All entries for September 2007

September 23, 2007

Women & Film: The Representation of Women in the World Today

Women & Film: the Representation of Women Today

The Three Rs of Media Studies 


Each year, two million girls aged from 5 to 16 join the commercial sex market


Why is this film not more widely shown at the sixth form level?


I sometimes think that educational work up to and including sixth form work has a tendency to infantilise students and that this can happen especially within the world of media. Justified by the thinking that "the kids can identify more easily with this" type of approach, difficult content at an emotional and ethical level is ignored, yet the world is fraught with difficulties even in more advanced countries. To avoid this sort of thing in terms of content seems to me to be avoiding educational responsibilities. This is not to say that one should not teach about action-adventure films or soap operas, it is to say that by the time students enter year 13 they are a short distance away from voting and adult responsibilities. This means that a more sophisticated world view needs to be developed. Until there is more emphasis on this Media Studies - rightly but sadly in my opinion - will continue to be considered as a "soft" A Level.

In terms of media education this means that certain issues need to be prioritised because as educationalists we have a task to prepare our students for active and responsible citizenship which needs to be understood in a global context. Currently many students can go through OCR A2 media managing to avoid anything much to do with social reality. Even in a research choice like women and film this is still possible by focusing - as many of my students do - on say 'the changing representation of women in action adventure films' building on their AS experiences of action adventure movies. Why not do textual analysis on documentaries for example?  Combine action adventure with making a music video and there is little room left. A focus on rom-coms in contemporary British cinema and a bit about the invidious difficulties of competition with Hollywood, and most real world stuff is carefully avoided. 

As a lecturer at this level one can of course take a more socially responsible attitude. I take the opportunity to show Lucas Moodysson's Lilya 4-Ever  - a film which is most undeserving of an 18 certificate by the way. Some lecturers who know the film are a little surprised, however there are always some students who take it very seriously.  This year one of my students went straight out to buy a copy and several other ones are including in their research projects. Clearly many students are far more able to respond to difficult content than we often allow for. 

Kandahar 1

"Over two thirds of the World's 800 million illiterate adults are women, since girls in many parts of the World are not seen as being worth the investment"

Images from the film Kandahar. Amongst other things this film is representing the issues which real women in the real world face when it comes to be deliberately excluded from education. Shouldn't Media teachers be focusing more on these issues?  

Kandahar 2

Because our centre focuses on the issue of women and film for the Critical Research Project  I have included below a few facts and figures on the position of women in the World from the latest edition of the Open University publication "Society Matters". These facts and figures  show the vast gap between the quotidian social reality of tens of millions of people in the World and the World as represented in most facets of the media. My questions for Media Studies are "Why?" and "What are we going to do about it?" To think in any other way and to fail to act on this situation is to abrogate our ethical responsibilities.

Women's Inequality in the World is Increasing 

women Fighting Global Poverty 2

Women Fighting Global Poverty

Facts and Figures

During the last year British Government and independent Human Rights Groups have brought out a series of reports on the worsening conditions of women in the World reports Society Matters (Issue No 10 "2007-2008). The findings include the following:

  • Seventy per cent of the world's 1 billion poorest inhabitants are women
  • Women produce half the World's food but own less than 2 per cent of the World's land
  • Over two thirds of the World's 800 million illiterate adults are women, since girls in many parts of the World are not seen as being worth the investment
  • Domestic violence where women are predominently the victim, kills and injures more people in the develoing World than war, traffic accidents or cancer
  • Each year, two million girls aged from 5 to 16 join the commercial sex market
  • A third of the World's women are homeless or live in adequate housing
  • Women work two thirds of the World's working hours, but earn only a tenth of the world's income.

So much for "Reality TV"!

Let's put some reality into media instead


Endemol, the TV production which was responsible for the racism on Big Brother, has brought out a live organ transplant programme on Netherlands TV.  This is to appeal to the ghoulsih appetities of the lowest common denominator and has nothing to do with the remit of public service broadcasting which is to educate and inform as well as to entertain. 

"The scenario portrayed in this programme is ethically totally unacceptable," said Professor John Feehally, who has just ended his term as president of the UK's Renal Association.

"The show will not further understanding of transplants," he added. "Instead it will cause confusion and anxiety."

