Premiere Tutorial: Shooting and Sequencing Basics

In this tutorial, you will shoot video footage and then edit the video clips together using Adobe Premiere to make a short video that also includes transitions, music and text. You will need a device capable of shooting video, such as a camera or smartphone, and be able to transfer that video footage to your computer.

It it strongly recommended that you read through the entire tutorial instructions before you begin.

Part 1: Shooting Your Footage

1. Your footage will focus on a particular location, such as “My Kitchen” or “The Park,” so you should first choose a location. You may not be allowed to shoot video footage at private businesses or locations that are not open to the general public, so it’s recommended that you choose a location that is your own property or a public location.

2. You will gather video footage using the 3×3 Method and 10-Second Rule described in the Unit 4 readings to shoot two subjects within your location. Examples of a subjects include someone typing at a desk, a cat napping on a chair, a pot boiling on a stove. There should be some movement visible in your shots.

  • The 10-Second Rule means that you will think like a photographer to frame your shots, and then film each shot for at least 10 seconds. It will seem really long, so count to yourself!
  • The 3×3 Method is a shooting strategy where you film a wide shot, medium shot and close-up shot from three different angles for any particular subject or action. This will give you enough editing flexibility to create a sequence later on.

3. Also shoot an establishing shot, which is a wide shot that shows the overall location. You will be using this at the beginning of your video.

Your footage must be shot horizontally to receive full credit for this tutorial. Vertical video will only receive partial credit.

To summarize, your shot list is a total of 19 shots:

  • Establishing shot
  • Subject 1, angle 1 (close, medium, wide)
  • Subject 1, angle 2 (close, medium, wide)
  • Subject 1, angle 3 (close, medium, wide)
  • Subject 2, angle 1 (close, medium, wide)
  • Subject 2, angle 2 (close, medium, wide)
  • Subject 2, angle 3 (close, medium, wide)
The 19 different shots used in this example.

Although you should have 19 separate shots that follow the 10-second Rule, you do NOT need to start and stop your camera for each shot. It will be easy later on to cut out the unneeded parts where you’re moving around.

For example, here is a full video file from the example video showing Subject 1, angle 1 from 3 different distances:

Additional tips:

  • Remember image composition principles from Unit 1 such as the rule of thirds.
  • Check your recording device for enough memory and battery power before you begin shooting.
  • Make sure your camera is actually recording! It is easy to accidentally record everything except what you meant to film.

4. When you are done recording your footage, transfer it to your computer or an external hard drive right away, with all the video files in a single folder.

Part 2: Editing Your Footage

This video shows an example of the process described in the following steps, though your process may differ somewhat since your footage is your own. Make sure to follow the written steps below.

If the screen appears too cropped in the first part of the video, you can also view the first portion separately here: Part 1 on YouTube

1. Before you open Adobe Premiere, set up a project folder on your computer desktop. (You can move the location of the folder later, but Premiere will typically work best if it’s on your desktop while you work.)

  • Within your folder, create two subfolders titled “Imports” and “Exports.” Imports is where you will keep all the material you plan to use, and Exports is where you will save the final product.
  • Move or copy the folder that contains your video footage into the “Imports” folder.

2. Open Adobe Premiere and start a new video project.

  • In the New Project window, give your file a name such as “Tutorial1”
  • For the location, select your project folder (the main folder, not inside Imports or Exports)
  • Check the “Scratch Disks” tab and make sure all are set to “Same as Project”
  • Click OK.
  • If you are asked to choose sequence settings, it is fine to go with the default at this point.

3. The interface should be blank until you import your video clips.

  • Go to File > Import and navigate to the Imports folder to find your clips.
  • You can select all your clips at once by holding Shift as you select them.
  • The file names will appear in the lower left panel in Premiere. Note that you can change the way they display using the icons at the bottom of that panel.

4. Now you will begin to make your first sequence. This sequence will show your raw footage unedited.

  • Drag the clip with your establishing shot into the Timeline panel on the bottom right.
  • This will create a new Sequence with the video appearing in the V1 track and the audio appearing in the A1 track.
  • In CS6 and older versions of Premiere, the Sequence will already exist. You may get a Clip Mismatch Warning pop up that asks: “Change sequence settings to match the clip’s settings?” Choose “Change Sequence Settings” so your clips will display properly.
  • Drag your other clips from the project pane on the left into the timeline so your clips are lined up in order starting with the establishing shot, then all the footage from Subject 1, then all the footage from Subject 2.
  • Note that you can navigate the timeline using the slider at the bottom, which allows you to move along the timeline and zoom in and out on your clips.

5. Use the video controls above the timeline to play through your video. The footage from your timeline will appear in the top right panel. If you have 19 shots that are at least 10 seconds each, your sequence should be a minimum of 3 minutes long. Most likely it will be 4-5 minutes. You will export this sequence later to show your work.

