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Creating “How Music Got Free” Documentary on Paramount+ with Premiere Pro and After Effects

Bryan Monroe Simpson, the editor of the docuseries “How Music Got Free,” shared insights into the creative process behind the documentary. Utilizing Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, Simpson highlighted the efficiency of the Speech to Text tool in streamlining the editing process. This allowed him to quickly search for specific words and phrases across numerous interviews, enhancing the overall workflow.

Reflecting on his editing journey, Simpson revealed that he initially learned the craft after college while working at a commercial posthouse. Despite lacking prior editing experience, he dedicated extra hours to learning and honing his skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous self-improvement in the field.

When starting a project, organization is key for Simpson. He emphasized the significance of structuring media into proper folders outside Premiere Pro and bins within the software. This meticulous approach enables easy access to resources throughout the editing process. Additionally, maintaining a clutter-free workspace with essential tools like a pen and notebook aids in staying organized and focused.

One standout moment for Simpson in the documentary was the incorporation of music from the era covered in the film. Drawing inspiration from his love for music, he intricately weaved scenes of music piracy arrests with tracks like “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. This fusion of music and visuals effectively captured the chaos and intensity of the depicted events.

In terms of tools, Simpson primarily utilized Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects for the project, citing their efficiency in enhancing the editing process. The transcription tool within Premiere Pro proved invaluable for handling a multitude of interviews, allowing for seamless integration of specific content into the final edit.

While Frame.io was not utilized in this project, Simpson highlighted its usefulness in other endeavors for sharing rough cuts and facilitating feedback. When offering advice for aspiring filmmakers and content creators, he emphasized the cyclical nature of downtime and work in freelancing. Encouraging individuals to embrace both phases, Simpson stressed the importance of seeking inspiration during downtime to fuel creativity.

Reflecting on his creative inspiration, Simpson credited his family and friends for providing diverse perspectives and unwavering support. Their encouragement and shared experiences continually motivate him to push boundaries and create meaningful content. Ultimately, Simpson’s dedication to storytelling and commitment to continuous learning underscore his passion for the art of editing.