Day 1 #28daysofquicktips – Minimize Interview Roles in FCPX

This tip saves me a lot of time watching FCPX redraw filmstrip thumbnails

For some reason most all of my Final Cut Pro X job seem to revolved around talking head interviews. This is fine and we can tell some good stories from interviews but I’ve found that the redrawing of thumbnails in the FCPX timeline can take up a lot of time throughout the day. I’ve sped that up with this tip.

As fast as Final Cut Pro X can be one thing that slows it down is the constant redrawing of waveforms and clip thumbnail frames when you have them shown in the timeline. I’ve found CTRL+OPT 6 my favorite shortcut as that goes right to a reduced timeline view. But when I’m doing a conventional edit with a talking head in my Primary Storyline and I do want to see thumbnails I assign a secondary Role to all of my interviews and then minimize that Role with the Timeline Index.

1. Create a Secondary Role under Video for Interviews via Modify > Edit Roles

Final Cut Pro X roles

After creating an Interview role you can assign it to your interview clips

2. Assign talking head interviews to the Interview Role either in the browser or once they are in the timeline. It’s faster to assign this Role first in the Browser.

Final Cut Pro X

Often there’s no reason to see the talking head interview thumbnails in the Primary Storyline.

3. Open the powerful Timeline Index and check the Minimize button for the Interview Role.

Final Cut Pro X roles

4. Viola. The thumbnails for all the talking heads are gone and your timeline redraws will speed up. You’ve still got the other thumbnails viewable.


Not having to redraw those interview thumbnails will speed up the overall redraw time in FCPX.

Have your own Quicktip you want to share? If so you might win a copy of The Color Correction Handbook. See the details and how to send over your own Quicktip here. These tips can be for Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro CC or any piece of post-production hardware or software. Share the knowledge!


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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…