Want to know how to nail your YouTube content? Learn all about Premiere Gal’s creative journey, and her top tips for standing out on YouTube.
Premiere Gal – AKA Kelsey Brannan – is a one-woman creative powerhouse. As a successful YouTube creator, videographer and the founder of Gal Media Creative, PremiereGal’s content has become super popular online, so much so that she’s amassed over 300k subscribers on YouTube thanks to her fun personality, creative videos, and super engaging video tutorials.
After discovering her flare for filmmaking in high school, Kelsey worked hard to turn her passion into a thriving career. Now, she’s grown the Premiere Gal brand from a humble YouTube channel into a fully fledged online business. Through her video editing and marketing company, Gal Media Creative, Kelsey provides full video production services to clients, video editing and FX tutorials, video training courses, and produces weekly content for the Premiere Gal YouTube channel.
After her appearance in the most recent episode of Envato’s Turbo Tips series, Video Editing With the Experts, we knew we just had to sit down with this industry expert to pick her brain on everything from video editing, to growing a YouTube channel, to her words of wisdom for new creators. Read on to learn all about Premiere Gal’s creative journey, and her top tips for standing out from the crowd on YouTube.
I was lucky to be introduced to filmmaking and media production in high school. We had a Media Academy where we could make short films alongside our coursework. It was so much fun and I loved the process. It was then that I discovered I wanted a career in video production, filmmaking, or TV. I graduated from high school in 2007, so YouTube was new and there was no monetization yet. I had no idea it would be the place I would end up. It’s amazing how these technologies evolve and grow!
I was working as a full-time shooter, video editor, and producer – I like to call it #ShrEditor – in the U.S. Department of State from 2013-2017. I started doing in-person and virtual staff training where I had to show our embassies and other internal staff how to create video. I liked teaching and I always wanted to give YouTube a go, so I thought I’d try out posting a tutorial to YouTube.
Initially I thought it could be a way for me to start making a side income so I could more quickly pay off my student loans. I didn’t know it would get to the point where I could call it my full-time job. That’s the power of SEO for you! So many people are online trying to figure out creative and technical issues, so if you have a specialization that you are passionate about, share it on YouTube and you’d be surprised how many people may find it.
In 2019, I incorporated my channel into a business that I own with my business partner, and we now have a couple contractors working for us. We have also just started providing editing services to a couple of other YouTube channels, in addition to our own channel.
It’s a lot of work and right now I’m in the growing phase of figuring out how to delegate to other people because of the amount of content that still relies on me as the host. The hard part is finding the right people to help. It’s a job where you can pretty much work non-stop, so you have to learn how to put on guard-rails and streamline your processes.
I love making all of my videos – each one is unique, and I like trying to figure out how to best present them. Every project is a fresh start, another way to improve or try something new.
The hardest part is finding a concept. Sometimes it’s a topic related to something I recently watched – like a cool editing effect from a music video that I want to work out how to recreate. Other times, the topic just comes to me or is suggested by one of my subscribers. Most importantly, I try to find a topic that I find interesting, and that (I hope) will do well on YouTube.
The second step is writing and pre-production testing, such as figuring out how to achieve the effect and writing a clear script of procedures so I can best explain it to the audience. I think my biggest strength is clarity. I loved writing step-by-step procedures in science class when I was younger, and I use the same approach for my creative tutorials.
Once the script is done, that’s when we record. I’ll get my camera, lights and mic setup, and I’ll have my laptop on the side with my script that I’ll reference. Anna – my partner and project manager – helps me film, makes sure I don’t mess up words, and most importantly, helps me stay in a positive mood while filming.
I don’t use a teleprompter, because I see my script as a guide and it allows for more natural conversation and some fun improvisation in the moment. Once that’s done, I import all of the footage, select music, record screen recordings, and then send it off to my Editor to edit on our shared server. I used to edit all my videos, but I started working with Kirsten last October and it’s been a huge relief. I love editing, but right now I need to focus on the pre-production and the business side of Premiere Gal. I’m looking to hire more editors too!