6. Now you will create an edited sequence using your footage.

  • Create a new sequence within the same project by going to File > New Sequence.
  • In the New Sequence window, it’s fine to go with the default settings at this point. However, give your sequence a name at the bottom.
  • Click OK. This will create a separate timeline that allows you to make a separate video without starting a new file.

7. Instead of placing entire clips, you can use the top left media panel to choose a portion of each clip to add to your timeline.

  • In the bottom left panel, double-click the clip containing your establishment shot. It will appear in the top left panel.
  • Use the “Mark In” button (looks like a curly brace with the point toward the left) to mark the beginning of the portion you want to use. Use the “Mark Out” button to mark the end of the portion you want to use.
  • Make sure you have selected at least 5 second of your establishing shot, then click and drag the filmstrip icon (located below the video viewer) into the timeline sequence. This will add the video portion only, rather than both video and audio.
  • You may get a Clip Mismatch Warning pop up that asks: “Change sequence settings to match the clip’s settings?” Choose “Change Sequence Settings” so your clips will display properly.

8. Repeat this process for your other clips so that your sequence includes five shots each for Subject 1 and Subject 2.

  • You should use about 2-4 seconds for each shot, not the full 10 seconds that you recorded.
  • When you put the shots on your sequence, make sure to use clips with visual variety to make use of all your footage. Do not use three shots from the same angle all in a row.
  • Note that you can adjust the length of your clips on your timeline using the Selection Tool, as well as move them around. If you place a clip over another clip, it will “eat away” at the underlying clip, but that material has not permanently disappeared.
  • Your total video should be about 25-35 seconds in length at this point.

9. Now you will add a music bed to accompany the video images using the same ascona.mp3 song from the Audition Tutorials.

  • Save a copy of the music file into your “Imports” folder. You can copy it from your Audition Tutorials or right-click and save this link:
  • Go to File > Import to add the music file to your Premiere project.
  • Drag the music file from the lower left panel into the A1 audio track of your timeline.
  • Use the arrow tool or the razor tool to trim the song so it extends about 5 seconds longer than your video clips. (This is very similar to basic editing in Audition.)

10. The video needs a title, so next you will create and add text.

  • In the top menu, go to Title > New Title > Default Still.
  • A title editing window will appear with your footage in the background so you can see how the text will look on top of your video.
  • Use the “T” text tool to click in the window and type a short title that describes the location of your footage, such as “My Kitchen” or “Terrell Library.”
  • Use the text controls to choose a font and adjust the size and placement.
  • In the options on the right, click the checkbox for “Shadow” to add a drop shadow.
  • When your title looks complete, you can exit the title editing box. Your title will now appear in the lower left pane with your video clips and other material.
  • Drag the title onto your timeline in the V2 track, above your establishing shot. Premiere is like Photoshop and Illustrator in that the top layer is what appears in front.
  • Make the title the same length on your timeline as your establishing shot.

11. Using the same technique, add a title for credits.

  • You may use a “Default Roll” or “Default Crawl” for your credits if you’d like.
  • The credits should say: Filmed and edited by Firstname Lastname
  • Place this title at the end of your timeline after your final video clip. Make it extend the to same length as the music.

12. Finally, it’s time to add transitions for your audio and video.

  • In the lower left panel, select the tab for “Effects.”
  • Expand the folder for Audio Transitions and choose Crossfade > Constant Power. Drag this effect onto the very beginning of the music clip on your timeline. Drag it again to the very end of the music clip.
  • Zoom in on the effect, and you can change its length by dragging the clip to make a longer or shorter fade-in and fade-out.
  • Back in the Effects tab, expand the folder for Video Transitions and choose Dissolve > Dip to Black. Drag this effect to the end of the very last video clip.
  • In Video Transitions, choose Dissolve > Cross Dissolve for the beginning and end of each title so the text fades in and out.

13. Make sure that your edited video is a total of 30-40 seconds in length. Make adjustments if necessary to meet this length range. The final video must be 30-40 seconds to receive full credit.

13. Your edited video is complete! Export both sequences for uploading later.

  • With your edited sequence selected, go to File > Export > Media.
  • You can choose the format and settings, or simply click the checkbox for “Match Sequence Settings.”
  • For the Output Name, click the name to change where the file will be saved. Save it into your “Exports” folder.
  • Preview your video on the right to make sure it’s the length you expect, then click “Export” or “Queue” so you can export your unedited video at the same time.
  • Click on the sequence with your unedited footage, and repeat the export process.

Note: If you choose “Queue,” make sure the queue is processing once the Adobe Media Encoder window appears. This runs in the background so you can continue with other work in Premiere while your projects export. However, you may need to click the “start” button in the upper right to begin the export process.

At the end of this tutorial, you should have two exported video files in your Exports folder to upload later:

  1. Edited video (30-40 seconds)
  2. Unedited video (3-5 minutes)