Producer’s Best Friend creates a formatted .xlsx spreadsheet report (for Numbers, Excel, Preview, etc.) about the video clips, audio clips, titles, generators, markers, keywords, effects and transitions in your edited timeline or Event to help you make batch lists, cut lists and music cue sheets. Producer’s Best Friend reports on Clips in a Library, Event, Compound Clip or Project. The report includes sheets for:

You can choose which roles to include in the report (Video, Titles, Dialogue, Music, Effects, and any roles and subroles you’ve created), and Preferences lets you choose whether times are displayed as frames, feet+frames, HH:MM:SS, seconds, or HH:MM:SS:FF timecode format.

Please use Email Support under the Help menu for bug reports, feature requests or support.

Compound Clips

With Compound Clips there are two reporting options:

If Compound Clips are present in the XML they will be available for selection and reporting in the Report pop-up menu. This will generate a report for the contents of the selected Compound Clip only.

A Compound Clip in a Project timeline is reported as if it were a single clip. To include the contents of Compound Clips within the Project report (as one report) then the Compound Clips must be broken apart into their original items.

Tip: The easiest way to locate your compound clips in a project is using the Timeline Index. In Final Cut Pro select multiple compound clips and choose Clip > Break Apart Clip Items before exporting the project XML from Final Cut Pro. You can break apart all Compound Clips in one action from the Timeline Index.

Loading XML into Producer’s Best Friend

  1. In Final Cut Pro select a Library, Event or Project.
  2. Choose the File menu and select Export XML… Choose a view from the Metadata View popup menu, and name and save the XML file. (See the tutorial at www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/tutorials/1542-the-power-of-metadata-views-in-final-cut-pro-x-by-philip-hodgetts for more information about customizing metadata views.) Metadata fields with entries in a metadata view will be reported in the clips reports.
  3. In Producer’s Best Friend, click the Open XML file… button or choose the File menu and select Open… to open the exported XML; or drag-and-drop the XML file to the dock tile.

Analyzing your Clips

  1. Choose “All Library Clips”, an Event, a Project or a Compound Clip in the Report popup menu, then click the Analyze button.
  2. Click the checkboxes ‘on’ for each video and audio role or subrole you want to include in the report.
  3. Choose a Layout from the popup menu (see Preferences for more information).
  4. To report only enabled clips, click the Enabled clips only radio button ‘on’.
  5. To add optional sheets to the report for summary, markers, keywords, titles/generators, effects or transitions, click the appropriate checkboxes ‘on’.
  6. If you want the .xls file to open in your default spreadsheet application after the file is saved, click the Open the spreadsheet after saving checkbox ‘on’.
  7. Click the Save spreadsheet… button. Name and save the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet can then be rearranged and customized, filtered, or the content of the spreadsheet copied and pasted into a pre-made template.

Summary Report

 For a Project or Compound Clip, lists all the roles/subroles used in the timeline, missing media, and any non-standard Effects/Transitions/Titles/Generators (and highlights those that are missing). For a Library or Event, it also lists a summary of their Project’s names, durations, keywords and notes.

Clips Report

Lists the video clips, audio clips, generators and titles for the chosen roles in timeline order. Depending on the chosen Layout, the report includes columns for: Video thumbnail, Role ▸ Subrole, Clip Name, Category (primary, secondary, connected); Enabled; Timeline In; Timeline Out; Clip Duration; Source In; Source Out; Source Duration; Duplicate Frames; Markers; Keywords; Effects; Notes; Reel; Scene; Take; Camera Angle; Camera Name; Frame Rate/Sample Rate; Frame Size/Audio Config; Source File Name; Source File Path; then columns for clip metadata. 

Tip: To report only the visible portion of used clips, overwrite connected video clips and secondary storylines into the primary storyline before exporting XML: duplicate your project or compound clip; select the secondary storylines and connected clips above the primary storyline (don’t select clips in the secondary storyline, select the storyline itself); choose Edit > Overwrite to Primary Storyline.

Roles/Subroles Reports

A clips report sheet is created for each chosen role/subrole. Each sheet lists the clips for the chosen role in timeline order. (See Enhanced Reporting using Roles and Subroles.) The report includes the same columns as for the Clips Report. A Total for Source Duration is included at the bottom of the Source Duration column.

Keywords and Ratings Reports

Lists the clip keywords and shot analysis or favorite and rejected ranges in timeline order. (Favorites and rejected ranges only exist on clips in an Event, while keywords can be in an Event or Project.) For an Event, all ranges on each clip will be reported; for a Project, keyword ranges are limited to the part of the clip edited into the timeline (just like the Timeline Index). The report includes columns for: Keyword; Notes; Timeline In; Timeline Out; Duration; Clip Name; Role ▸ Subrole; Reel; Scene; Markers; then columns for clip metadata.

