Since editing our Estonia travel documentary Adobe Premiere Pro has been somewhat of my nemesis. I have never had such a frustrating experience with the software before. About half the time of my entire editing process was spent troubleshooting error messages. We are talking of more than 50 hours here.
Days upon days were spent loading, re-starting, hard-closing and resetting my project. More than six hours with the Adobe support had me alternate between hope and high levels of frustration. But in the end, nothing worked. The low-point for me was an Adobe support employee telling me 'to consider my project lost‘ after it completely failed to open due to repeated ‚low level exception errors‘. I was boiling at that point. I was helpless.
I have never seen the programme act up in such a way before. Everybody knows that Premiere Pro frequently crashes. That is why I save my project about every three minutes. However, this time the project did not just crash. A low-level exception error occurred. Again, and again, and again. Every time I opened up the project, it happened again. Shortly after, I‘d receive an error message telling me that Premiere Pro shut down due to an unknown error. Or the laptop would simply freeze. Or Premiere would close without a reason. Bottom line: it didn‘t work.
Even weirder though, in the rare instances the programme would actually make it through the loading phase, is that several times large numbers of clips from my timeline would get disconnected. Without any apparent reason. I had not moved the source folder, I had not renamed the files, I had done nothing for such an error to appear. Even worse, Premiere Pro would not allow me to reconnect them due to ‚An unknown error happened during importing‘.
The number of problems was incredible. And my list for troubleshooting was long. Feel free to try any of those, if you encounter a similar problem.
What did not work:
• Restart the programme
• Restart the computer
• Clean media cache in-app
• Clean media cache manually in the source folder
• Delete all rendered files
• Reset preferences
• Reset all settings
• Reset plug-ins
• Try software-only rendering
• Go back to an older version of the project file
• Rename media bins
• Reconnect media files
• Rename Adobe Premiere Pro source folder
• Reinstall Premiere Pro
• Reinstall an older version of Premiere Pro
• Reinstall all of Adobe
• Deinstall latest Windows updates
• Access media files from hard drive
• Set up a new user on Windows
• Open project on a different laptop
• Render the entire timeline
• Open the project on a MacBook Pro
I could barely believe my eyes as I first opened the project on my wife's MacBook. After having spent almost a week on finding a solution, and nearly going bonkers over it, the solution was to simply open it on an Apple product?
I realise that is not a great solution for many people, but it also raises the question as to why there seem to be a multitude of problems with Adobe and Windows laptops and not with Macs? I did not get a single error message from the MacBook in the 10 remaining days I spent on the project.
Adobe, if somebody from your team is reading this, please make sure to fix Premiere Pro. It‘s not acceptable for a paying customer to spend more time troubleshooting than editing. This takes all the fun out of filmmaking.
Ps.: I do have an inkling that this plethora of error messages may partially have been caused by me using different frame rates in the project. I tend to use 25 fps and 50/60 fps in one sequence without always interpreting the footage properly. In the past, this has not caused any such problems. However, even if that would be a contributing factor, it is not acceptable for professional editing software to act in such a way.