An In-Depth Interview with Kelsey Brannan, Founder and Creative Director of Premiere Gal
In this Premiere Profile, get to know Kelsey Brannan, the gal behind Premiere Gal. Kelsey made her first appearance as "Premiere Gal" in a guest post on the Premiere Bro Blog. Since then, she has established Premiere Gal as a free and accessible resource for emerging video creators. Premiere Gal has a growing YouTube channel with video editing and production tutorials, as well as monthly interviews with women in film and video. Kesley recently launched premieregal.com, where followers can learn more about getting involved with Premiere Gal.
What is your background as a video creator?
I started editing when I was 16 years old. My public high school, San Rafael High School in the north San Francisco bay area, offered a Media Academy Program for juniors and seniors. It integrated media literacy and video production courses into our core curricula. We were lucky kids! Thanks to this program, I fell in love with video editing and storytelling.
I received a B.A. in film and media studies at UC Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in Communication, Culture and Technology at Georgetown University, where I focused on documentary filmmaking and anthropology. After graduate school, I was hired by a contracting company to be the Senior Video Producer at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. On the public affairs team, I produce a wide-range of short documentary films, study abroad campaign videos, social media promos, LGBTI inclusion stories, and GIFS on our International Exchange Programs, such as the Fulbright Program, Gilman Scholarship, American English, TechWomen, and more. I really get to dip my hands into many genres and styles!
What is unique about your role as a video producer at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs?
Part of my role is figuring out how to communicate our video content with embassies around the world, and make it useful to them. I wanted to show how to translate and caption our content for their audiences, so I created a few tutorials — and I loved it! Link to my first tutorial at State Department: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Endb581-q6o
That’s when I started thinking about making my own tutorials on the side. There are lots of people making tutorials online, so I thought the best way to start would be to work with someone who already had a strong following. That’s when I found Premiere Bro!
When did you start editing with Adobe Premiere Pro?
I started editing in Premiere Pro towards the tail-end of 2013. My team was still on Final Cut Pro 7 (RIP) when I started at the State Department. I encouraged the team to make the transition to Adobe. Now everyone on the team has access to Adobe Creative Cloud, and it’s going really well!
What is Premiere Gal in a sentence?
Premiere Gal is a video editing and production resource for emerging video editors and producers!
What is your goal for Premiere Gal?
Part of the goal of Premiere Gal is to show that your “average gal” can sit on her couch and edit. You don’t always need a fancy studio to learn how to be an editor! Premiere Gal has a non-intimidating approach to video production. I want to be a mentor and role-model for other young individuals who want to go into the video production field. In order to do this, my tutorials are thorough, and I do my best to explain everything so beginners can follow along.
Also, in today’s world video producers are often expected to know it all: film, edit, mix audio, record voiceover, animate, etc. Thus, I don’t want to limit myself only to Premiere Pro tutorials, but expand to include topics that teach skills in directing, motion graphics, audio production, and more. In that sense, the “Premiere” in Premiere Gal is not just the software, but an adjective for “awesome”.
Where did you get the idea for Premiere Gal? What inspired the name?
I had seen Premiere Bro on Twitter, and thought it was clever! In June 2016, I tweeted at Premiere Bro, “Interested in blog contributions from a #PremiereGal?” I wanted to see if I could contribute to the blog because I missed writing and sharing knowledge with the video production world. However, I wanted to come up with a clever 3-letter name to replace “Bro” with something to represent me, so I came up with “Gal”.
You were the first-ever contributor to the Premiere Bro blog. Now that you’ve established yourself independently as Premiere Gal, how do you think “Gal” is being perceived?
While ‘Gal’ is gendered, and geared towards creating more visibility for women in post-production and production in general, I think it is for everyone, no matter what gender you identify with or what skill-level you have. I checked my gender analytics on YouTube, and 82% of my viewers are male and only 18% are female. This is surprising, but also not surprising. Most of the time there is an 80/20 representation of men to women at video editing conferences, but that is starting to change! Since I can remember, my male counterparts have always been supportive of women in film and video. Perhaps, Premiere Gal will create a platform for more women to speak out about their work, and start to change this paradigm. Maybe one day, when you Google “How to edit in Premiere Pro”, you will not always expect a man giving the tutorial.
How does Premiere Gal help Premiere Pro users and other video creators?
Gal offers free video editing and production tutorials on YouTube. Most of the videos come from you, the end-user. The emails and direct questions I receive from followers inspire my video tutorials. Sometimes I research trending industry topics, and make videos on those as well. My most successful video is How to Create Open Captions in Premiere Pro CC; it has around 7,000 views. If you have any video suggestions or if you want to learn something, fill out the form on my Tutorials page. If you pledge $5 or more per month on my Patreon Page, your video suggestions receive priority!
