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How ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Made Adobe Premiere Pro Into a Better Multi-Editor Program

Linda Hamilton stars in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures’ ‘Terminator: Dark Fate.’ Photo by Kerry Brown.

Reteaming with director Tim Miller, who he also worked with on Deadpool, editor Julian Clarke returns to his love of sci-fi with Terminator: Dark Fate–the direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

“I’m attracted to highbrow genre stuff — whether it be horror, fantasy, sci-fi, crime movie,” Clarke explains to ProVideoCoalition. “To me, I like that stuff that’s smarter adult-oriented R-rated but immersed in genre. A lot of that stuff tends to happen in science fiction, but I’m kind of interested in that across the board. I’m also interested in comedy and drama as well.”

Terminator: Dark Fate is also the second film that Clarke has cut on Adobe Premiere Pro, after Deadpool, and ostensibly the most complex, VFX-heavy project to ever be cut on that platform. “Whenever you set out to use a new workflow — not to say Premiere is new because it’s been around a long time and has millions of users, but it’s unusual to use it on large VFX movies for specific reasons,” Clarke tells postPerspective. “On Deadpool, that led to certain challenges, and that’s just what happens when you try to do something new. The fact that we had to split the movie into separate projects for each reel, instead of one large project. Even so, the size of our project files made it tough. They were so full of media that they would take five minutes to open. Nevertheless, we made it work, and there are lots of benefits to using Adobe over other applications.

“In comparison, the interface to Avid Media Composer looks like it was designed 20 years ago, but they have multi-user collaboration nailed, and I love the trim tool. Yet, some things are old and creaky. Adobe’s not that at all. It’s nice and elegant in terms of the actual editing process. We got through it and sat down with Adobe to point out things that needed work, and they worked on them. When we started up Terminator, they had a whole new build for us. Project files now opened in 15 seconds. They are about halfway there in terms of multi-user editing. Now everyone can go into a big, shared project, and you can move bins back and forth. Although, only one user at a time has write access to the master project.”

In fact, Adobe was so invested in the film, that they issued a trailer remix competition, giving users access to footage, assets, and tutorials for how to cut it in Premiere Pro.

Read Clarke’s full interview with ProVideoCoalition’s Steve Hullfish here.

Read Clarke’s full interview with postPerspective’s Oliver Peters here.

Watch director Clarke, director Tim Miller, and more of the crew talk about working on Adobe Premiere Pro below.