Freelance Editing Tips – Setting Up Premiere Pro from Scratch

November 10, 2022

As a freelance editor, what are the first few settings you need to optimize when working on a client's computer - so you can work 'at speed'?

Setting up Premiere when freelancing on a client’s computer

As a freelance editor, I often work in other people’s edit suites. To get me up and running quickly, working comfortably, and to keep from getting surprised, I find it helpful to slow down for a few minutes at the very start of the day.

By taking this time, I minimize surprises while starting to get comfortable with the room, the display, and the storage setup.

Key takeaways from this Insight

In this Insight, you’ll learn how I modify my Premiere Pro workspace when sitting in a new edit suite. You’ll learn the preference settings, keyboard shortcuts, and other essential things to check before you start work. I’ve run through this routine so frequently that it’s become second nature. By the end of this Insight, you should know:

  • The keyboard shortcuts I consider critical for your success
  • Essential preferences and UI settings you need to confirm or modify
  • A few tips and tricks from my preferred way of working

If you have Premium Access to the Insights Library, I’ve added my current Premiere Pro keyboard shortcuts as an Additional Download (found below the video). Feel free to install it on your system to see if there are additional shortcut ideas you want to crib from me.

Comments or questions?

Do you have additional thoughts on setting up a Premiere Pro project on a client’s workstation? Use the comments! I’m eager to hear your optimizations whenever you sit on a new computer and fire up a new project.

– Jonny

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Homepage Forums Freelance Editing Tips – Setting Up Premiere Pro from Scratch

  • Jamie Neale

    Great insight, can you share your settings for a Rec709 workflow so the viewer matches the render? cheers

  • Jamie,

    Are you Mac or PC, and what sort of out-feed do you have for the monitor?

    Premiere has the Preferences option for “Display Color Management” which most anyone with a standard computer GPU connected monitor that has not been calibrated/profiled to Rec.709 should probably use. That’s the first thing. But if you have a full-on Rec.709 monitor setup, say a BM or AJA out-device to a Flanders/Eizo monitor, you may not want that set to on though.

    If on the Mac OS, and running direct from the GPU, that’s problematic for many. As for some reason the ColorSync utility applies the scene-referred gamma of the “original” Rec.709 specs but not the Bt.1886 updated spec with the 2.4 gamma for typical b-cast work. Premiere will internally work at full Rec.709 specs including the 2.4 gamma ‘assumption’ and exports Rec.709 media that will expect a “standard” gamma 2.4 display.

    I haven’t seen anyone with a good way to create a video file that displays correctly at both 1.96 and 2.4 for display gamma.

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