Skip to main content

ITS Educational Technologies provides services that empower UNC-Chapel Hill students, professors and organizations across campus every day. Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, is free to students with their Onyen. In MEJO 121, Introduction to Digital Storytelling, access to this technology is not only enriching but essential to the course.

In a classroom, Nazanin Knudsen helps a student use Premiere
Nazanin Knudsen and a student working on a project in Premiere

Premiere in action

Nazanin Knudsen is a filmmaker who has taught classes in film editing, film production and storytelling at universities throughout the region, and currently teaches MEJO 121 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Students in her class use their smartphones to shoot video before importing the footage into Adobe Premiere Pro, which Knudsen uses to teach them the foundations of media management as well as how to create a simple sequence in the timeline.

She said that one of her favorite parts of teaching the course is “showing the students, especially those hesitant about seemingly complex software and techniques, that they can learn the essentials of editing in Premiere in a couple of hours.”

The course culminates in a multimedia project that incorporates a two-minute documentary where students film and edit an interview. Using Premiere Pro, students work with multiple tracks to polish transitions, add B-roll, sweeten sound and color correct.

Why Premiere?

Though students enjoy free access to Adobe Creative Cloud only while enrolled at Carolina, that doesn’t mean they will stop using the program after they graduate. Professionals, including Knudsen herself, use Premiere Pro and other Adobe software for their own projects.

“Premiere Pro offers a range of editing features and allows integration with other Adobe software,” said Knudsen. “Someone who has worked with one app is encouraged to explore and use other Adobe products. The overall design and interface are intuitive and user-friendly, making Premiere inviting to emerging filmmakers.”

One benefit of using Premiere, she said, is the variety of resources available to learn the software, including LinkedIn Learning tutorials. This combination of factors is what has “made Premiere a top editing program,” and why she chooses to use it too.

Inspired to create with Adobe Premiere or other Creative Cloud apps?

Visit Software Distribution to get your license — free for students and instructional faculty and staff.

And make the most of your Adobe CC license with free access to LinkedIn Learning tutorials. To get started, faculty, staff and students can use their Onyen to activate their free account.

Broad usage

She added that the definition of “filmmaker” encompasses more than just professionals in the movie and broadcast industries.

A student in Knudsen's class editing in Premiere
A student edits her film project in Premiere

“Many storytellers use editing and multimedia to create impactful content in various industries and settings, in teams and individually,” she said. For all of them, an app with a relatively simple workflow that allows focusing on the story is an excellent choice.”

Benefits for all

As a campus full of creators of all sorts in every department, Adobe Creative Cloud offers infinite possibilities.

“It is excellent that UNC gives access to Adobe Creative Cloud students regardless of their major,” Knudsen said. “This affords opportunities to explore these apps and facilitates collaboration. Premiere Pro and all Adobe applications are storytelling tools that can expand our students’ repertoire of communication skills. By focusing on what these tools can offer and how empowering they can be, I hope we can welcome more students and faculty into finding the app’s potential for their projects and professional goals.”


Nazanin KnudsenNazanin Knudsen is a writer, producer and educator. She has a Master of Arts in Media Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction Writing, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema and Directing. Knudsen is a storyteller whose thorough filmmaking repertoire includes documentaries, short films and corporate videos. To view some of her work, visit her personal website.


Comments are closed.