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Youtube for editing and Glitch/Retro/VHS assets in Premier Pro

Guten Morgan!

Something I’m working on at the moment is …. (in case you didn’t read the title of this post) YOUTUBE.

I’ve been on youtube very casually for a few years now. It’s something I’ve always been very interested in but, strangely, never REALLY dedicated myself to, despite very much wanting to.

Maybe this time it will be different.

I’ve started filming for Youtube again, SOLELY as a vehicle to cultivate my editing skills. To be honest, this particular approach has been the most satisfying so far. I’ve been cutting a video PURELY to explore my style as an editor. To see what I can create when I’m not hindered by any external requirement. I’d highly recommend it!

The video I’m working on currently is VERY much styled to be a retro/80’s/vaporwave styled video, leading me to obtain a LOT of cool presets and transitions for Premier Pro. Since I’d like this blog to have atleast some practical value I’ll link them all here, just incase anyone wants to create something paying homage to the good old days. Also, they’re all free!


This is such a great pack of presets which were originally created for the Deadpool movie. There is one effect in the ‘MISC EFFECTS’ folder I’ve been using heavily called ‘Bad TV Reception’.

AUSTIN NEWMAN’S Retro Preset Pack

This is a pack includes 7 great presets, my personal favouorites are ‘VHS Stylize’ and ‘VHS Stylize (Damaged).

ORANGE83 Glitch Transitions

I love these transitions. This pack includes 6 very cool, glitchy transitions. I’ve been using them to ‘enhance’ (ha) the jumpcuts in my video. because is it even a Youtube video without a MASSIVE number of jumpcuts? No.

These have been so much fun to work with. yes I am creating the glitchiest, most broken looking youtube video of all time. It’s the best fun.

Hopefully these links come in handy! If anyone out there uses them I’d love to see what you come up with! Send me a link in the comments!

Glitchingly yours (lol),


Story Telling and re-editing No Country For Old Men

Hi blog.

I’ve started writing a short film script. The motivation, initially, was so I would have something to edit. HOWEVER, that’s since evolved (quickly) into what some may refer to as ‘full blown obsession’. I have a problem when it comes to learning new things, I can’t control myself.

So, story-telling.

As per my usual approach to learning something, I’ve been soaking up as much content as humanly possible on the topic and it’s even more fascinating than I could have ever imagined (isn’t everything though? the correct answer is yes).

One video, in particular, has stood out to me in terms of what a great story is:

She outlines a concept I really enjoy which is ‘presenting a situation vs. telling a story’. To awkwardly paraphrase; telling a story is deeply tied to your main character. If the character was removed the entire plot would be different because the motivational forces within the character, positive or negative, are fundamentally tied to the story. If you’re presenting a situation the character could be swapped out for ANY character, and it would change nothing about the experience of the story. Make sense? Great, moving on.

I think another reason I’m so interested in story-telling now is because it is FUNDAMENTAL to approaching an edit. Good (or great) editing is not about making something look good or be emotive, it’s about telling a story. Human beings are driven by story. Look at the greatest works of art through-out history. They tell stories. Whether they tell their own story or they evoke personal stories. It’s how we as people make sense of the world and ourselves within it.

I was going to wrap up that previous section with something more ‘closing’ but no.

Re-cutting No Country For Old Men time!

In my last post I mentioned recutting this film, chosen for a couple of reasons;

a) It has no score so I can add my own music and take it where-ever my imagination desires.
b) It’s relatively slow so I have some nice long shots and well paced dialogue to play with.
c) It’s just a great film in general.

As far as the technical side of recutting something goes; I have NO clue how to best approach this, since I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’ve figured the best place to start is to cut out each scene. Take the entire film apart so I have a lot of elements to play with and I can rebuild it into something new and shiny and cool.

It looks a little something like so.

I’ll then create more folders and re-organise the scenes differently. Like, per character or per location perhaps. To make navigating all the clips easier.

From there I’ll need to find something compelling within the story to focus on since this is going to be a short film version.

I have a lot of work to do.

I don’t know why this post is so serious. Weird.


Until next time!!

Story-tellingly yours,

Sonja Sonja Bo Bonja

I finished the trailer (I guess) and now commencing phase two (of five hundred and seventy-two) of my editing career (which I think now includes writing and directing to some degree how many words can I make this blog title before it starts doing that thing where the letters turn red? I wonder what would happen if I write an entire post in the title. Tune in next time on Sonja doesn’t know what she’s

I did it!

My trailer for Editfest is done!


If you like voting you’ll love this link right here! Aw yeah boiiii.

