Video Manipulation Using Adobe Premiere

by Paul Birkeland-Green on July 7th 1999

This third in a series of looking at commercially available image making software discussed digital video. Being digital, as against analogue allows total manipulation of the frames. Much of the Hollywood effects are created using this approach. Adobe Premiere has infinite possibilities in image manipulation, without any evidence of tampering. Every dot on the screen is definable and can therefore be changed digitally. An image can be scanned or video tape downloaded and the image area altered, re-saved and then outputted; either in printed form or downloaded back onto video tape.

This technology is once again eating into a medium that we have traditionally seen as a proof of reality. Once again this aspect is removed; it was commented that George Melie's special effects on film in early cinematic scenes seem terribly crude by today's standards, and hardly believable as a representation of reality. However this is only so in the context of our enlightened visual understanding. These things, it was suggested, were relative; will Titanic be thought so in fifty years time? It is suggested that it is unlikely, which brought the group to discuss the implications of trickery which leaves behind the record of an event which never happened. The group had mixed feelings about the implications of what we would leave behind for future generations.

The demonstration of some of these techniques made it quite clear that manipulation for either creative or other reasons was highly convincing.

Carol Baker