Welcome back, everyone! I’m excited to be talking about this feature today. Today, we are going to be talking about how to create events in Final Cut Pro. Not just how to make them but why you want to in the first place. “Do you mean to tell me there is a way to organize my footage and not just doom scroll through all my imports?”
Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you. I’ll be honest; I was a bit slow on the draw when organizing my Final Cut Pro library. But a lot of my editing workflow was learned by trial and error. So you can trust me when I show you the expedited workflow because I’ve spent so much time…wasting my time. Does that make sense? Let’s move on.
What Are Events and How Are They Different From Libraries and Projects?
Final Cut Pro has three different ways of organizing your projects. The easiest way to explain it would be to think of each one as a nesting doll. For the largest one, you have your library. Your library will be your overall project, i.e., your film title.
Inside your library, your second nesting doll, you will have your projects. Unless you are doing a series of videos under one topic, like our Twitch Streamer Boot Camp, you will likely only have one project. There are exceptions, which we will touch more on when we create events.
Once your project file is made, your third nesting doll is the event. The events will be where you have your different scenes, inserts, b-roll, etc. You can organize these however you want, and Final Cut Pro makes it super simple.
To go over the tiers of organization again:
What Are The Benefits of Events in Final Cut Pro?
You finish filming your project and have all your footage from your DIT (unless that’s you). It’s time to edit and pop all that gorgeous footage into Final Cut! Command + I, Select All, Import Selected, LET’S GO! But wait, now you have an epic mess of footage, audio, false takes, b-roll, and sound effects all. In. One. Place. Yikes.
You could take a leisurely stroll through all of that to find what you need if you’ve got the time. And if that is how you edit, more power to you. But I don’t prefer to live in a land where I am unsure if I imported everything I need, let alone have it on my hard drive. Has anyone ever remembered getting footage on set and then in post you don’t know where it is? Because that is not a fun place to be. Bring on the events!
What Are Events?
Events will help you easily organize your footage into bite-size parts. Depending on the project, I prefer to make events for every scene. Inside those events, you can directly import your footage instead of importing it all into your project and sorting it later. Again, that will save you a lot of time. You want to put everything involved in that scene inside of that event, i.e. room tone, sound effects, audio, video, and even music. Then when you click on it, all the information you need is there.
You can import all of your footage and start sorting it into events if you wish, but you’ve already done the work to organize it on your hard drive. So you might as well import it into the correct place the first time. But there have definitely been times when I just needed to import footage quickly, and I would come back to it later. That being said, consider what will best suit your needs at the time!
How To Create Events in Final Cut Pro
It’s time. The organization gods are upon us. But before we get started, you always want to ensure Final Cut is optimized to perform at its best. This is a step you should always take before starting an edit.
How to Create Events
- Right-click in your library window on the far left and select New Event
Create a new event shortcut: option + N
- Rename your event
Optional: You can adjust your event settings from the pop-up window, but more often than not, you won’t need to change anything. The new event will mimic your original project settings.
Pro Tip #1:
Final Cut will also automatically create an event for you upon creating your library. It is usually the date. Feel free to click on that and rename it as your first scene!
Pro Tip #2:
If you name it incorrectly, you cannot cmd + z an event name. Make sure it’s correct, or be ready to type it in again.
Pro Tip #3:
If you have multiple libraries open, click on the down arrow next to the library you aren’t currently using, and it will minimize all of the events within that library. We all love a sleek look.
I’ve Made An Event. Now What?
Once you have made your event, it will pop up on your sidebar under your chosen library. Now it’s time to import your footage!
- “Import Media” arrow or cmd + I to import. Once your footage is imported, it will automatically be separated by media type (video or audio, and by the date it was created. If you have audio from the same scene recorded on different days because it was a multi-day shoot, it will be sorted by the date.
You can leave your footage like this and copy and paste the pieces that you need into your main library if you want. OR. You can create a new project within that event. Make sure you have the correct event selected, right-click, and select New Project. (cmd + n).
Creating a new project will always be my recommendation. What I like to do is create a new project which we will call Scene 3, to match my event name. Then I will edit the entire scene in that project and not my main one. This is because there are pieces you might want to use later or you want to try different edits.
It’s better to have all that information living under a scene project than having all those options on your main edit timeline. Once a scene is done, I then copy and paste that into my main timeline.
Pro Tip #4:
I cannot stress this enough. Make sure that you are working on the proper timeline! When you have different projects running, or you are doing a copy-paste, it’s easy to have footage end up in the wrong place. You can tell what timeline you’re on by the name that is in between the arrows above your timeline.
You can also quickly toggle to other timelines by clicking those arrows when you are copying and pasting your scene edits.
Additional Final Cut Pro Resources
If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs and troubleshooting on FCP, here are some additional posts about Final Cut Pro:
FAQs About Events in Final Cut Pro:
Can I Combine Events?
You sure can! Just drag and drop the events you want to combine on top of each other. If you did that by accident, cmd + z to undo it.
Can I Rearrange Events?
Simply, yes, you can. But Final Cut Pro organizes its events numerically and then alphabetically. So if you want to rearrange them, keep that in mind. There is currently no drag-and-drop way to do this.
What If I Don’t Have The Library Window?
Things get buggy, and sometimes, all of your workspaces don’t show up properly, but that’s okay! It’s an easy fix. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + cmd + 1 to view or hide that window.
I Put Footage In The Wrong Event! Can I Fix It?
If you forgot to make an event or put something in the wrong place, just drag and drop it into the proper event.
Can I Copy An Event To A Different Library?
Yes! Right-click the event you want to move, click “Copy Event to Library,” then select the library to which you want to move it. You must have the library open that you want it copied to. Otherwise, it won’t show up.
Creating events in Final Cut Pro may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s worth it! Pretty soon, you will be using keywords, smart collections, and folders. Maybe we will see each other again in another article talking about those!
Drop a comment below and let me know if this article or any of the FAQ’s have been helpful to you. As always, happy filmmaking!