How to Create Black Clips in Final Cut

By Julius Vandersteen

When you are working on a video project on your Mac with Apple’s Final Cut Pro application, you can insert a black clip between clips. The film industry refers to a black clip as a “slug,” and Apple refers to a black clip as a “gap clip” or a “placeholder” clip. You can insert a black clip as a transition between scenes to create an emotional effect, for example, or you can use a black clip as a placeholder until you actually add the desired footage later.

Step 1

Launch Final Cut Pro on your Mac and open the project in which you want to create a slug.

Step 2

Drag the playhead to the point in the timeline where you want to add a slug.

Step 3

Click “Edit” from the Final Cut menu and then click “Insert Gap” to insert a black gap clip at the point you selected.

Step 4

Click “Edit” from the Final Cut menu and then click “Insert Placeholder” to insert a clip of black footage, such as to use as a transition between scenes. The default placeholder clip has outlines of human forms, whose number you change by clicking the “People” drop-down menu in the Placeholder panel. Click the “People” drop-down menu and then click “0” to remove the human forms. Click the “Background” drop-down menu and then click “Black” to make the placeholder clip solid black.

Step 5

Drag the right edge of the gap clip or the placeholder clip to the right to lengthen it, and drag it to the left to decrease its duration.