crippled if production runs rough shod over those plans.Neither is flat out better in my experience – but I will say this:If you know Avid the things that will frustrate you massively and will become a huge time sink should be expected.If you know Premiere really well, the things that frustrate you massively and become a huge time sink might be unexpected.And when a Premiere project breaks it tends to do so fairly catastrophically – good full system backups are a must/no brainer with either these days – but the longer the edit the more inclined I am towards Avid.
Jason Decker: Your either/or in paragraphs 3-5 are exactly what Im teetering on at the moment. Avid leads the way on sharing/collaborating but Ive used Premiere Team Projects on my last two projects and its pretty damn close. Not exactly the same… but until w…See more
Craig Parkes: Without an AVID AE you are in for pain at the beginning of the process with AVID. Without an AE who is as competent as an AVID AE you are in for pain at the END of the process with Premiere.Not REQUIRING a solid AE at the start of a long form doco pr…See more
Jason Decker: There were definitely some issues with our Team Projects but they all related to the amount of unnecessary media that was being brought in and clogging up the pipeline. Both projects were extremely archival heavy and lacked a strong sense of direction …See more
Craig Parkes: Both arent rock solid on the back end – Avids just got more tools to deal with issues than Premiere when things go badly. I mean, you dont need to search their own forums much to see Adobe support respond to people having major issues with what amou…See more
Scott Davis: Craig Parkes Stated perfectly!!
Sean Lewis: Premieres ability to work with various resolutions and framerates without you having to transcode can really backfire later down the line. Ive spoken to conform editors whove had nightmares with Premiere, because its so easy to bring a foreign frame rate into the project, and just start cutting with it. Then when the conform editor has to transcode the clip to a different framerate, speeds of shots change, or durations of shots change, and it spirals into a huge problem. So just on that detail, Id say that Premieres ability to work freely with multiple frame rates is kind of irrelevant for serious projects like feature docos. My two cents – to put it simply; Avid is just so tried and tested for working with multiple editors, so most people know how to set it up and it wont go wrong.
Jason Decker: Yep, that is one of my biggest pet peeves. It drives me crazy when other people on my teams do this. That said, Ive been in Avid projects where editors got impatient and AMA linked temporarily and then forgot to pass on the word to the AEs and we ran into the same issue down the line.
Sean Lewis: Yeah, those are the sort of problems that are bound to happen when a project has no assistant – usually the beginning stages of documentaries.
Stu Willis: Ive had online editors have the same experience with Avid workflows, and had more trouble because the post team expect Avid just to work.
Nancy Forner: Working on a feature doc right now in Premiere. I came on the project late. Nothing was transcoded. Multiple frame rates and formats. Tons of trouble with outputs and DCPs. Plus premiere is so slow. Everyday wishing we were on AVID.
Jason Decker: Definitely a good thing to keep in mind: Work with editors who understand proper media protocols for features.
Will Fergus Wykeham: Jason Decker Pisses me off big time, or media creation settings set to desktop. Come on people its more than in out splice , make an effort
Alex Gans: Work between both, they are just tools…..
Jason Decker: Use both on the same project?
David Ross: Jason Decker Oh my god no! Dont even think about it.
Alex Gans: Jason Decker of course not. Saying they both have issues and to me are just tools. Like them both….
Jason Decker: Yeah, thats why I was confused. As an editor, I use both interchangeably and am happy with either. But this post is seeking advice for which one people prefer to use in a specific situation because were not going to be able to use both.
Dan Boventer: As long as you and the rest of your team keep all media organized in the exact same named bins in premiere, and diligently add subfolders with dates on them in the finder and project level when adding new media, Premiere wonâ€™t scramble up the organization or add duplicate media in your project.
Charles Mumford: Might want to seriously consider Resolve for the entire project. The new release is killer and the free version may be suitable for your needs.
Jason Decker: Ive heard this recently. Definitely not going to be able to sway this team in that direction, but Im planning on learning it myself for future.
Rick Ferguson: Get a Steenbeck
Jason Decker: Oh, if only…
ZoÃ« Davis: Ask your lead editor what they like to use and go with that. 🙂
Jason Decker: Until we have a budget, there are two of us who will be splitting that role… and were divided on which tool to use. :/
Craig Parkes: Jason Decker if theres two of you that are divided, especially if its over the after effects comps updating in the timeline versus Avids strength in long format – then its pretty simple in my view – split the role so whoever gets their way is responsi…See more
Jason Decker: Craig Parkes we seem to be on the same wavelength ðŸ˜‰. Im in the process of deferring to her while ensuring that shes willing to take the lead on workflow. People over tool is always the way I tend to go.Fingers crossed.