TV critics in the UK have expressed horror at the programme, but said such a show would be unlikely in Britain.

"My first reaction, probably everyone's reaction, is that this is as dangerously near as we've got to a TV programme playing God," said Julia Raeside of the Guardian newspaper.

"People may live or die on the result of a game show. It's a step too far.

The growth of such entertainment forms as "reality" TV is a direct subversion of everyday lived reality. Whilst it is worthwhile academics studying these forms to provide ongoing ideology critique for younger students it is more appropriate to study the reality of the world and its representation. arguably to engage too closely with populist forms promulgated by middle class parasites feeding off fantasy generation schemes exploiting the working classes at a low level in the educational hierarchy is to collude with the forms before the cognitive skills and life experience necessary to understand the workings of ideology and discourse have developed. 

The Three Rs of Media Studies

The opportunity to research Women and Film is also an opportunity to research the real conditions of  vast numbers of women worldwide and to ask why is it that entertainment forms manage to screen out reality so effectively with so little complaint.  Representation is recognisable by its absence from reality as it becomes increasingly focused upon an onanistic, narcississtic  world of "celebrity". Both text and context msut count equally in Media studies if this situation is to change. The social theorist Nancy Fraser has argued for Recognition (of identity), Redistribution (of wealth) to which I would add Representation (of social reality) thus creating the three Rs of Media Studies. 

September 09, 2007

Sally Potter Webliography

Sally Potter Independent Film Maker

Who is Sally Potter Video 


Along with many other British director entries this entry is 'work in progress' nevertheless it will provide a basic signposting to other available resources on the web in the first instance until I'm able to make a fuller evaluation.

Pause for reflection 

I think I may have had one of those epiphanic moments caused (surprisingly) by reading a recent book on Feminist Film Studies (McCabe 2004) which I will review shortly. Covering  the developments and twists and turns in feminist film theory over the last 40 years I found it clear, fascinating and informative. But it also started to trigger cultural memory. Remembering back to the 1970s the desire of many of those involved in alternative politics including the Women's movement was the desire to have alternative representations made by people themselves, allied to alternative distribution systems and different spaces to experience these alternatives. Elsewhere on this blog I have listed the women filmmakers in the history of the UK that I could find any reference to. The list is gradually developing links to entries about these filmmakers. The list is pitifully short!

McCabe Feminist Film Studies

Whilst not decrying the importance of criticism and theory it is interesting that a body of theory which  was  politically motivated in a non-party way has so signally failed to develop through Feminist Films Studies a deeper engagement with production. Yet as a lecturer in a tertiary college the Media Studies course promotes production.  In the AS level it has been interesting over a few years to see what women students have chosen to  make an advertising campaign about. Some have certainly expressed concerns which young women in social reality face such as drink spiking and harrassement through mobile phones. What will the young women do for their Advanced  Production Unit which is moving image based? This unit provides opportunities for young women to become more involved in the production side thus challenging the predominance of having men behind the camera.  At a rhetorical level what happens to these young women film makers, because there are still very few out there making it? This posting will start to create a virtual hub from what is available on the web dealing with this gap between women film makers and feminist film studies. At the end of the day it is the current industrial and institutional structures which need to be taken on and a different policy framework created if the situation is going to change. Sally Potter's enthusiasm energy and committment provide a beacon but she can also be seen as  an exception which proves the rule.    

In her conclusion Janet McCabe makes a swift reference to German women film makers in the early 1970s. Although she doesn't dwell on this I had remembered earlier whilst reading her book how dynamic that period of New German Cinema had been. Julia Knight has written a good book about the period and the sudden emergence of women filmmakers often theoretically well informed. Sadly the films are currently unavailable in the UK. The role of TV as a commissioning body was important in ennabling this upsurge of women's film making to develop. There are lessons there for Feminist Film Studies which sadly seems only tangentially engaged in the important area of film policy which is where much of the power lies

Knight Women in New German Cinema Cover

Sally Potter  is the UKs most well known woman film maker and what follows is a webliography. When time allows more analytic and critical discussion about her work will be posted.

