What makes a Smart Collection smart?

Bear with me for a little backstory – there is a great deal of information that’s collected during production. More info is added during dailies and through every stage of making a film or any kind of TV show. This is probably old news to people who are part of post-production of any kind. How all that “metadata� is used to facilitate work is what makes a “Smart Collection� smart.

It’s a pretty simple concept that can go very deep. For example, keywords, can be added to whole takes or portions of takes. What does this mean? It means that if there’s a few frames in any take that you know will be perfect for the most intense moment in a scene, you can keyword those few frames and they will be forever tagged(until you remove the keyword) and accessible via search or smart collection. Let’s go deeper…

Roles. Roles can be a parameter in a Smart Collection. What’s a Role? The way FCP X categorizes elements. Video is called video, dialogue is called dialogue, effects effects, music music, you get this idea. You can create your own Roles. Some that I always use: Character name, VFX, Score, Source, B-Roll, 2ndUnit, ADR, VO, etc.

Other things that can be part of (or excluded from) a Smart Collection are: text, ratings(more on ratings in an upcoming post), media type, clip type, media format elements, used media, dates and more.

These parameters can be combined in infinite ways.

So… if you want to find a close-up – of your leading lady – smiling – that was marked as a select – shot on a particular day – on an Sony A7s – by the B camera… you can.

Smart collections can be saved, named, tweaked and can turn a fishing expedition into a walk in the park, sorry to mix metaphors.

Why FCP X?
Smart Collections

Music by T.D. Lind
On Spinout Records

Plug-ins used:

  • Ripple Training Callouts
  • FCPEffects 3d Perspective (discount FCPXPRO70)
  • MotionVFX mBehavior (discount whyfcpx20)

Mixed by Ted Caplan

Produced, written & cut by Mike Matzdorff @ miguma