Craig Parkes: Indeed – and if it all goes to shit – dont blame the other person. The choices between the tools are not made easy – and while they may have advantages in general – All the companies starting with A that dominate NLEs have a track record that involves screwing things up and screwing productions over in the process. 🙂
Leah Breuer: No one has talked about how Premiere performs under long form… I just finished cutting a 90-minute doc, up until now the longest project Iâ€™d cut on Premiere was 45-minutes. Premiereâ€™s performance level plummeted for me with 90-minute sequences; taking forever to load, forever to save, and a whole host of problems. My proficiency with Avid is much higher so I can assume that many of the problems I had were due to my lack of knowledge from a maintenance level but my god it was frustrating. The mere fact that edls are limited to 999 edits/events told me Premiere isnâ€™t built for long form. Not yet, anyway.
Ashley Lynch: Im in the middle of a doc that is currently 110 minutes and have to say Im not experiencing any of these issues.
Alex Gans: Just cut two back to back features in Premiere and never had those issues. Premiere is great for long form, as with Avid, just need the right setup.
Leah Breuer: Ashley teach me everything you know ðŸ˜„
Ashley Lynch: Only thing I can think of is it may depend on what your source media is or if you have a big variety of formats. There may be something in your timeline thats intensive for Premiere to decode.
Jason Decker: Yeah, cant say Ive had that issue on Premiere. Sorry to hear youre going through that, though, cause I know how frustrating slow systems can be near the end of a project.
Will Fergus Wykeham: If you trans all your media with a view of linking back to the raw then prem should be find. Run it all through resolve and never ingest the source material only the proxies. The thing premiere finds hardest is flicking between codecs on the fly if you…See more
Leah Breuer: Will – super helpful. I did have to separate out the acts to make run better. I love the ability to toggle between the 4K and the proxies but it didnâ€™t occur to me that having the 4K accessible would slow things down. That and the fact that yes, while …See more
Will Fergus Wykeham: the other side is pushing for Premiere because of its ease of use without full AE support (which we probably wont have until funded), connectivity to the rest of the Creative Suite, and ability to work quickly and efficiently with various resolutions/framerates/etc. Its actually totally the other way around. With simple knowledge of media ingest and management you can intake rushes on any given day and send the low res AMA transcoded versions to someone with bins in Avid so much easier than in Premiere. For longform its Avid every time for me. Premiere gets so messy. Even better transcode your media to hi res and you edit off that so there is not conform needed at the end. When you transcode the hi res , immediately transcode to a low res option afterwards to a different drive and send your partner this along with wetransfer off only the latest avid bins you want to given him/her. They copy the low res mxfs, copy the bins into thier project and rescan. boom. Easy as that. When they cut a sequence they email that bin to you and alot of the the time you dont even have to relink. If you do no issue.
Ashley Lynch: Go with whatever the lead editor wants, otherwise the edit will be like pulling teeth.
Will Fergus Wykeham: Ashley Lynch Jason is the lead I think
Pierre Stefanos: Avid. Please explain to the Premiere acolytes that Avid has worked with every Adobe product for decades now, and doesnt crash every 5 minutes.
Will Fergus Wykeham: how do you mean worked with ?
Jason Decker: Both tools crash regularly in my experience. Its always just a question of how reliable your support structure (i.e. personal knowledge or AEs) is when it does happen.
Pierre Stefanos: Im with Leah on this.
Jason Decker: Cool. Thanks for the input.
Jennifer Barlow: My two cents is the simple answer: Whichever software you are more comfortable on. The editor is all important (and often does the heaviest lifting) in doc features. You need to be able to let your creative juices flow and not have to worry about tech.Just know your delivery specs and set it up correctly or hire an AE to do it for you.Have fun making magic.
Will Fergus Wykeham: Disagree. Any editor worth their two cents can learn to cut in premiere or Avid fairly quickly for docs which , in the main, tend to me much more about selection of shots and story than crazy graphics, fast transitions etc etc. The media management for…See more
Craig Parkes: I think Jennifers point re Hire an AE to do it for you covers the solution and the problem. Two editors, neither of which are working AEs competent in workflow management on both Avid and Premiere – and no budget for an AE it seems.
Jennifer Barlow: Will Fergus Wykeham True, if you have the extra week to get up to speed on Premiere and need to cut on Premiere– it wont be crazy difficult. But because doc features are not usually GFX or VFX heavy or super cutty, there is not an outstanding differe…See more
Scott Davis: Starting a feature doc without a good AE is a recipe for disaster. When you are able to get one they will be in triage mode the entire project. It will be much slower cutting and when it come to finishing God help you. Huge mistake to just start cutting.