The North Face’s Free to Run with editor Jazzy Kettenacker
Image credit: Dream Lens Media.
Free to Run, a Dream Lens Media film released this month by The North Face, follows the incredible work of UN Human Rights attorney — and avid endurance trail runner — Stephanie Case, who worked with a women’s group in Kabul, Afghanistan to co-found an organization devoted to bringing visibility to women in regions of conflict and empowering women through adventure sports. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Case worked to get her fellow organizers to safety — all while in the midst of training for the Tor de Glacier, where she would eventually place third overall.
St. Louis-based editor Jazzy Kettenacker used Premiere Pro and Frame.io extensively to edit and share cuts for feedback. With footage being shot in Afghanistan and Italy, and the production team living in different places around the globe, a cloud-based workflow was essential for ensuring content could be shared, reviewed, and updated quickly and easily. Read on below as Jazzy shares her favorite Adobe Creative Cloud and Frame.io tools, as well as advice for aspiring filmmakers and tips for creating a healthier work-life balance — and check out the documentary below.
How and where did you first learn to edit?
I first learned to edit my freshman year of college at Hollins University. I completely switched over to Premiere Pro in 2013 after college. I haven't switched since.
How do you begin a project/set up your workspace?
When I first begin a new project, I like to throw all my footage onto a timeline, splitting them up either by shoot days or topics. I watch all the footage first before cutting, making sure I'm not missing out on any big or small moments. I'll mark and highlight as much as I can on my sequences.
Tell us about a favorite scene or moment from this project and why it stands out to you.
One of my favorite moments of Free to Run is when the main subject of the film, Stephanie Case, is pushing through the toughest part of Tor des Glaciers. Even though she's hardly had any sleep and her feet were killing her on this 450km journey, she didn't once think about giving up. This moment really displays her mental and physical toughness.
What were some specific post-production challenges you faced that were unique to your project? How did you go about solving them?
The biggest challenge we faced was figuring out how to tell a story in 30 minutes with TONS of footage. We had about 80 hours of footage shot by the directors and their crew, which doesn't include all the news footage we had to watch for the news montage sequence of the film. It's the most footage I ever had to work with.
Image Source: Steven Danner.
What Adobe tools did you use on this project and why did you originally choose them? Why were they the best choice for this project?
The Adobe tools I used for Free to Run were Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition. I love the Creative Cloud. The convenience of opening up a Premiere Pro sequence in After Effects or exporting audio to Audition with just one click is why I choose to use Creative Cloud.
Do you use Frame.io as part of your workflow?
Yes, Frame.io is fantastic! It's most useful for me when gathering notes from directors and clients. They can easily place notes at a specific moment on a timeline. I don't have to second guess where exactly clients would like for me to make changes.
What do you like about Premiere Pro, and/or any of the other tools you used?
The convenience and the customization of Premiere Pro is why it's my favorite editing software. My favorite new tool right now is the Speech to Text capabilities. It's amazing to have interviews transcribed within Premiere Pro and be able to search by keywords. Whatever I highlight in the transcript, Premiere Pro will take me straight to that moment on the corresponding timeline as well.
What’s your hidden gem/favorite workflow tip in Adobe Creative Cloud?
My favorite tool that I love and that might not be used enough by others when working with video in the Creative Cloud is the blending tool. I love experimenting with different blend modes in Premiere Pro and After Effects to create amazing effects. It's fun to experiment with different light flares and textures.
Who is your creative inspiration and why?
My creative inspiration is my boss, Lucas Harger. He has so much creativity and wisdom — I tried to learn from him as much as I can about cutting creatively and how to navigate through this industry. He also has inspired me to discover my own editing style and to enjoy the process.
What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to face in your career and how did you overcome it? What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers or content creators?
I'm probably facing the toughest part of my career at this moment. I'm trying to learn how to have a better work/life balance. I find myself burned out from overthinking and taking on too much at once. Learning to deal with my stress away from work actually helps me creatively when I need it.
Share a photo of where you work. What’s your favorite thing about your workspace and why?
Image Source: Steven Danner.
What I love most about my workspace is that I was able to customize it the way that I want. I couldn't decorate my workspaces at my previous jobs, so to be able to make my workspace my own definitely helps fuel my creativity. My wall is covered with photos of people and movies that inspire me. I also have a record player and vinyl records — music can definitely help me establish an energy and tone before diving into a project for the day.