Screening and Marking Clips
If you organized your clips into Keyword Collections, or had Final Cut Pro do it for you on import, you’ll have a head start on your editing process. Rather than needing to search through a large group of clips to find the content you want to use, you can select a collection of clips in the Event Library and start editing. In this exercise, you will work with Zero to Hero interview clips that were previously imported into a Keyword Collection based on the original folder structure of the media files.
Starting with a Keyword Collection is a good first step for narrowing the choice of clips. But the real craft of editing is to narrow your media choice within a clip so you can edit just that selection into your project.
You can do this several ways. In the previous lesson, you used start and end points to define a range, and rated that range as a Favorite. (Final Cut Pro can easily display those Favorites as a group.) But you can also identify a clip range using start and end points and then edit that selection directly into the Timeline. In this exercise, you will view clips and mark the desired ranges you want to edit. You will also adjust the Event Browser to maximize its use for previewing clips before editing.
- In the Event Library, click the disclosure triangle next to the Zero to Hero Event, and select the Interviews Keyword Collection. Click the Filmstrip View button.
The four people in this Keyword Collection are racers in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). They were interviewed on location at their race events.
As you’ve seen, the Event Browser can display clips in several ways. The more familiar you become with the Final Cut Pro editing process, the more you will gravitate to different setups for specific purposes.
To optimize the Event Browser for screening and marking selections within these clips, do the following:
- Click the Filter pop-up menu and choose All Clips.
- If text or icons are already in the search field, click the reset button (X) to clear the field.
- In the Action pop-up menu, choose Group clips by > None, and Arrange clips by Name > Ascending.
- To choose a single thumbnail representation, drag the Duration slider right to the All position, or press Shift-Z.
- Click the Clip Appearance pop-up menu, and deselect Show Waveforms, and make the thumbnails as large as possible.
- In the View menu, make sure Skimming, Audio Skimming, and Snapping are chosen.
- To select the first clip, Antron Brown, simply click it. Then move your pointer through the clip to skim it.
With a single click, a yellow range selection outlines the entire clip. Notice that you can skim anywhere in the clip, but the white playhead remains positioned at the location where you clicked when you selected the clip.
- Skim away from the white playhead, and press the Spacebar to play the clip.
When you play a clip by pressing the Spacebar or the L key, the clip starts playing from the skimmer location, not the playhead location. This makes it very convenient to skim and play, skim and play, as you seek out editing options. When you’re screening a clip for the first time, however, you’ll typically want to play from the beginning of the clip.
- To move the playhead and the skimmer to the beginning of the clip, press Shift-I, which moves both skimmer and playhead to the preceding start point. Then press Spacebar to play the entire clip.
To edit a portion of this clip, you will change its selection range. Since Antron begins his comment at the very beginning of the clip, “One day you could be a hero,” the current start point is fine. Next you’ll set an end point.
- Play the Antron Brown clip from the beginning again and stop after you hear him say, “... you didn’t qualify for a race.” Press O to set an end point at that playhead location. To play from the start to the end points, press the / (slash) key and watch your selected clip range play in the Viewer.
If the end point isn’t exactly what you want—perhaps you caught Antron in the middle of his next word—you can change your range selection by dragging the selection edge, or by remarking the clip. To help you find a specific ending frame, you can also use the J-K-L or Left and Right Arrow keys.
- To move the playhead to the end point, press Shift-O. Press the Left or Right Arrow key to fine-tune the location of your new edit point, frame by frame. Make sure the frame is after Antron says, “...you didn’t qualify for a race,” but before he begins his next statement. To set a new end point at the playhead location, press O.
With your clip range marked, you’re ready to edit it. However, you have more clips to screen. You can rate this marked range as a Favorite for fast retrieval. You will learn more about editing in the next exercise.
- In the Antron Brown clip, rate this portion as a Favorite by clicking the Favorite button, or pressing F.
The green Favorite line appears in the clip over the selected range. This is one way you can always see or easily return to the portion of the clip you liked.
- In the Event Browser, mark selections for the two following clips. After you mark one clip, remember to save that range as a Favorite so you can return to that portion and later edit it into your project.
John Force—“There’s nothing like....greatest feeling in the world.” Then press F to save that portion as a Favorite.
Tony Pedregon—“The breed of the drag racer...has no fear.” Press F to save this portion as a Favorite.
Rating selections as Favorites is a good workflow to preserve and prepare potential sound bites for editing. But another approach is to simply mark one or more selections within a single clip. In Lesson 2, you saw that Final Cut Pro remembers multiple selections while importing from an SD cards. It works similarly while screening and marking a clip in the Event Browser. You’ll begin by marking a single sound bite.
- Play the Tony Schumacher clip. Use the I and O keys to mark a range around Tony saying “Nobody wakes up and thinks...average my whole life.” Do not press F.
This is a great comment and one you will most likely want to use in the Zero to Hero project. But you might find other comments in this clip that are equally useful. As you continue to screen this clip, you can mark another comment without losing this selected range.
- Continue playing the Tony Schumacher clip, and listen for when Tony talks about dreaming of the monster moment. Skim or position the playhead to just before Tony says, “People dream for that massive....”
You’ve already marked one selection in this clip that you don’t want to lose. To add this second sound bite as an additional selection, you must use two modifier keys along with the I or O key.
- To set an additional range, start in the already marked Tony Schumacher clip, and press Shift-Command-I.
The start of a second range appears. As expected, this new range automatically extends to the end of the clip. Let’s find a more precise end point after Tony’s killer statement.
- Play or skim the clip and position the playhead after Tony says, “...big monster moment.” Press Shift-Command-O.
Now you have two range selections within a single clip. Depending on the workflow you choose, you can continue screening and marking other clips before editing either selection. Let’s select a different clip and return to this one later.
- In the Event Browser, select the Tony Pedregon clip, and then reselect the Tony Schumacher clip by clicking in the middle of the clip between the two selections. Notice that both selections are still present. Click inside the first selection.
Clip selections are persistent. That is, they remain with the clip until you manually remove one or more of them. You can highlight a single range selection by clicking inside it, or select multiple ranges by using a modifier key.
- Command-click inside the second range to add it to the selection. Command-click the first range to exclude it from the selection. Then Command-click it to add it again. With both range selections active, press F to make these selections Favorites.
Just as you can have multiple selections in a single clip, you can also create multiple favorites at one time from highlighted or active selections.