What model of camcorder did your video come from and how did you get it onto your computer?
When you started your Premiere Elements project, which settings did you select? If your settings match your video source, you will need see red lines above the clips when you add them to your timeline until you add effects to them. Is that the case in your project?
Meantime, have a look at my free 8 part Basic Training tutorial series. Parts 1 an 2 discuss how to set up a project and load media into it. Setting up a project properly is an essential part of a successful workflow.
Also, per the program's requirements, make sure you have the latest version of Quicktime from Apple.com!