Adobe by Julian Semilian
Julian Semilian has a life story that you might watch unfold in a movie. After leaving Romania in 1965, he was mentored in the arts by award-winning author Andrei Condrescu, traveled through the United States “by thumb” after reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and pursued photography with the likes of Paul Caponigro and Robert Frank. He eventually landed in Hollywood in 1975, and began his film and video career.
In the 1990s, he began teaching film students. After working for years with various non-linear editing solutions, he recently switched to Adobe Premiere Pro as his primary editing solution.
Transitioning to a file-based workflow
Semilian began working in film before the digital revolution, and edited 16 feature films and movies-of- the-week. Throughout his long career, he has stayed current on industry-standard editing platforms. He cut on film for many years, learned to use Avid, and then Final Cut Pro. Following his passion, he began making avant-garde films, including Tear Void Insomnia Mist , 2007 (International Xperimental & Animation Festival), Devotees of the Precipitate , 2009 (Abstracta International Festival), The Dream Life of Cleo de Merode , 2010 (Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts, Freud Museum London, 24es INSTANTS VIDEO 2011 Un Festival POetique POlitique Poetronique, Paris, Marseilles, Milan), and his latest film, Gazing Oozing with Mendacity.
In 2011, Semilian began work on another personal experimental movie. He contacted Adobe, received a demonstration of Adobe Premiere Pro, and came away impressed with its ease of use, professional features, and tight integration with Adobe After Effects®. According to Semilian, the learning curve was low because he was already familiar with the layer-based model of editing. He completed the project in roughly two months, finding Adobe Premiere Pro easy to work with and speedy. Rendering time took no more than 30 minutes at the most, he says, despite the fact that the project included as many as 12 layers.
“In Adobe Premiere Pro, I was thrilled with the ease of using layers and the ability to experiment by turning layers on or off or playing with the timeline, without committing right away,” he says. “I worked extensively with Adobe Dynamic Link between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and I love how easy it is to integrate effects into an overall project without a lot of rendering or cumbersome file and format transfers.”
Merging personal and professional
The successful completion of his personal project led him to wholeheartedly recommend Adobe Premiere Pro as the primary editing software for students during their first two years of their studies. Now, Adobe’s video toolset is standard in all of the editing bays at his school. The curriculum for both After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro was easy to develop, and leverages existing lesson plans from Abba Shapiro on Lynda.com, Andrew Devis on Creative COW , and Adobe’s Classroom in a Book series.
Today, new features in Adobe Premiere Pro are streamlining both faculty and student workflows. Semilian deems the Trim Mode “spectacular,” and every bit as good as trimming in other software, yet easier to use. “With native 64-bit performance in Adobe Premiere Pro, rendering is roughly five times faster than any other editing program—a capability that is especially important for the complex, multilayered narrative scenes I like to create, and for students’ more intricate, effects-laden projects,” explains Semilian.
Preparing students for success
Semilian believes that in-depth knowledge of all Adobe video tools, including Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, is an essential ingredient in producing well-rounded filmmakers. “Over the past few years, we have discovered that our graduates absolutely must know Adobe After Effects and at least some Adobe Photoshop,” says Semilian. “Now, Adobe Premiere Pro is also becoming a ‘must know’ foundational editing software—and the bonus is that it is beautifully integrated with Adobe’s other visual effects and imaging software for a seamless workflow.”
Semilian and his fellow faculty members train talented students for professional careers in the film and television industries. According to Semilian, Adobe software is exceedingly easy to learn and use. Some students became astute in Adobe Premiere Pro in high school, even before they enter their undergraduate years. Others who have not yet tried Adobe software pick it up with ease.
“By week seven or eight, students starting out know how to cut projects using Adobe Premiere Pro,” says Semilian. “All of Adobe’s video software uses the paradigm of layers, making it very easy for both faculty and students to get started and become skilled across all of the programs, with an emphasis on Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.”
Stellar careers for graduates
Close to 100% of graduates receive jobs in editing or post-production and go on to create titles, music videos, feature films, television content, trailers, and more. Many of their personal projects win awards at film festivals worldwide. According to Semilian the addition of all of the Adobe video tools to the curriculum will help to maintain these great results.
“Adobe Premiere Pro is displacing Final Cut Pro across the industry,” says Semilian. “Knowing how to use Adobe Premiere Pro and the entire family of Adobe video tools will undoubtedly pay off for graduates. Our students go on to careers at places such as National Geographic , then HISTORY channel, and top titling houses—and knowledge of Adobe’s full range of integrated video software will play a key role in their ongoing success.