Premiere: The Big Picture

Fade in. Dolly in slowly toward a computer: a keyboard, screen, and a dated CPU that looks like a beige pizza box. On the screen, a small, grainy movie plays jerkily. Superimpose titles in steady succession: Macintosh IIsi. QuickTime 1.0. Premiere l.0. 1991.

From the first scene, you could see where this movie was headed. Programs like Premiere hinted at the computer’s potential for democratizing the video medium. The benefits the computer brought to number-crunching, word-processing, and publishing would inevitably reach video. What once could be achieved only on high-priced, high-end equipment would one day be done on a desktop.

Now desktop video is realizing its potential. Increased computing power has made digital ...

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