Charting a course for the filmmaking future

PVC by Meagan Keane

Prolific young filmmaker adopts Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud

Blake Simon is a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University studying Film Production and he’s already making his mark on the filmmaking world. So far, he has written, directed, and edited 11 short films on his own, and ultimately plans to direct features. His short western, Delarosa, won the Audience Choice Award for Best Student Short Film at the 2013 International Bel-Air Film Festival. Since switching from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro back in high school, he’s become a stalwart advocate of Adobe software, a Certified Expert in Adobe Premiere Pro, and self-prescribed Adobe evangelist.

Adobe: When did you become interested in filmmaking?
Simon: I knew I wanted to make films from the time I was in fourth or fifth grade. I have a newspaper project from fifth grade where I pasted a picture of my head on a celebrity holding an Oscar statue. I started making films as part of the filmmaking club at my high school when I was 14. Of course, you don’t start with a crew of people so I wore all the hats: writing, shooting, editing, even acting. It was great because I got to experiment with all the jobs and learn a little bit about everything. Ultimately I want to be a director, but I really like editing as well.

Adobe: You’ve made a lot of short films in a short time. Can you tell us more about them?
Simon: I’m interested in psychological thrillers, movies like Memento and Inception, but I’ve dabbled in many different genres. Delarosa is pretty ambitious. The goal was to be historically accurate. I have a friend whose family does historical reenactments so they supplied the clothes and props. We shot the film in the desert in Malibu Hills, California. I did all the editing and color grading in Premiere Pro, the sound editing in Audition, the output through Media Encoder, and created Blu-ray discs using Encore.

Adobe: You’ve been editing for several years. Why did you decide to use Adobe Premiere Pro?
Simon: We didn’t have a film program at my high school, and the one film class taught Final Cut Pro 7 so that’s what I used. Then a few years ago, I shot a short on the RED EPIC camera and I started doing some work for RED, too. At this point, Premiere Pro CS5 was the only program that offered the ability to edit native RED footage. I decided to give Premiere Pro a try because I could jump right into editing without converting or transcoding the RED footage first. It was fabulous and I haven’t touched Final Cut Pro since. read more...

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