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Organising media is very important when you have a lot of files in FCPX, especially when you need to navigate to the clips you require quickly. If you do a long edit job over many days, then building time sensitive Library Smart Collections might help. A lot!


Over the summer, I do a lot of Final Cut Pro X jobs that are weeks long, sporting events made up of stages, days or different locations.

Getting a good Library structure has been an ongoing development process for me since 2014 when it was decided to cut the cycling events I do on FCPX.

There have been many tweaks from our original Library, which to be honest was a mess for the first year. Too clunky and too many keywords.

Things have slimmed down since, especially this year by using Smart Collections for days programmed by date in Events. So for example there would be a Day1, Day 2, Day 3 etc. Smart Collection in a graphics Event, the same in a satellite feed recording Event, the same in a voiceover Event.

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Smart Collection with an absolute date/time set (Right click for larger images)


That works really well, because to add media, the selection just has to be on the Event on import and the Smart Collection will sort out the rest. We even split the Events down into folder weeks so the Smart Collection list doesn't scroll off the bottom of the screen (Although this FCPX screen configuration helps loads)

All good and nicely organised, but having to dig through each Event to find graphics, satellite feeds and voiceover for use today is bit of a pain.

I had seen the demo of closing the Browser and just using a Smart Collection, but I haven't got time to tap in what I need every time when close to air.

So why not build a 'Today' Library Smart Collection that organises everything for you?

After a bit of tinkering around, a Library Smart Collection set to 'Content Created' 'is in the last" and then '10 Hours' did the trick perfectly. (There is no good Boolean arguments to boil it down to the day without having to enter an absolute rather than a relevant time period.)

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 Smart Collection with a relative date/time set

Then by toggling off the display ordering to 'none,' each Event was displayed in order with all the clips from today sitting there ready to be used. You can just see the same creation date on the right hand side. You also get to see your Projects for the day too.

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All of today's clips ordered by Event.


Now, here comes the time sensitive bit. When you open the Library tomorrow, all those clips will be gone and then the 'Today' Smart Collection will fill up during the day as you import new clips. Think of having a moving 10 hour window of selection. You might have to shorten or extend this if you do very long days!

This was a bit of a revelation and became my default view for the Summer. Why hadn't I thought of it before? I don't know, but it just goes to show how you can leverage FCPX to help you work faster.

One note here. Don't try to fool FCPX by messing around with the creation date in the Finder, it won't work. If a clip isn't in the right place, go to the Modify menu and use 'Adjust Content Created Date & Time." 


peter wigginsPeter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X. You can find him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.





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I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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