No Film School spoke with editors Jamie Boyle and Kelly Kendrick on the NFS Podcast to learn more about how their documentaries grew from idea to final product.

Boyle edited the film Breaking the News, which had three directors fine-tuning the project. Kendrick, on the other hand, worked with only one director for the doc Every Body.

What was interesting to hear is how both of these creatives utilized Adobe in different ways to overcome obstacles that a decade ago would have stopped a project in its tracks.

Here’s what we learned from our conversation and how you can utilize these tools on your next project, be it narrative, documentary, or something more at home on social media.


​Since the 2020 pandemic, the landscape of narrative and documentary film has forever been altered, and has been the concrete foundation from which many projects have not only survived but thrived.

On Breaking the News, Boyle had to deal with massive footage. “We leaned heavily on I never used that before, and it was kind of a lifesaver,” She said.

With three directors and three distinct voices, organization was paramount. “The ability to keep everything super organized in versions and notes and comments on notes was pretty necessary.”

Picture of User Interface

Timeline accurate notes in


​With so many cooks in the kitchen, not only became an organizational tool but a tool for communication. “If a director gave a comment, everybody had to either agree or write their disagreement. So if there was a note that everybody agreed on, we would execute it,” Boyle said. “If there was a disagreement, we would flag that for a phone call.”

Boyle continued to say “We talked once a week, and I never watched cuts with (the directors) they always watched it on remotely.”

With Every Body, the workflow was vastly different but still leaned on the software to allow the editor and director to work closely together, all while being miles apart.

Image of User Interface integration with Premiere Pro


“Julie (the director of Every Body) wanted all of the selects, all of the dailies, everything, on so she could timecode it, add notes through the entire thing, and make selects and post cuts,” Kendrick said.

Editing while utilizing the cloud seemed like a fever dream just before the pandemic, but now it’s a mandatory tool for all sorts of creatives. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you already have access to​

Managing Hours of Footage

​For Breaking the News, not having enough footage wasn’t an issue. “They recorded every Zoom call,” Boyle said. "There was all the original footage. Then there was probably 500 hours of Zoom calls and endless archival.”

While helped handle the workload, finding the right selects for the project was another hurdle altogether.

“We relied on transcribing, and all those funs tools to figure out what I needed to watch, and I watched as much as absolutely possible,” Boyle said. “I think I watched and pulled selects for two months straight.”

photos of sections of Premiere Pro user interfaces

AI tools in Premiere Pro power text-based editing and keyframe generation.


​With Adobe Premiere Pro, new AI tools are now able to scan your footage and create a transcript of every word that was uttered, allowing editors or assistants to scan (or search) for relevant information.

For documentaries, this kind of addition to the Creative Suite toolkit will forever change how documentaries are made. If it hasn’t already.

Two Ways Of Doing Things

When learning how to edit, everyone is taught the same principles on how to cut a film or doc. But not every editor uses the same tools to achieve the right cut.

When we asked Boyle and Kendrick for their goto tools, we were instead surprised to learn how differently each editor utilized something as simple as the timeline playhead.

For Kendrick, Extend Edit was a go-to feature of Premiere Pro for almost every cut he made. “You just put your cursor where you want something to land, and you hit E, and it just moves it there,” Kendrick said.

“If you’re trying to edit music and you want to land on a beat, it just moves it there. If it’s two frames too much, you just extend either audio, video, or graphics, or anything exactly to where your playhead it.”

photo of video editor sitting at his workstation.

No two editors work the same way and that's a good thing.

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

Premiere Pro 2023 x New Features in 23.2 | Video Masterclass | Adobe

This process sped up Kendrick’s workflow and allowed him to cut faster and more efficiently. “Instead of trimming anything, you just snap everything exactly where you want it using the playhead. It just made everything a thousand times faster.” Kendrick explained.

But for Boyle, editing wasn’t about efficiency. It was about digging deep into each cut and finding the perfect frame to cut on. “I’m a really archaic editor. I do everything by hand,” Boyle said.

“I learned how to edit using film stock. So I think that has carried through. I love getting into the nitty gritty and fine-tuning everything.”

This slower approach is so much different from the quick Extend Edit workflow that Kendrick had used. While neither technique is necessarily better, they showcase the unique value that different editors bring to a project.

For Breaking The News, it was essential to ensure every piece of footage was perfect for the moment the directors and editor wanted to convey. For Every Body, getting a rough cut done efficiently was crucial so the director could review the entire piece as a whole.

While there are rules to editing any project, such as proper organizational techniques, it seems that workflows differ from editor to editor. But that is what makes finding the right one so crucial to a project.