Sometimes the simplest tools are the most helpful.
That's certainly the case with PDFviewer, a brand new plugin from a company called Primal Cuts. Before we get into the specifics about PDFviewer, however, let's talk about everybody's favorite subject: production documents. Sure, it's far from the sexiest topic in the world of filmmaking, but it's surely a critical one, especially once you start working on projects with larger amounts of information that need to be managed.Depending on the type of project, the editor is likely juggling some combination of a script, storyboards, shot list, camera reports, script-supervisor notes, director's notes, DIT notes, interview transcriptions, various pieces of research, etc. These are documents that you probably want to refer to while you're editing. The problem lies in the fact that switching back and forth between the documents and Premiere can get tiresome and, if you have several documents open -- confusing. Of course, having multiple monitors makes this less of a problem, but that's not always an option.
Enter PDFviewer, which as the name suggests, is a Premiere Pro plugin that allows you to open and view multiple PDF documents directly within the Premiere interface. Here's Ray from Primal Cuts to show you how PDFviewer works:
And here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to supercharge your PDFviewer workflow:
In his emails with me, Ray mentioned a few things that PDFviewer still can't do within the Premiere user experience:
NFS: Why does the PDF close and not re-open automatically when you open a Premiere Project?
Ray: Adobe does not allow that functionality at this time. If they open up some of the API for the panels, I will implement it.
NFS: Why are the shortcut keys for PDFviewer not completely functional?
Ray: Same thing, Adobe has that on lock down, although this is something I would really like to add soon.
Personally, this is a piece of functionality that I've been wanting out of Premiere for years. Last time I cut a project with a dedicated script supervisor, the amount of notes that I had open on my desktop was ridiculous, and it made me extremely grumpy considering that I did most of the cutting on a 15-inch Macbook Pro. Had this plugin existed then, I almost certainly would have given up my first born child for it.
If you're interested in giving PDFviewer a shot, you can snag a copy for $10 on the Primal Cuts website. And if you have any questions or feature requests for Ray, leave them down in the comments!