So, my post post thoughts in a blog post;

This was a major learning curve as evidenced by my previous posts that were entirely about trailer and how to cut one.

I’m proud that I a) got something finished and b) don’t hate it BUT honestly it is lacking a lot of elements and finesse. Luckily I am aware of the artistic process and skill development learning curve so I don’t want to fling myself gracefully off a tall building. Just a short building… Or a ledge perhaps.

No, no. I kid. It actually makes me more determined than ever. Now I have a starting point to work from. And that is good. Plus it was extraordinarily fulfilling to do, learning new technical skills (like slightly interesting creative color grading) and working my way around Premier Pro. I think my favourite thing, which has sparked a bit of a new path inside me was finding a story to tell. Then figuring out a way to convey that story idea with some kind of ‘mood’.

Additionally, because this was a more personal project and not a work project, I got to ‘play’ with it which gave me a lot more opportunity to try things out and see if they worked or didn’t work, as well as hone a bit of an artistic voice. This, I think, is something I’ll carry with me into future projects, personal and otherwise. Having a voice as an editor. Very, very important.

This leads in tidily to the second part of my post title.

I’ve begun writing a short film idea. I’d say script but it’s not that advanced yet. It’s still currently in ‘I just threw some alphabet spaghetti on the ground’ phase. But it’s an idea I’m enjoying and, perhaps because I think in vivid imagery, it’s fun to ‘watch’ in my mind. I’m enjoying the process of seeing what the short will look like and how it will be shot and cut and the moments I’ll get to create in it. It’s something I’d like to pursue, even if it’s just as a side project, getting into writing and perhaps directing. Although, I do worry I’m introducing too many learning curves into my life at once. YOLO I guess.

As far as editing goes. My next project I’m creating for myself is to recut No Country For Old Men into a short. I chose that particular movie because it doesn’t have a soundtrack AND I’m curious to see if I can change the mood from something quietly dramatic to something almost awkward and uncomfortable, in a ‘The Office’ kind of way. There’s something quite enjoyable and personally satisfying about mixing unrelated themes (in this case, slightly irreverent humor and scary murder sociopath).

In closing, having a learning curve is fun and deeply gratifying, finishing things (or atleast, submitting things) is confidence boosting, and working on things with a sense of freedom and reverie and discovery is the best feeling in the whole world.

Learning curvingly yours,

Sonja x

More editing competitions and the vast expansive universe of theatrical trailers.

Amidst watching The Aviator (Academy Award for best editing by Thelma Schoonmaker in 2004), working on my little trailer (at present I’m searching through free music resources for tracks I can potentially use), looking through a buddhist meditation book I just got from a temple down the road (this paranthesis is just for consistency) and eating a bowl of frozen berries with almond butter (yumbles), I’ve just discovered this interesting resource for editing competitions in a simple, easy to navigate list.

TLDR; I’ve procrastinated my way to this additional means of procrastination.

Check it out.

One comp in particular has caught my eye: The Trailer Remix Challenge

Another film trailer, yes, and not just any film. A Terminator film.

Also it’s ‘hosted’ by Adobe which fits in nicely with all this Premier Pro business going on around these parts lately. The editing gods have spoken, I am meant to enter this competition.

Y’all wouldn’t realise how much time has passed between the last sentance and this one unless I pointed it out with a Sponge Bob reference BUT after an hour of googling and further investigating movie trailers and ‘what makes a great movie trailer’ I stumbled across this interesting Vice video:

Which, interestingly, interviews some of the folk from an agency called Create Advertising.

Who, interestingly, have made a number of trailers for rather high profile films.

One of which, interestingly, is… Terminator: Dark Fate.

The very same Terminator I’ll be making my own trailer for. The circle of life is complete. Mufasa’s spirit can finally rest in peace.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to learn from this experience other than the world of movie trailers is a rabbit-hole much deeper than I’d anticipated. I promise this won’t be a blog about movie trailers. But it will be until October 10 when I submit my editfest trailer.

Until next time,

Theatrical traileringly yours,

Sonja x

Re-hashing the basics of Premier Pro and thinking about movie trailers.

Bonjour and goodmorning!

This post will be covering a little about how I’m approaching my submission for Editfest (check out my last post here to know what I’m talking about!).

To begin;

I’ll be cutting a movie trailer using entirely stock footage from Film Supply and graphics I make in After Effects. I’ve been using the Adobe Suite for a while so it’s all fairly familiar BUT I’d really like to take this opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of these programs. I’ve never really given myself the time to explore Premier Pro and all it’s features so I’ll be spending a lot of time honing my technical skills while I cut together this trailer.