Sally Potter Webliography 

Sally Potter Official Website

Wikipedia Sally Potter entry

Kristy Mckim Senses of Cinema article 

The Tango Lesson (Sony site)

Yes (Sony site) 

Sally Potter's own notes on her adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando

Sally Potter directs Carmen. Here Sally Potter is directing Carmen with English National Opera. The facts that Potter moves across different performance genres is rather like Visconti. Admirable!

Interview by Sophie Mayer with Sally Potter on Carmen. (Please note Mayer is bringing out a book on sally Potter with Wallflower Press in 2008)

BBC Review of The Man Who Cried

BBC Interview with Sally Potter

Rose Capp Senses of Cinema article on The Man Who Cried

Film Freak Central Interview with Sally Potter

Reverse Shot interview with Potter on Yes

September 06, 2007

Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City

Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City. 2006. Mark Shiel. Wallflower Press Short Cuts Series Paperback

Italian Neorealism Rebuilding the Cinematic City

Return to film Studies Book Reviews

In all of this, the notion of representing ‘the real’ – real society, real cities, real people – has become more and more compromised and indeed commodified. In this cultural climate, perhaps the time is right to reclaim the real for its radical potential. (Shiel p 127)


Visconti's Ossessione


I still think that Italian Cinema from 1943 to approximately 1980 is the most productive and interesting one of any national cinema. Sadly it is becoming less well known as this period disappears into history. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly any  serious study of the period is embedded in Italian departments and knowledge is thus limited to a few cognoscenti. Neorealism is one of the few aspects of Italian cinema taught more generally on film studies courses however this is often restricted to a brief chapter in a more general film history book. Yet ,as Shiel’s last paragraph cited above notes, rather than the solidarity of early neorealism being an historical occurrence perhaps the sentiments and general approach of neorealism are due a revival. As globalisation runs its course leaving pockets of bitter poverty in even the richest countries and in countries like Brazil leading to bullet proof cars and helicopters for the upper classes representing the real seems to be becoming a priority.

Shiel’s recent book on neorealism is therefore more than welcome because it allows the interested follower of Italian cinema and also students an accessible but authoritative route into this fascinating period of European and Italian history in greater depth. The reader won't put of by the intensely theoretical work which is aimed at a very small target audience of those already in the know which is in part unfortunate outcome of the pressure of the research assessment exercise in Universities.

I strongly recommend this to colleagues in the tertiary sector who teach courses such as the neorealism option on the World Cinema unit for the WJEC A level. It may also be useful for student supervisors of the OCR critical research project area for those taking the World Cinema option. Whilst the book will be too difficult for most sixth formers it will prove a remarkable useful resource which is very well informed indeed as well as original and imaginative and well written as one would expect from somebody who is teaching on the recently upgraded film studies depart at Kings College London.

Technical Aspects of the Book

It may seem a little churlish and pedantic to be critical of the book’s organisation but it would have been useful to have had pages references in the index to mentions of specific films, perhaps under the name of the director as Bondanella does in his large general history of Italian cinema. It is very useful to be able to navigate straight to comment upon a particular film without having to trawl through the book. As none of the other books in this series do this perhaps Wallflower will think about doing this should the titles come out in revised editions which many of them deserve to.

What is Neorealism?


The iconic image of Anna Magnani as Pina moments before being gunned down in Rossellini's Roma Citta Aperta  

(Link to BBC interview with Rossellini on this Rossellini page)

Defining Neorealism very precisely is fraught with difficulties. Discourse around Neorealism tends to fall into two schools of thought however Shiel neatly sidesteps this with a convincing argument. Defining any cultural moment is notoriously difficult and the more closely the object of research is gazed upon the more heterogeneous it can seem. Shiel notes that the term Neorealism can be used ‘flexibly’. For some, Neorealism runs from Visconti’s Ossessione (1943) until Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957). Other have preferred a more tightly defined range of films from Rossellini’s Rome Open City to De Sica’s Umberto D (1952). This kind of discussion can quickly fall into point-scoring and it is more useful to see the whole period as being inextricably linked and indeed being strongly influential well beyond 1957. In this sense Raymond Williams’ notion of ‘structures of feeling’ is a useful term to call upon when discussing cultural moments and movements. Shiel chooses the following approach:

Neorealism is also thought of not so much as a particular moment defined by starting and end dates, but as a historically – and culturally – specific manifestation of the general aesthetic quality known as ‘realism’, which is characterised by a disposition to the ontological truth of the physical visible world. From this perspective, the realism of Italian Neorealism manifested itself in a distinctive visual style. (Shiel: 2006 p1).