I also feature a woman in film and video each month on my channel in a playlist called #PremiereGal of the Month. In these video interviews I ask women about what they do, and if they have any advice for emerging video producers out there. I hope that the #PremiereGal of the Month series creates opportunities for mentorships; I hope it gives young women in the field a way to reach out, without intimidation, and learn how to get involved and succeed in video production.
Gal also creates opportunities for businesses that create products for video editors and producers to be featured on the Premiere Gal Youtube channel. I started a partnership and sponsor program where I’ve worked with many companies, such as Wipster, FilmConvert, AudioNetwork, Motion Array, EditorsKeys and many more. If you are interested in sponsoring or partnering with Premiere Gal, let me know! I have different types of partnership agreements, but they are totally adaptable to what your particular business is interested in.
What is unique about Premiere Gal tutorials?
How often do you Google something technical and see a Gal with her Pup on a couch? I’d say that is unique!
One of your goals is to bring a female voice to online video editing tutorials. Why is this important to you?
After college, it’s hard to find free resources or communities to engage in. As video editors or anyone in production, you can’t stop learning. You always need to grow! Conferences can be expensive, and not everyone is extroverted enough to go out and network all the time. Thus, I hope Premiere Gal provides a platform for young women, especially, to connect with me and other awesome filmmakers and editors on my channel.
What advice would you give to other “gals” in the post-production industry?
Get out there and use your voice! Make sure that everyone you introduce yourself to knows who you are. Work hard (but not too hard). Never doubt yourself. Build strong mentorships. Also, if you are reading this, please reach out to me! I’d love for you to contribute to the Premiere Gal blog or just to chat! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the future of Premiere Gal? Where do you see Premiere Gal in the next three years?
My goal for the next year is to set up an LLC, and to continue gaining more sponsors and followers for my channel. Premiere Gal is not just going to be about Premiere Pro, but on anything a modern-day video producer needs to get their work done. I am currently recruiting Gals and Bros to contribute to my YouTube channel. In the next three years, I’d love to have an expert in Illustrator, After Effects, and Audition join Gal and contribute their knowledge to the channel. If you are interested, please submit and join Gal! I also hope that in 3 years I’ll be able to make tutorials full-time. It really is a joy for me to do; it truly is my passion.
How can followers support Premiere Gal?
Right now, I’m running a ongoing crowdfunding campaign on Patreon. It’s a platform that allows Gal fans to pledge or “tip” a monthly amount to me. As I already mentioned, I would love to make tutorials full-time. I need some financial support to expand my resources in order to continue making free Premiere Pro and other Adobe resources. A pledge can be as low as $2 each month — anything would mean heaps! Link to pledge: http://patreon.com/PremiereGal and you can read more about my goals here on my blog.
If you can’t support monetarily, you can join my Thunderclap campaign by Nov 7 to help spread the word. Thunderclap allows a bunch of users to simultaneously share the same message on Twitter or Facebook; it creates one big amplified “clap” on the interwebs. My goal is to get 100 users to sign up. You can sign up here.
Other ways to help include sharing my videos on social media. You can also check out the Premiere Gal swag I have in my store.
If you could have one piece of video gear, what would it be?
Right now, I would love to get one of Elvid’s On-Camera HDMI LCD monitors to connect to my DSLR cameras so I can see myself clearer while filming Premiere Gal tutorials.
If you could ask for one feature in Premiere Pro, what would it be?
I would love for Premiere Pro to have the ability to auto-caption videos, and include predictive time-code slots for open-captions, similar to what YouTube does with closed-captions right now. It would also be great if we could copy and paste the style of one open captions line, and apply it to all lines, rather than having to adjust the style of each caption.
What is your favorite activity with Premiere Pup?
My favorite activity with Premiere Pup is travelling. I love bringing him everywhere with me; he loves meeting new people and exploring new places. After all, life is better travelled when accompanied by a dog.
If you had to be anything besides a video creator, what would it be?
I probably would have been an architect. Construction and house design has always fascinated me!
What filmmaker do you like right now? Favorite editor?
Marta Kauffman, co-creator of Friends and Grace & Frankie. She is a genius! If you haven’t seen Grace & Frankie, you need to watch it on NetFlix. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin — do I need to say anything else? My favorite film editor at the moment is Juliette Welfling. She edited The Hunger Games in 2012, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in 2007, which is one of my favorite films.