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Should I Learn Adobe Premiere Pro?

01/05/2012

If you are an up-and-coming filmmaker or film student, chances are you’ve heard someone talking about Adobe Premiere Pro, and wondered if it’s a software program you should obtain and learn. While Final Cut Pro is considered by many to be the industry standard for film/video editing software, some people now consider Adobe Premiere to be an excellent alternative, especially since the latest release of Final Cut (Final Cut Pro X) has been considered a major disappointment. Essentially whether you use one or the other (or both) depends on your needs and preferences.


Since Adobe Premiere is basically a competitor with Final Cut, they essentially accomplish the same functions with video editing, and when one surpasses the other in a certain type of functionality, the issue is usually addressed in the latest upgrade. Both programs are similar in that they can be stand-alone, or bundled with a suite of related products within their brand. The primary differences between them are that Final Cut, being owned by Apple, is strictly a Mac-based application, while later versions of Premiere can be cross-platform, for Mac or for PC. Additionally, Adobe Premiere costs less than Final Cut Pro.


The advantage of Final Cut (at least the earlier versions of it) is that because it is so widely used, you stand a better chance of compatibility when a film project is being worked on by multiple production houses. (It’s much easier to stay within a program when everyone in the loop is using the same program.) However, using Adobe Premiere Pro could be advantageous if you are using a PC, or if you are partial to other related Adobe programs like After Effects and Photoshop. (Premiere naturally integrates well with other Adobe programs, just like Final Cut integrates with Apple programs.) Also, if you are on a tighter budget but you need professional functionality, Adobe Premiere Pro might be a better investment for you.


If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, the question of whether you should learn Adobe Premiere Pro is probably going to be one of versatility; in other words, it can only help you, not hurt you. Because Final Cut Pro is so widely used, you would be unwise not to become familiar with it; however, if you’re trying to get hired by a production company that is favorable to Adobe Premiere, you will obviously stand a better chance if you know the program.


Bottom line for filmmaking students: if you are making movies for your own pleasure, choosing a video editing software is a matter of personal preference. However, if your goal is to work in the professional film industry, you should learn Final Cut Pro first, and Adobe Premiere Pro as a supplement—not one at the expense of the other.

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