Importantly Shiel points out that not all neorealist films contain all of the cinematic strategies that neorealism is know for – location shooting, use of non-professional actors etc. There isn’t a precise formulaic set of rules to describe neorealism.


De Sica holds to the notion of having a non-professional actor in the leading role in Umberto D

Neorealism as a Wider Cultural Movement

Neorealism was a much wider cultural movement than just cinema. Many people will be familiar with writers such as Calvino who were strongly associated with neorealism however the movement extended to photographers and painters and interestingly also architects. This link to architecture was something new to me and is dealt with in chapter three of the book called neorealism and the City. Calvino’s book Invisible Cities is of course one link and Deleuze of course wrote about the different city space of post-war cinema because the spaces of the cities were opened up by the devastation of the fighting. Rossellini deal with this in Paisa particularly in the episode based upon Florence, but nowhere is more marked than in his Germany Year Zero where he was specifically invited by the authorities to film in Berlin because of Paisa and of course Rome Open City. Other critics and theorists apart from Deleuze also wrote extensively about the city and cinema especially Kracauer and Bazin.

Germany Year Zero

Rossellini's Germany Year Zero

The Structure of the Book

The book is well structured with an initial chapter describing neorealism, here the importance of the French pre-war directors Renoir, Carne and Clair is emphasised. The chapter also contains some useful synopses of the emergence of neorealist directors under the Fascist regime such as Rossellini and De Sica. The book then moves on to examine the first phase of neorealism as Shiel understands it because he sees work of the 1950s as being part of neorealism which is adapting to changing circumstances rather than being a complete break with what had gone before. In the first phase the dominant feel of the films are built around a notion of solidarity.

I found chapter three perhaps the most interesting because Shiel has applied the growing interest within the fields of film and cultural studies with the city and representations of the city to the realm  of neorealist cinema.

Neoralist images of post-war urban crisis are an especially important legacy because Italy was the only one of the defeated Axis powers whose cinematic representations of the city achieved iconic status internationally so soon after its military defeat. (Shiel p68)

He has also extended the concept of neorealism to movements in architecture allied to notions of building for community. Shiel also draws parallels in the shift from phase one of neorealism (solidarity), to the second phase (focusing more on disaffection and alienation) to shifts in architectural discourse and practices.

Rocco and his Brothers 11   Rooco and his Brothers 12

Modern Northern Milan meets Southern emigrants in Rocco and his Brothers from Visconti.

It is a great film and thoroughly embedded with the concrns of modernisation and modernity. Visconti meets Dickens with politics perhaps. It is a film which seems to be a direct descendent if not a continuation of  neorealism. Its treatment of the city is well worth considering in depth.  However it isn't a film which Shiel mentions, whilst writers like Bondanella rather sweep aside its powerful political insights suggesting it is more operatic and melodramatic than having the spirit of " a naturalist novel or a neorealist film". (Bondanella 2002, p198)

Chapter four is entitled “The Battle for Neorealism”. It focuses upon the rapidly changing circumstances within Italian society as Italian politics consolidated around the Christian Democrats who were victorious in the 1948 general election a time when Hollywood comes to dominate Italian cinema. Shiel also notes the demands from the more hard-line left such as the critic Umberto Barbaro ( ) for a move towards an aesthetic based upon Socialist-Realism, which had less to do with reality and more to do with creating mythical heroes. In this chapter Shiel also makes a brief comment upon Visconti’s Bellissima largely following Geoffrey Nowell-Smith’s position in which Bellissima carries:

neorealist hallmarks but its light-hearted comedy and melodrama set it somewhat apart from the rest of Visconti’s generally political oeuvre. (Shiel p 93).

As can be seen from my review of the recently released DVD of Bellissima from Eureka Video I have a reading which gives Visconti credence for having a sharp political cutting edge whilst still maintaining the solidarity of neorealism which is hammered home (perhaps unconvincingly but that is an artistic comment not a political one).Hopefully readers won’t be put off Visconti’s excellent film by this comment.


