Freelance Filmmaker

It has been a few months since I’ve posted, but I have an explanation for you!

On a non-filmmaking note, I have gotten married, taken a couple trips, moved, worked extensively on house renovation and gardening tasks, and relaxed (sparingly) inbetween. However, those items are beyond the focus of this blog, so in the world of filmmaking…

I have also left my full-time job to devote my energy to freelancing full-time; my transition was motivated by personal goals to challenge myself, to work with a diverse group of clients, and above all, to create. This move required a lot of my time and creativity, especially in updating my portfolio and reels at www.aarondpate.com to provide clear examples of my work. All of this has kept me away from this blog, but I’m back!

So, what does this mean for you?

First, I hope to continue to find time to post here, but I may begin to talk more about specific projects. This should make for more interesting and useful information!

Second, I am available to collaborate. If I have your contact information, I can reach out to you when I need extra cast/crew or when my plate is too full to accept a potential gig. I hope you’ll reach out to me as well.

Third, I am available for hire. We form a tight network in this small community, and I am grateful for all of the referrals, job leads, and creative opportunities my friends have sent my way over the years. Please get in touch with me, or share my information anytime I might be an asset to someone else.

I have worked from a P.A. to a camera operator; no role is too big or small. I am primarily advertising my skills in commercial video production, live event recording, cinematography, camera operation, visual effects, animation/motion graphics, photo editing/restoration/manipulation, and video editing.

I look forward to working together with new people. Contact me through http://www.aarondpate.com for questions about my availability and rates, or just to chat. If you’re a crew-member near the upstate of South Carolina, send me your contact information, availability, skillset, and proficiency. A link to your portfolio or reels would be excellent.

Ten Adobe Premiere Shortcuts for Faster Editing in 2015

Adobe Premiere Timeline

Editing can be tedious, but it doesn’t have to be slow. If your New Year’s Resolution is to improve your editing skills, learning your software’s keyboard shortcuts for repetitive tasks will allow you finish projects faster with less clicking, searching through menus, and aiming for tiny buttons. Here are ten shortcuts for beginners and advanced users of Adobe Premiere to add to their arsenal in 2015:

  1. Ctrl + S (Cmd + S Mac)
    • Save – This one’s obvious, but must be said. My left hand hovers over this side of the keyboard throughout the editing process and I save every time I make an edit I wouldn’t want to repeat in the event of a crash.
  2. Page Down / Page Up
    • Go to Next Cut / Previous Cut – This is a fast way to get your playhead exactly on a cut, or to fly through the timeline without zooming in and out so much. This command will ignore clips on video and audio layers that aren’t highlighted; click on the layer name (e.g. “Video 1”) to highlight or unselect a layer.
  3. Ctrl + M (Cmd + M Mac)
    • Export – This quick keystroke saves you several clicks every time you need to export, especially useful when queuing several short timelines from one project.
  4. ~ (Tilde a.k.a. “the squiggly worm key”)
    • Maximize Panel – At first glance, there is no “full screen” option in Premiere. In fact, you can maximize any panel by selecting that panel and pressing the “~” key. Use this to get a closer look at a cluttered bin or timeline on complex projects.
  5. J / K
    • Fast Forward / Rewind – When you’re scrubbing quickly through a timeline using the space bar to start and stop playback, many users reach for the mouse to drag the playhead back a few seconds to watch an edit again. Just hit rewind, then play again to accomplish the same with two quick keystrokes. Press these multiple times to increase the speed.
  6. I / O
    • In Point / Out Point – If you set in and out points on source clips, try these handy keys. I keep my hand ready on the “I” while playing through source clips looking for good material, then switch to “O” as I wait for the moment to end. If you aren’t setting in and out points to isolate a clip before putting it on your timeline, give it a try! That’s another blog post…
  7. * (asterisk on number pad)
    • Set Marker – Using markers is a great way to mark your timeline and find your place later, but mousing into menus to find this command is tedious and will stop playback. Just reach for the asterisk!
  8. Ctrl + D (Cmd + D Mac)
    • Video Transition – Hover near a cut to apply a transition on selected layers (see tip #2 about selecting layers). This is a personal favorite of mine, as it saves me many repetitious click-and-drag operations. In combination with tip #2, this is my secret weapon for slideshows. By default this applies “cross dissolve,” but you can right-click any video transition and “set as default.”
  9. Ctrl + Shift + D (Cmd + Shift + D Mac)
    • Audio Transition – Same as #8, but on audio layers.
  10. Backspace / Delete
    • This one is self-explanatory, but I’ve seen a lot of users right-clicking clips and choosing “clear” to remove items from the timeline. Just hit backspace as you would when typing. On that note, be careful not to hit backspace accidentally while a clip is selected, thinking you’re typing in another window.

Do you have any favorite tips or shortcuts? Share here, the list doesn’t have to stop at ten!