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  • FCPX Frustrations… Corrupt Project file to blame?

  • Scott Shucher

    January 26, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I’m primarily a Premiere editor, but I do have FCPX on my laptop, and I like it for editing on location for quick turnaround projects. Last year I did a four-day edit collecting footage daily from shooters, and on the 4th day output a quick turnaround file to playback for the client’s audience. Really a no-brainer, until I go to output the file, and upon checking playback, there is a section of red “Media Not Found”. The media was there while editing, but not in the output. In an emergency, the crack AV team was able to accommodate playing the “Project” straight out of the laptop, and all ended well, but not before a lot of stressful moments. A post event “debrief” found that one of the first imports came from the camera, although the media had been copied to our media drive. We re-connected to the media on the drive, but when relaunching FCPX, the program wanted to find the media from the camera card, and not the hard drive.

    That was last year, so this year we were very careful, using FCPX. This year on the third day, we did a test output, and all was well. We just had to add additional editing from our 4th day on location; the final eight minutes to this 15 minute piece. With a half hour to go before playback, we’re ready for output and “Send to Compressor” but get an immediate warning that “Cannot Send to Compressor. A selected item contains no media for export.” WTF? We watch the piece down, everything is there on playback, so we arrange for the AV folks to “play out” directly from the computer, instead of taking a ProRes file. The piece plays fine, the client doesn’t know the difference. Whew! But damn, 2nd year in a row we nearly got hosed.

    The next day I do a post-mortem and look into why the piece will not “Send to Compressor”. I try making a “Compound Clip” of the entire “Project” and discover a 58 minutes of “Nothing” at the start of the compound clip”. I also notice the original “Project” has a time code start of 00:00:00:00, an end 00:00:00:00, and a duration of 00:00:00:00, even though I have nearly 15 minutes of content in the timeline. The “Index” seems correct, showing all of my clips, and does not indicate any media before the 00:00:00:00 start time.

    From the original “Project” I can select all, in the timeline, copy and paste to a new “Project” and all is there with correct timecode ins and outs in the Browser, but it includes a “Gap” clip at the beginning, with no media connected to it. Once I remove the Gap Clip, the project sends to Compressor and I can create a Pro Res. I have no idea how that “Gap Clip got there, but it is not even visible, or detectable in the original “Project”. There is no evidence of the Gap Clip in the timeline Index.

    Corrupted “Project” perhaps? Its not like we were doing anything complicated! Mostly video cuts, minimal effects and multiple music tracks. That’s all I know right now is that I’ve been burned two years in a row, and a little hesitant to use FCPX when we need a quick turnaround. Ant thoughts on why that Gap Clip does not appear in the original “Project”

    You can have it good, fast or inexpensive. Pick two.

  • Jeremy Garchow

    January 27, 2020 at 12:01 am

    A few things.

    Sometimes, FCPX will not finish importing a file off of a camera, but still preview the media anyway. This leads to the ‘media not found’ you experienced. The file usually has a white dot, or partial white dot on it.

    An easy fix to this is to go to File > Import > Reimport from Camera/Archive

    If your camera files are on a hard drive (and not mounted on a camera card via USB or whatever), then you have to put the folder that the footage is located in the “Favorites” section of the import window by dragging it there from the Finder. (Kind of a weird process in that you open the Import window, then command tab to Finder, then drag the folder to the “Favorites” section of the import window).

    If this doesn’t work, open a new library, import the offending file, then send it over to the current library.

    As far as the other problem, yes, sounds like something went wrong with the Project. You did the right thing by copying and pasting to a new Project, which usually shakes loose any weirdness.


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