A moving moment in Visconti's Bellissima as the built in advantages of the middle classes aremade abundantly clear

Cronaca di’un amore poster

Poster of Antonioni’s Cronaca di’un amore

In chapter five Shiel reviews neorealism’s second phase. In this analysis he is in agreement with Andre Bazin who considers that it was in the closing shot of Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria that finally closes the door on neorealism. The chapter opens with an analysis of Antonioni’s Cronaca di’un amore. Sadly I haven’t seen this film which along with I think all of Antonioni’s early work is unavailable in the UK so I’m unable to comment upon Shiel’s analysis beyond noting that there is no reason to think of it as anything but thorough.


Rossellini's Voyage in Italy

In chapter five Shiel also comments upon the films of Rossellini from this period, with some time spent on Voyage in Italy one of several from this time made with Ingrid Bergman. This film at least is available in an excellent BFI version with a very interesting analytical commentary by Laura Mulvey as an extra. Shiel says of Voyage in Italy:

Comprises an expansion of neorealism in the direction of the metaphysical or spiritual concerns and resembles the direction taken by Antonioni. (p 104).

Rossellini had commented as early as 1949 very soon after the Christian Democrats came to power that “ You cannot go on shooting in ruined cities forever”, a clear recognition of the rapid changes and that European reconstruction was beginning to have an effect. Shiel argues that in Francis God’s Jester (available from Eureka video) Rossellini was playing with a metaphor where the relationship with God and other humans was played out in the absence of material. A comment perhaps on the priorities of the CD party and the values being expressed as what became known as the ‘economic miracle’ got under way.

Nights of Cabiria 3

Above from Fellini's Nights of Cabiria

From here Shiel moves to examine the work of Fellini who made six films during this period of the early to mid-fifties. The focus here lies upon Nights of Cabiria. Shiel suggests that Fellini:

Employed realism as a window onto internal character although like the films of Antonioni and Rossellini they never strayed far from social concerns and presented their personal tragedies as narratives with real social implications. (p 113)

Shiel notes that it was this film which initially working within a neorealist framework grows out of it in its final moments. It was Bazin who noted that whilst the film remained largely neorealist he noted that Cabiria was looking at the spectator in a way that changed the relationship of the spectator to the film moving away from the objectivity of the spectator prized by neorealism.

Shiel’s conclusion which I have noted at the beginning of this review notes the legacy of neorealism. Here Shiel claims a wide range of important films on a global scale were influenced by neorealism. Whist I don’t wish to decry these claims I think that the social concern expressed in We are the Lambeth Boys by Karel Reisz (1959) may be underplaying the British documentary connection especially the influence of Humphrey Jennings many of whose films are considerably underestimated. In that sense the notions of realism which Shiel clearly thinks have been seriously downplayed in academia in recent years partially because of the rise of post-modern discourse has a wide and deep roots running through European film culture. Certainly the work of Francesco Rosi and Olmi kept the neorealist flame alive in Italy itself.

Tree of Wooden Clogs 2

From Olmi's Tree of Wooden Clogs


As an excellent, readable, rigorously researched but accessible book this is the best that I have read on neorealism from the perspective of the more general reader. It would be an excellent book to have as a reference for those new to neorealism as it provides enough contextual information to place this loose movement in a holistic sense, it chooses a good range of films to use as brief case studies and provides an historical scope which includes both the origins of the movement and the long-term influences of this movement which has had a critical success which far outweighs the box-office returns of the time. The book provides a good range of films to be followed up and an excellent range of references which opportunities for the more committed reader to follow up. This book is a must for students, teachers and those interested in Italian and / or European cinema and comes strongly recommended.