I’ll be doing so with this free little intro course I found on Udemy:


And this mighty 4.5 hour tutorial I found on Youtube:

Learn EVERYTHING about Premiere Pro | TUTORIAL

This should cover all the most basic of basics, which seems tedious but I want tthe software I use to feel like an extension of my body so it’s worth covering EVERYTHING from the ground up. I want to really KNOW Premier Pro. You know?

Regarding actually cutting a trailer, I’ve been using this video as a reference to get started (since I’ve never cut a trailer and I want to fill my brain with as much juice as possible):

The very first point is ‘tell a story’, which seems very ‘well, duh’, but on watching some submissions other people have made to Editfest it is actually quite overlooked! Also, it is kind of fun to just throw a whole smattering of pretty shots together over some pretty music and feel satisfied at the brilliant moody collage of feelings you’ve created. However, that does not a movie trailer make. Alas.

The challenge, for me at this point, is taking stock footage and no actual film script, and building a story to tell.

I think my best approach (which I’ve been working on already) is to take two or three ‘scenes’ from the available footage and formulate a narrative around them. That way there is some coherence between both the footage and the shooting style so it seems to be all connected in some kind of a way. You’ll have to watch the movie to figure out HOW they are connected though… If all goes well the trailer will create that desire!

That’s all for today.

I have editing and learning to do!

Thank you for reading AS ALWAYS.

Editingly yours,

Sonja x

Entering an editing competition and thinking of ways to hone my craft (with evidence).


This is a short and sweet update because I don’t have my in brain today.

I came across an ad on instagram yesterday evening for an editing competition called ‘EDITFEST’. It’s run by a stock footage company called Film Supply who run this competition annually, judged by a panel of industry professionals AND the general public. Scrutiny all round!


You can rest assured I’ll be putting something together for this, even if it’s just for my own sake of feeling some kind of accomplished for having tried. I have a full week of spending time in my own company leading up to the deadline so I get to spend all my waking hours cutting together something brilliant (or acceptable) to submit. This is going to be a fun challenge!

I’ve also been thinking more about ways I can practice the ‘art of editing’ as a creative endeavour, to refine and cultivate my skills in that arena, and have been thinking it would be fun to cut feature films down into shorts that either tell the story faster OR a completely new story. I love the idea of playing around with time, either elongating or compressing timing of key moments. I must admit, time is one of my favourite subjects of thought so it will be fun to get to manipulate that concept through editing. I’m not sure about the laws around that kind of content but ideally it would be something I can upload onto Vimeo or Youtube (or perhaps just on this website), as a showcase. Perhaps if I throw a filter over the footage it has been changed enough to come under some kind of ‘fair use’ policy… More investigation needed…

That’s all for today. Short and sweet as promised. I would like some more coffee and perhaps a shower now.

Thank you for reading, have a fabulous day and chat soon,

Sonja x

Hello I am Sonja and this is my website of career progress.

Hello and welcome! Here I’ll be documenting my steps and progress towards becoming a (great) film editor!

My name is Sonja Gallaher, I’m an Assistant Editor/Assembly Editor from Sydney, Australia. I’ve been working mostly in reality TV (one shiny floor show in the mix for good measure) for the past 3 years and I’m in the process of ramping up my career efforts to become a big time editor on feature films. Cool, huh?

So what’s the plan?

Why, I’m so glad you asked!

It starts with a healthy dose of work hard like my life depends on it. I need to hustle and move like I’ve never hustled and moved before, take projects, make connections and carve out a place for myself in the industry.

This seems obvious but I need to write it down; get good. Editing is an art AND a skill. I need to hone my skills as an editor who can turn scenes into life-changing moments, or hilarious moments, or intense moments. This will be via both practical lessons and practice.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”


There ya go, I nice quote to make this a real blog.

But honestly, this is the beginning. Despite having been in the industry for three years already, this is the first time I’ve truly chosen to turn this into something epic. I’m doing so on a public platform to help ground myself in how far I’ve come, as well as affirm the skills and knowledge and progress I aquire along the way. This will serve as both deeply, personally useful as well as a guide of ‘to do’ and ‘definitely do not do’ for anyone reading. Double helpful, everybody wins.


This is where it starts. I’ve no doubt you’ll get to know me more as my website turns into something of value. I’ll share my ups and downs and triumphs and challenges and everything I learn along the way, both practical and personal, as I dive into this ‘new’ endeavour. What a time to be alive.

Thank you for reading.

Yours in editing glory,

Sonja x