I use a fairly wide library of tools to do what can be done slower, with more system resources, in Premiere.
For getting video source:
I used to use a Dazzle DVC II capture board/pod to capture from VHS and DVD. Then I installed the trial version of Premiere. It rendered this $300 piece of hardware inoperative, even after I had uninstalled the Premire trial and cleaned the registry by hand, and I swore a lifelong vow of hatred against Adobe.
I currently use Virtual Dub to resize HQ digisubs to the resolution that I need, and TMPEG to turn them into MPEG2 files, while waiting and saving for a new workstation to drop the capture card into.
I rip from CD or convert from MP3 (if I'm using something seriously obscure) using CDEx. Audio effects processing and editing (occasionally necessary) is with Nero Wave Editor.
I use Dazzle MovieStar, which has somewhat of a "ghetto" reputation as a less than serious bit of editing software. It is weak on effects and transitions, but is one of the few editing suites capable of natively editing MPEG2, which for me is an optimum compromise between filesize and video quality. MovieStar also offers the possibility of real-time drafting, which is THE one factor in the speed at which I make videos.
For edits shorter than 15 frames (0.5 seconds), I now often use Virtual Dub instead of tanging clips together in MovieStar.
I do not make a habit of heavy use of effects, and wouldn't even if my system had a better selection of them. I use MovieStar to do fade transitions, Virtual Dub for inverting colors, rotating the picture, grayscaling, and tinting, and a real-time video warper for everything else.
The warp system I use is called MEIMI, and is freely available from
though version 1.41 is a little better for my purposes. I use Snagit's video capture mode and Virtual Dub to turn the screen displays from the warper into workable files, though this may change as it involves some truly heinous framerate-change antics.
Shin Hatsubai videos for distro (as opposed to competition or demo showing) are first processed from MPEG2 into 3Mbps ASF, because this is the highest-quality conversion MovieStar is capable of. Virtual Dub 1.3 turns the ASF into an AVI, and Virtual Dub 1.4 recompresses to Divx 5.0. Video quality loss is minimized, and the audio track can always be re-swapped in if the ASF conversion chews it up too much.
The following components of the Shin Hats editing system are FREE and can be used in tandem to make an AMV without any other components, as I'm doing right now:
Virtual Dub (editor)
MEIMI (effects processor)
CDEx (audio capture)
TMPEGEnc (MPEG2 output)
Snagit (screen capture util)
I'd just post a link to my profile, but it's one of the ones still broken, so the text that says all this (without the use notes) won't display.
Right about now you should be boggling that this baling-wire-and-duct-tape 'editing suite' can even produce a video, let alone one suitable for competition.