Overall, it’s an immensely creative job and some weeks are tougher than others because you really have to be on the ball. Sometimes I need to postpone because, once I get to filming, I may not feel the topic is strong enough and have to go back to the drawing board.
Right now, my tutorials are week-to-week – I don’t have a queue of videos lined up. The goal is to try to get ahead by a couple of weeks, but I find I’m always behind! I guess that’s creativity for you.
I use Premiere Pro and After Effects for editing and FX. I use Photoshop for my thumbnails, which Anna or I design. For screen recordings, I use QuickTime player on my Mac to record assets for my sponsors or for program tutorials.
To make quick GIFs, I use a program called Gifski on my Mac which allows me to turn an .mp4 into a GIF that I can embed on a blog or my newsletter.
In terms of Plugins, I use Accusonus ERA 5 Bundle (Premiere Pro Plugin) for my sound repair and optimization – it makes it sound so good. I also use Film Impact Transitions, they are so useful!
For motion graphics, stock video, and sound effects, I love Envato Elements. It’s also a great resource for my editors when they need to find a quick effect or stock clip to use in my video. They just do a quick search and there it is!
I also love to use motioncan’s toko graphics pack, which is available only on Envato Market – it has really useful flat transitions, social media graphics, glitch elements and more.
There isn’t one trick, and you can’t expect to become well known right away. I believe slow and steady wins the race. Consistency is key to building a niche audience. I try to post one video a week, and four videos a month on average. And the key to success is just sharing your passion. If you reveal your passion for the subject in your videos, others will follow. Also, giving free advice and engaging with your community goes a long way. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool.
I don’t get nearly as many views as some of the big creators on the platform. I have about 18 million views in total on my entire channel. But, with ad-revenue across all my videos and sponsors for nearly every video, I’m able to run a successful business.
I think what I like most is that I can pretty much post any day or any time. YouTube is so random with suggesting my videos, that they will all generate around the same number of views in the first week. And then, at any point in the future, that video can take off.
It’s a process. My first videos were not great and the audio was terrible. I think the best YouTube videos are really well thought out. Every component: the shot angle, the audio, the B-roll, etc.
Also, thumbnails are so important. My suggestion would be less is more. How can you tell the story of your video in the imagery? Try to use the least amount of text as possible.
My logo openers have all come from Envato Elements. If I ever want to change it up I can go in and search for a new logo sting to customize. This is just one example of how I use Elements. But the same can be done for lower thirds, etc. Elements just takes that extra stress away from having to spend hours designing something new. Creators today don’t have time for that, or they need to hire someone to do it for them. Another thing is unlimited downloads. I can try out different templates to see how they work and don’t have to worry about paying per asset.
The best thing about Envato Elements for video creators is the easy licensing, and unlimited downloads for each new project. Plus, you can use it for any type of video!
I’ve been able to speak at the NAB Show, Adobe MAX, and more. Through the channel I’ve also designed some of my own templates that I sell on my store. Adobe saw that, and hired me to design all the motion graphics templates that come shipped with Adobe Premiere Rush! It’s pretty cool that millions of creators around the world use the templates that I designed on my laptop. Pretty surreal. I’ve also been fortunate to work with some of the top brands out there, each week is a new adventure and a new partnership is around the corner. It’s a really exciting place to be.
Just talk to them like they are human beings. That’s it. And show that you’re just a human too!
I think it’s pretty rad to be a female video creator! It’s amazing to see that so many people of any gender or ethnicity, all look up to me for my content. The best way to overcome adversity is by showing up and doing things.
Here are some other awesome female creators I love:
Be yourself and share what’s interesting to you. Listen to your audience, but also take everything with a grain of salt.
Aaaand, cut! We hope you enjoyed this awesome interview with video editing expert Premiere Gal! While you’re here, why not read up on the 10 Hottest YouTube Trends to Watch in 2021 or the 7 Top Video Trends for 2021: From Vertical Video to Animation? Or for more great video tips, check out Turbo Tips: Video Editing With the Experts.