September 03, 2007

Premiere Elements

Advanced Production Unit: Adobe Premiere Elements

Screenshot of Adobe Elements 3


The purpose of this posting is to help my A level students come to terms with Adobe Premiere Elements. It is important to get an overview of the software that they will be using to create their Advanced Production project as part of a rapidly growing consumer / prosumer / user generated content marketplace. One part of the specification is that an awareness of the industry / audience context is written up.  This posting gives links to various sites including ones:

  • Which monitor the selling patterns of the software  package
  • Ones which give some sort of help or guidance to the software itself
  • Ones which begin to examine the issues arising from the rapid rise of user generated content and distribution which are challenging older models of media

The Consumer Market & Video Editing Software

The popularity of digital video cameras and the editing software that is needed to go with them has generated a huge market. This is growing dramatically as perfectly adequate video cameras are available for very reasonable price and the price of powerful computers able to comfortably handle the file sizes is also dropping. Multi-core processing power and powerful graphics cards are rapidly becoming common. The enormous success of YouTube shows just how popular making digitally based moving image forms is. The cost of entry is low and currently the audiences are comfortable with relatively low-resolution materials. Even the new technological standards such as widescreen and High Definition are being incorporated into midrange consumer DV-Cameras. The level of content is often puerile but as its users develop in terms of skills and maturity so will YouTube. It is likely to offer a quite different form of social networking to Myspace / Facebook as Donna Bogatin points out

The growing enthusiasm for user generated content by even the most powerful media insitutions such as the BBC News Services means that new models of interaction between audiences / producers/ mediators are emerging. The examples of the BBC footage of a small London tornado in  December 2006 gave an interesting opportunity to compare the professional coverage with consumer videos sometimes even filmed on mobile phones. A BBC cameraman who lived in the effected area was able to go out with his professional equipment and take live footage and it was of course much better quality.

The key point  is that user generated material is valuable precisely because it is live and normally there are no professional camera crews there. Take the attacks on the Twin Towers as another example. Endless user generated images have been recycled from the very momnet impact took place.   These examples signify a changing model very effectively. It is perhaps most important within the genre of News precisely because of the live aspects which give this material a high added value.  Large planned events are well covered and the image rights have been sorted out previously. 


The plethora  of opportunity for consumers to familiarise themselves with moving image production  initially using lower quality equipment is leading to a rapidly growing prosumer market where many people are developing their skills and knowledge and gradually accumulating equipment which can produce near 'broadcast quality' images. With the growth of YouTube there is a ready distribution system and there are good opportunities for those who are good to be discovered by media companies looking for talent. This is likely to drive the prosumer marketplace for the forseeable future. 

Canon XM2

The Canon XM2 Videocamera is a fine example of the Prosumer market. Check out the link for the typical kind of discourse within the description.

If the example below is anything to go by imagination and creativity rather than a technologically determinist focus on "Broadcast quality" means that new media models have a better chance than at any time in history to emerge. Quite probably there will be a growing global market place for freelance videography. However this market is very unlikely to be freed from the usual relationship to advertising as the video makes clear. 

Advertising and control of the distribution system is crucial. The YouTube video below takes a jokey speculative approach to the future of digital media. It is clearly based upon the knowledge that YouTube was taken over by Google now an internet based distribution giant. I don't recall Murdoch and News Corporation in the video and they should clearly have a place in this spectrum as I show elsewhere on this blog. Whether alternative distribution sites showing critical user generated content can survive without being bought out is the coming question of our media led times.  The rise of viral marketing opens out the possibilities for virtual sub-cultures in parallel to the developing mainstream however the potential for exploiting and subsuming idealist approaches is likely to win out in the longer term as consultancies and companies seek to develop new cash-generating media models. As is usual with emerging media technologies hopes are raised for a more open mediascape  then dashed as the money mvoes in and forms a well organised market-place, technology as usual is a doubled edged sword.    

A wonderful short movie from YouTube about the future of the Media

Premiere Elements as an "entry level" consumer product

It is claimed to be "the No. 1 selling consumer video editing software"*

*Source: The NPD Group (October 2005 to April 2006) based on units sold

The simplified interface and drag-and-drop simplicity of Adobe Premiere Elements enables users to add professional quality effects and enhancements, as well as output to a wide variety of devices and formats – including Adobe Flash Video, the standard video format for popular social networking Web sites. (My Emphasis)

Video files can be imported from virtually any device, including DV and DVD camcorders, HDV devices, digital still and mobile phone cameras, unprotected DVDs and MPEG-4 video recorders.

