Apple Final Cut Pro X Forum
A-Roll Tutorials
A-Roll Tutorials
by David Busse on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:17:37 pm

So far I've mostly done montage edits in FCP X which I've enjoyed doing, but now I'm trying out an A-Roll/B-Roll story edit and am having a hard time adjusting to the new environment. Specifically with Premiere I would start with raw interviews, duplicate the sequence, cut interviews in half, throw some footage to the side, and repeat until I had an edit of an appropriate length. So by the end I'd have 3-5 sequences leading from the current edit back to all the footage I started with in multiple steps which made it easy to retrace my steps and to find relevant footage that I may have cut somewhere along the way. I would also always have a "graveyard" of clips in the sequence after the end of my edit consisting of clips that I might want to use. This sort of reductive process has helped me produce many edits that clients love throughout my career.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems FCP X doesn't really lend itself to this style of editing. With metadata I can tag the hell out of footage and select favorites, but once I'm there its hard to further boil down that footage without untagging/unfavoriting things. The magnetic timeline also doesn't lend itself to the creation of a "graveyard" at the end of a sequence/project. Is there a different way that one is "supposed" to approach boiling down A-Roll or am I missing something?

tldr: Are there any good tutorials on editing A-Roll? Not tutorials on the uses of the Q, W, E keys, tagging clips, or other technical things but more focused on how people go from 2 hours of interview down to 5 minutes using a reductive editing process. Or any tips on alternate approaches would be appreciated as well.


Re: A-Roll Tutorials
by Oliver Peters on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:36:35 pm

[David Busse] "Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems FCP X doesn't really lend itself to this style of editing. "

Wrong. In X you can work exactly the same as you have in Premiere Pro. Your A-roll goes on the primary storyline and B-roll as connected clips above. Key difference is that the default is to include audio, so you'll have to manage that or do picture-only B-roll edits. For multiple sequences, simply "duplicate as snapshot" for the new version.

You can use the metadata as needed. For example, you can use keywords to sort clips according to topics and categories. If you change timeline modes, you can turn off the "magnetism". When you do that, you can pull unused clips to the end and it will generate a gap clip in between. So you can go between timeline modes depending on what you want to do at any given time.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters -

Re: A-Roll Tutorials
by Scott Witthaus on Aug 1, 2017 at 5:54:17 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Your A-roll goes on the primary storyline and B-roll as connected clips above."

You can also create secondary storylines for B-Roll as well.

Here is a pretty good tutorial on some of your questions:

Scott Witthaus
Owner, 1708 Inc./Editorial
Managing Partner, Low Country Creative LLC
Professor, VCU Brandcenter

Re: A-Roll Tutorials
by David Busse on Aug 2, 2017 at 6:23:37 pm

Thanks for the responses. I see what you guys are saying.

FWIW I also discovered the "Used Media Ranges" tool and that is extremely helpful in creating a selects sequence. Before I had everything tagged, but no easy way of seeing what footage was already pulled into my sequence.

Video Producer/Editor

Re: A-Roll Tutorials
by greg janza on Aug 4, 2017 at 5:20:23 pm

I agree with Oliver that the workflow for creating pieces is exactly the same in FCPX as PP or any other NLE. It's just a matter of getting used to the FCPX layout and unique feature set.

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