One aspect of FCP X that I hear a lot of people dislike is the fact that once a Range Start and End point are set in the Event Browser the range only remains selected while the clip is selected. The moment you select another clip the range is gone, and would need to be re-selected. Bring back subclips, I hear you say? Well that’s where Keywords step in, of course.
However there is, in my opinion, a quicker method for cutting dialogue, particularly interviews, and it involves using Markers. Markers in FCP X are a little different than they were in FCP 7, where I think they had grown to become a very useful feature. Here is the method.
Play an Interview clip in the Event Browser, stop at the beginning of the first answer by the interviewee. Press Option-M to place the first marker and at the same time open the Modify Marker window.
Name the marker Answer 1 and click Done. The name of the marker for now is just for demonstration, normally you should name it based on the actual content of the video.
Repeat step 1 and name each marker Answer 2, Answer 3, etc. until the interview is complete.
If you need to check each section before editing you can do this by clicking on the markers named Answer 1, or Answer 2, etc. that have appeared under the clip in the event browser list. This will move the playhead to each marker for you.
Markers in the Event Browser
Create a new Project in the timeline (Command-N), and name it Interview. Edit the entire clip, with its markers to the timeline. It looks like this:
Timeline with markers
Open the Timeline Index with Shift-Command-2 and from the buttons above the index choose Tags. From the options at the bottom of the Tags window click the Show Markers Icon. The clip markers are listed numerically:
Click on each marker to navigate to that marker, just to see how it works—you don’t need to do that to edit these clips.
Pick up the blade tool from the Tools menu or press B to select it. To make it a little easier make sure that snapping is switched on (press N if it's not).
With snapping on hover the Blade over the clip at the Second marker (Answer 2) and cut the footage there.
Do the same for the remaining markers until the whole interview is cut up into its separate parts.
Utilizing the Magnetic Timeline pick up the section marked Answer 3 and drag it between Sections Answer 1 and Answer 2, so it inserts between them.
Continue to do this until the edit begins to take shape and the structure of the interview takes shape as a rough cut. Any unused sections can be deleted from the Project.
Without the Magnetic Timeline this just wouldn’t realistically be an option.
Now use the Trim Tool T to tidy up the edits on either side. The hard work is done now that you have got the content and structure of your edit the way you want it.
Next time, don’t name the markers first, just watch the clip and press M every time something key to your edit is said. Then edit them together from there. If you need to edit the Marker names just double-click on the Markers in the Timeline Index later.
It's not perfect, but it's quick and easy. You might want to try it and see if it works for you. I’d love to hear any alternative suggestions for doing something similar!