Want to Edit a Blockbuster? Stay Organized with This Free Premiere Pro Timeline Template

Credit: Vashi Visuals

When the number of your project's video and audio tracks reaches the several dozens, staying organized is an absolute necessity.

As it typically goes, the bigger the film project, the bigger the editing timeline. If you've edited shorts or YouTube videos, chances are you only use a handful of video and audio tracks to keep your assets organized—I mean, if you're the only one working in post and will be the one delivering the final product straight to the web, you probably don't need much more than that.

However, the timelines of professional editors who work on Hollywood blockbusters look—very different, and not only do they look different, but they are used differently as well. If you're interested in either getting a better idea of what one of these very complex (but strangely very organized) babies looks like or are interested in establishing a workflow for your own massive editing projects, Editor Vashi Nedomansky has created a timeline template for Adobe Premiere Pro users that will help get you on (ugh) the right track.

With over 14 years of experience working on projects like Gone Girl, Sharknado 2, and Deadpool, Vashi is not only a seasoned editor and editorial consultant, but he's also a huge voice in the filmmaking community, sharing his knowledge about the craft on his blog, Vashi Visuals. About this custom "blockbuster" timeline, he says:

The key to successfully editing feature films is starting with a project timeline that will handle all your assets cleanly over the arduous months of post-production. No matter what NLE you use for editing…the principles of organization and efficient workflow remain the same.

In this video, you get to see this timeline template in action, all while learning how to reveal track names when your tracks' height makes them too small to see.

Inspired by the timeline used by Editor Eddie Hamilton ACE did on Mission: Impossible - Fallout, this template includes 23 video tracks and 23 audio tracks, is available in 1-screen and 2-screen versions, and comes with custom layout and bin layout. And if the sheer size and depth of the timeline confuses or intimidates you, no worries. Vashi also wrote out all the track assignments, a key of sorts for each track of your timeline, so you don't have to wonder what each track is supposed to be used for.

Vashi Visuals - Blockbuster Premiere Pro Track Assignment
Courtesy of Vashi NedomanskyCredit: Vashi Visuals

This thing is free, gang! So head on over to Vashi's blog and download it now    

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Your Comment


I've always been curious about letterboxing the aspect ratio. What's the best way to do it?

I've heard that you should work in a timeline that has the desired aspect ratio set in the sequence settings.

Although I imagine that this restricts you from changing the aspect ratio at different parts of your film if you desire to do so (i.e. cutting to IMAX footage).

Is overlaying a letterbox really a good way to do it? I've heard that overlaying a letterbox affects your video if you want to play it on a screen with a native 2.40 aspect ratio, where it's not sized and formatted correctly. Also there's a chance of artifacts showing up on the black bars.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

August 24, 2018 at 10:21AM, Edited August 24, 10:21AM

Raza Rehman

I'm curious too.

And also curious how the letterbox track doesn't have to be the very top track. I assume they edit downward, and as assets are finalized, they turn off the visibility of that timeline. That would explain why subtitles and raw footage edit tracks are above the letterbox track and the more finalized tracks including VFX are below it.

August 24, 2018 at 4:45PM