Markers Report

Lists the visible and hidden markers in timeline order. The report includes columns for: Marker Name; Type (Standard, Incomplete to-do, Completed to-do, or Chapter); Notes; Position; Clip Name; Role ▸ Subrole; Reel; Scene; Source In; Source Out; and Source Duration.

Titles & Generators Report

Lists the generators and titles for the chosen roles in timeline order. The report includes columns for: Name; Enabled; Apple (Apple vs non-standard generators); Role ▸ Subrole; Timeline In; Timeline Out; Clip Duration; Font; and Title Text.

Video & Audio Effects, Speed Change Effects Reports

Lists a summary of the built-in video effects (Color, Crop, Distort, Spatial Conform, Transform, Compositing), Effects Browser effects or Speed Change effects applied to clips for the chosen roles in timeline order. The report includes columns for: Effect name; On/Off; Apple (Apple vs non-standard effects); Clip Name; Role ▸ Subrole; Timeline In; Timeline Out; and Clip Duration

Transitions Report

Lists a summary of the transitions used in timeline order. The report includes columns for: Transition name; Category; Apple (Apple vs non-standard transitions); Timeline In; Timeline Out; and Duration.

Enhanced Reporting using Roles and Subroles

Roles provide enormous flexibility in reporting because you can create as many roles and subroles, as you need for detailed reporting. (See Create custom roles and subroles at help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/#verdbd5fbb, View and reassign roles at help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/#verb71cbb80, and View clips by role in the Timeline at help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/#verb71cb913.)

For example, if you want to generate music reports for each library source, then under the Music role create a subrole for each library: Music ▸ Music Bakery, Music ▸ Premium Beat, etc. (Naturally you’d substitute the actual names of your music libraries.)

Producer’s Best Friend will now generate a report sheet for each library including a total of the source durations used. (Sheet names can only be 31 characters long and contain restricted characters, so role names may be trimmed or altered.)

Similarly to track stock footage, create a Stock video role and then a subrole for each library: Stock ▸ Getty, Stock ▸ Pond 5, etc. (You will substitute the names of the footage libraries you actually use.)

Producer’s Best Friend will now generate a report sheet for each library, a total of the source durations used, and providing a clip list to order full resolution media.

Filtering reports in Excel

Excel has powerful features for filtering a spreadsheet. 

  1. In Excel, choose the Data menu and select Filter. A popup menu indicator is added to the headings of the frontmost sheet.
  2. To show only those rows where, say, the clip’s keyword is “Vineyard Shots”, click the Keywords popup menu indicator and select the keyword’s checkbox. The spreadsheet changes to show only those rows with the Vineyard Shots keyword.
  3. For more powerful filtering, choose Data > Advanced Filter… from the popup menu. (See Excel’s help topic “Filter a list of data” for more information.)

Setting the application that opens spreadsheet documents

  1. Select a .xlsx file in Finder and choose File > Get Info.
  2. In the Open with: section choose your preferred application from the popup menu.
  3. Click the Change All… button.


 Choose the Producer’s Best Friend menu and select Preferences.


 You can create Layouts for clip reports that include only the columns you have selected. 

Click the “plus” button to name the new layout and add it to the popup menu, then turn on the checkboxes for the columns you want to include in the reports.

 Click the “pencil” button to rename the layout; click the “minus” button to remove the layout. 

The default layout is Standard, which cannot be renamed or removed.

On OS X Mavericks or later you can choose to Add thumbnails at sizes from 40 to 640 pixels wide. The thumbnail image is created from the clip’s in point, or for more control add a chapter marker and set the thumbnail pin to the image you want to use. (See Manage chapter markers and their thumbnail images at help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/#verc9cacc031 for details.)

Thumbnail images can only be created from AV Foundation-compatible media that is online.

For Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 or later, proxy media will be used to make thumbnail images if proxies have been generated. If the media is offline or incompatible, the thumbnail will be a “Missing” or “Unknown” graphic. Spreadsheets that include a column for thumbnails will be significantly slower to create.

Tip: Producer’s Best Friend running on Mac OS X 10.10 or later supports more media types (via AV Foundation) if the free “Pro Video Formats” are installed from this web page. You can check if you have Pro Video Formats installed by choosing Help > Check for Pro Video Formats.

Time Display

You can choose whether times are reported as Frames, Feet+Frames (4-perf at 24 fps), HH:MM:SS, Seconds, or HH:MM:SS:FF timecode format (drop frame or non-drop frame timecode will be used depending on the clip or timeline setting), or a combination of these. 

One or more time columns can be added to the report, and timeline times can be reported differently than source times.

For Timeline In and Timeline Out you can apply frame offsets to the reported times.

Text Colors

 You can choose to have spreadsheet rows display as Colors (different text colors for video, audio, generators, titles, marker types, keywords and transitions based on Final Cut Pro’s color scheme) or Black-and-white