Earlier this week, Adobe unveiled the features that will be rolling out in the next version of their Creative Cloud video apps, and the response thus far has been an incredibly positive one, especially for features such as DCP creation in Media Encoder and masking/tracking directly in Premiere. However, Adobe released quite a bit of other new information about their video products on Wednesday, most notably the fact that David Fincher's upcoming film, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, is being cut exclusively on Premiere Pro by Kirk Baxter ACE. Will this be a major turning point for Adobe's filmmaking software in regards to its use in Hollywood? Let's take a look.
Hollywood's relationship with the NLE has been a relatively monogamous one. Avid's Media Composer has been, and continues to be, the tool of choice for many of the editors cutting major studio films. Avid has a lock on this segment of the video editing market because its solutions for collaborative editing and working with shared media are second to none. Add to that the fact that Media Composer is easily the best choice when it comes to organizing massive amounts of media with corresponding metadata -- it's clear why it's the NLE of choice in the arena of large-scale feature filmmaking.
With that said, something interesting happened in the early 2000's when legendary sound and picture editor Walter Murch finished cutting Cold Mountain on Final Cut Pro 3. That little-known NLE started to gain an incredible amount of traction in the feature filmmaking world. Most notably, the Coen brothers have used FCP to cut a good many of their films, including their most recent flick, Inside Llewyn Davis.
Adobe's professional editing software hasn't had the same luck. Despite being a fairly well-loved tool in the world of independent filmmaking, Premiere Pro and the rest of Adobe's video tools have really never been a contender in the Hollywood NLE landscape. However, the announcement that Kirk Baxter ACE will be cutting Fincher's latest film Gone Girl exclusively in Premiere Pro CC might very well change all of that.
Premiere Pro, when coupled with the rest of Adobe's video software, is quickly becoming a truly formidable post-production system with high-end and tightly integrated solutions for everything from ingest to final output. Add to that the fact that Adobe now has a much higher stake in the field of collaborative post-production due to one of their newest products, Adobe Anywhere, which allows editors and VFX artists to remotely access media and collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world.
Here's a good rundown of what Adobe Anywhere will allow creatives to accomplish:
There's little doubt that Adobe Anywhere has the potential to provide an excellent value for studios, especially considering that real-time collaboration could potentially allow for the outsourcing of even more post-production jobs (much like what's happening to the VFX industry). Whether that's a good thing or not is another question entirely, but it certainly has the potential to save the studios money, something which they very clearly love.
The most important question here, however, is whether or not Adobe's video tools are actually ready for the major leagues of feature film post production. For CGI-driven films, the answer to that question is no, as most of the work on those films is done in non-Adobe software such as Flame, Nuke, and others. However, for films with a relatively low need for compositing and special effects, an all-Adobe workflow might be an effective post-production solution.
With that said, Premiere itself still isn't at the level of Media Composer in terms of media and metadata management, which could be problematic for an industry-wide adoption of Adobe, because those two things are integral parts of the feature film post-production process. However, with Adobe's developers continuously pushing out major updates every couple of months, it's not out of the question to see some major media management improvements that would incentivize the industry to move towards Premiere.
I'm curious to hear what you guys think about the idea of Hollywood beginning to use Adobe's post-production tools. Will the fact that Gone Girl is being cut in Premiere lead to a changing of the guard for Hollywood NLE's, or is this a promotional tactic? What features would Adobe need to incorporate in order for Premiere to compete with Media Composer on large-scale projects? Let's hear your thoughts down in the comments!