Wikipedia entry on Premiere Elements

Unlike many of its competitors, Premiere Elements can handle 99 video and audio tracks, with multiple keyframed effects applied to each clip, as well as Picture-in-Picture and chromakey capabilities. It also supports many third-party plug-ins for additional features, including Premiere Pro plug-ins, After Effects plug-ins, and VST effects. (Wikipedia 04 / 09 / 07)

There are wizards to help guide you through importing your footage from tape (or disc or elsewhere) and exporting your finished movies to various formats. But the application actively encourages you to take part in the creative process of trimming clips, arranging them together and adding effects rather than automating them or leaving them to random chance. From IT Week Review of Elements 3.

Overall rating: Overall rating
Ave. user rating

Standout Feature

For me, the standout feature of Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 is the stop motion capture facility. You don't need to be the next Wallace and Gromit claymation supremo to appreciate the power of this time lapse tool. It's easy to use for capturing a changing skyline, city traffic, a flower opening and closing or just recording your own animation. (Film Inside Out)


An "internet" button leads off to the "Idea Gallery" on Adobe's web site with brief tutorials.
Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 (and its big brother, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3) are only available for Windows XP or Vista computers (or Intel-based Macintoshes running Windows XP or Vista).

Adobe Premiere Elements

System RequirementsCompatible with WindowsWindows (PC)
► Intel Pentium® 4 or Intel Celeron® (or compatible) 1.3GHz processor (dual-core processors and those with Hyper-Threading Technology supported)
► Microsoft® Windows XP Professional, Home Edition, or Media Center Edition with Service Pack 2
► 256MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
► 1.5GB of available hard-disk space
► Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
► 1,024x768 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less
► Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible display driver


Adobe-Logo Adobe Premiere Elements

Choose a product and get more information.

Heroglyph[ Learn how to ... ]
Heroglyph 2.6
Heroglyph Rapid 2.6


Adorage[ Learn how to ... ]

Adorage Magic PC

Premiere Elements Help Guides

There is currently no recommendation for any of these guide it is purely drawing your attention to what is available.

Adobe Premiere Elements Classroom in a Book

Premiere Classroom in a Book

Covering more ground than the typical expanded users manuals you find in bookstores, Adobe Premiere Elements For Dummies is the book you need to get you through your first video-editing project as well as to return to whenever you hit rough spots and need instant help. (PC Pro Review)

Hoolywood Aftereffects with Elements 3

Hollywood Special Effects with Adobe Premiere Elements 3
is a book that will help users get to the next level in video editing, and that next level goes beyond simply splicing together clips and creating simple titles. In no time readers will be overlaying multiple tracks of videos and adjusting transparency; creating Picture-in-Picture overlays; using key frames and motion paths; setting and refining greenscreens and bluescreens; using color effects for emotional impact; and a whole range of other special effects to help them tell their story. What sets this book apart is the author's expertise in carefully showing readers how to execute each of these effects step-by-step in a clear and friendly writing style. With this book, budding filmmakers will be well on their way to becoming the next George Lucas!

The Growing Market for Consumer Video Production 

Nokia Team up with Adobe 

As processing power increases and hard disk storage costs decrease so more and more people are becoming involved in the creation of home videos.  While the professional fraternity are able to afford the premium price of around £700 for a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro, for many this cost makes the product too expensive especially when you consider you could buy a new system for less.  Fortunately an alternative solution is available and one that still bears the Adobe brand.  This is Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0.

As with its companion Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 lacks some of the power and functionality of its professional sibling but has been priced at around a tenth of the price.

Nokia N93

Nokia and Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that the standard sales pack of the new Nokia N93 mobile device will incorporate Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows XP. With Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0, video captured using the Nokia N93 can now be transferred to compatible desktop PC's to edit, burn to DVD, and export to other formats for Web streaming and email. Delivered free of charge to Nokia N93 customers, Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 (valued at US$99.99) will further enhance the video capture and sharing experience.

Useful Web Links

PC Pro review of Adobe Elements Version 3 RATING:

Official Adobe Premiere Elements Forum

Simply DV discussion board.  This looks like a useful discussion board which could be informative if yoiu have a problem.

This is a web based guide to an earlier version of Premier Elements from Digital Director which may be of help. This leads to the Digital Director Forum .

September 2007

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