This post was written by Meagan Keane and originally appeared on Adobe blog on Sept. 17, 2021.

The Nowhere Inn stars real-life friends, Annie Clark (AKA Grammy award-winning recording and touring artist St. Vincent) and Carrie Brownstein, who join creative forces and band together to make a documentary about St. Vincent’s music, touring life, and on-stage persona. They quickly discover unpredictable forces lurking within-subject and filmmakers that threaten to derail the friendship, the project, and the duo’s creative lives.

Emmy and ACE Eddie-nominated editor, Ali Greer, sat down with us to discuss why she chose Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop to edit the film. She also tells us more about her first experience editing, her favorite workflow tip in Premiere Pro and After Effects, and her advice for editors starting out in the field.

How and where did you first learn to edit?

I started editing in early high school. I took a summer program for film and that was the first time I opened a project to edit. I continued to edit little films with my friends throughout high school and then went to film school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In film school, we learned to edit film on a Steenbeck editing system. Throughout that time, I continued to create side projects and learned Premiere Pro and After Effects. I became very interested in animation as well.

How do you begin a project/set up your workspace?

I have a bin structure with numbers for everything I will need, that way the bins are always in the same order and it’s easy to find. I make sure there is a bin for all the scenes, my cuts, music, SFX, VFX, etc. I also make sure all my keyboard shortcuts are set up in the program.

Tell us about a favorite scene or moment from this project and why it stands out to you.

Editing The Nowhere Inn was a lot of work on montages and connective transitions. Many of the transitions were done in After Effects, so it was fun getting to experiment with different ways of distorting the footage and blending shots together. It was a lot of building montages, then deconstructing them, and then making them again.

Media_1803c96f9bb435b5a6eb7678ddf8b182a59dee5d3Credit: Ali Greer

What were some specific post-production challenges you faced that were unique to your project? How did you go about solving them?

One challenge we faced during post-production was figuring out how far we wanted to take the animated transitions. We had to balance how surreal to make the film, while remaining authentic. Another challenge was finding creative ways to weave together the concert footage with the film and documentary footage.

What Adobe tools did you use on this project and why did you originally choose them?

We used Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop. It was so wonderful having the ability to seamlessly transition from Premiere Pro to After Effects because most of the scenes had some After Effects work.

Media_117886e6e1199eac6af556f69cd06acb52d4c359bCredit: Ali Greer

Why were they the best choice for this project?

After Effects is such a powerful tool for creating effects. We were able to quickly transfer scenes over to After Effects and use a lot of layers as well as blending, distorting, and tracking effects.

What do you like about Premiere Pro, and/or any of the other tools you used?

Premiere Pro is great because you can bring any type of footage into the project and seamlessly copy and paste it into After Effects, it’s fantastic! Also, the sound possibilities are really fun in Premiere Pro, there are many cool presets (just make sure to render and/or export so it doesn’t corrupt).

Media_184943c9a83d86fbfbf5b1238d5ef7f1061fd6cddCredit: Ali Greer

What’s your hidden gem/favorite workflow hack in Adobe Creative Cloud?

If you bring audio into After Effects, you can slow it down using keyframes then use Easy Ease to make it sound wild. I love doing that. Copying and pasting from Premiere Pro to After Effects is priceless.

Who is your creative inspiration and why?

I read a lot of books and I recently read Ted Chaing’s Stories of Your Life and Others, which is such a creative book of short stories. I’m inspired by his ability to create a world so instantly through descriptions within the character’s lives. His structure of stories is so inventive and makes me think a lot about how we tell visual stories. Agnes Varda is a filmmaker that I’m really inspired by—The Gleaners and I is a fantastic film.

What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to face in your career and how did you overcome it? What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers or content creators?

Collaboration can be the most rewarding yet difficult part of editing. It is a profession that you need to be easy to work with and yet be opinionated and make decisions all the time. It’s a balance to always have thoughts on the story and know when to share or be open to other ideas. I always remember that I need to try everything, and my ideas won’t always be the best ideas. It is the most difficult thing when you have to address someone’s notes that are making the story worse, usually, when they see the bad notes, they are open to other options. As far as advice for aspiring filmmakers… find something you are passionate about and tell that story. Having a connection to what you are creating can make your work more impactful. Also, learn to organize your projects and never export a video called “final.” There will be another version—try numbering.

Media_10f8972f48ccdf0f5b105e47072cbf0a917abcf18Credit: Ali Greer

Share a photo of where you work. What’s your favorite thing about your workspace and why?

I like having a desk that is able to stand and sit. I get restless, so changing positions can be helpful. Having a lot of water on the desk is important for staying hydrated. I love having a window nearby to reset my long-distance vision, haha.

The Nowhere Inn is in theaters and VOD today.

This post was written by Meagan Keane and originally appeared on Adobe blog on Sept. 17, 2021.