OK…this is something that “Avid Editors” brag about all the time.  They can load a sequence into the Viewer, and then click a toggle that will then show them that sequence on the timeline.  The PROGRAM (or Canvas for you FCP peeps) timeline is replaced by the PREVIEW (or Viewer) sequence in the Timeline area.  This way they can build a selects reel, or look at footage from another cut, and watch it…then mark IN…watch some more…mark OUT, and then toggle back to the main sequence and cut that in.

This is super useful.  I do it all the time.  Select reels, or as I said, sequences from previous cuts, or other acts, that I am moving to the current cut.

The complaint I hear from them is that FCP doesn’t do this.  Sure, you can load a sequence into the Viewer, but first off, you can’t then toggle back and forth and see what you are doing.  It is useful at times to see not only the image you are cutting over, but also the layers of stuff…what you are bringing over, or might want to bring over or leave out.  You might not want to bring over the original music, for example…or the voiceover.  Whatever.

Now, the first thing that happens when they try to just cut this in is that FCP doesn’t bring over all the clips, but rather it NESTS them, so you end up with one layer on V1, and a stereo mix on A1&2.  Even though you might have 5 layers of video and 18 layers of audio.  Well, there’s a simple solution to that.  All you need to do is either hold down the COMMAND key (A.K.A.  key) when you press F10 or F9.  This enables OVERWRITE SEQUENCE CONTENT…or INSERT SEQUENCE CONTENT.  And this is mappable on your keyboard.  Just go into the Keyboard, choose CUSTOMIZE, and then in the search window on the upper right, search for SEQUENCE CONTENT.  Then map it.

OK, that solves one issue.  But now to the others.

First off…seeing what you are doing in the other sequence.  Well, that’s easy.  Don’t load it into the Viewer.  FCP has the wonderful ability to have multiple sequences open at the same time.  This is a huge advantage over Avid MC…in this respect.

But that doesn’t solve everything.  Because lets say that you want to copy and paste only between IN and OUT points.  Well, if you select the clips you want, there might be overlapping audio, or video…definately music that will go off in either direction.

Well, yes, you can RAZOR the sections that you want, OPT-V will do that.  Then you can COPY and Paste.  But then that leaves your other sequence with copped up sections.  Looks kinda messy.

I mentioned to a fellow editor (Richard Sanchez, who is a regular on the Creative Cow), that I really wished that the RANGE SELECT tool worked in selecting just part of a sequence that you wanted to use.  He offered up this suggestion.  

Mark IN, then mark OUT, and then press OPT-A.  This will SELECT BETWEEN IN AND OUT.  YES!  Then hit COPY, click to the sequence you want to cut into, and PASTE.  OR, if you want to CUT this in between shots, hit SHIFT-V to INSERT PASTE.

Boom, done.  The great Avid feature that we all know and love, replicate-able  in FCP.  Yes, done a little differently, because they are different applications.

This is why it is really cool working with other editors.  Because it is impossible (well, VERY difficult) for one editor to know ALL the tricks in an NLE. So Richard was able to show me the cool trick of selecting between IN and OUT points.  And I was able to amaze him with INSERT PASTE.  And this is why whenever I learn a cool tip, I like to share it with people.  Plus this might make the Avid editors happy…now they can do something they rely on in Avid…in FCP.  Albeit differently.

EDIT: Martin Baker, the BRILLIANT lad from across the pond said in the comments that you don’t even need to do the OPT-A. Just mark IN and OUT and then COPY. TOO EASY! SO…the tip in brief:

Have your main sequence open. Open the sequence you want to copy from. View your footage to determine what you want. Mark IN, mark OUT. Press CMD-C to Copy. Go to the main sequence. Park the playhead where you want the new footage to go. Press Shift-V to INSERT PASTE.