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You don't say what operating system you're using, what your system specs are or, most importantly of all, what type of camcorder your video came frame, but all of these things can affect the program's performance.
Another large factor is outdated firmware and, especially, outdated Quicktime.
Because there are so many possibilities, I'd recommend you contact Adobe Tech Support and do some troubleshooting with them.
The operating system is Windows Vista, an intel core 2 duo CPU 2.1GHz, 3GB Memory. The Camera is a JVC Everio with 30gb of hard disk. I have the latest version of Quicktime as it was downloaded with itunes a few days ago.
I have now worked out that this problem only occurs when using movie files over 65mb. I am unable to preview, edit or render these files as the same problem occurs when doing all 3. If you can think of aything please let me know.
The file size isn't actually the issue, the problem just occured with a file of only 20mb yet I can get a file of 53.9mb to work. I can't find the reason while some files work ok and others do not.
Everios are notorious for produces challenging video to edit, Gemma.
In order to edit the video in Premiere Elements, you'll need to convert them to DV-AVIs before you bring them into Premiere Elements. The FAQs at the top of this forum describe how:
You should also ensure your Vista system is optimized for video editing.