August 23, 2017
NEWS

Final Death Comes to Final Cut 7

Death has finally come to Final Cut Pro 7, with the official announcement from Apple that FCP-7 won't launch in High Sierra.

Final Cut Pro, the application with which many of us learned to edit, and launched companies and careers, will no longer open in the newest OS from Apple, High Sierra. Emails went out to users (thanks to Josh Granger for informing us) who currently use FCP-7 that it won't open anymore if you upgrade. While certain older support apps like Cinema Tools haven't opened for several generations of updates, Final Cut has continued to, and there are companies and even TV shows (See House of Cards) that continue to use it on a day to day basis. Those companies now either need to stop updating their OS or move on from Final Cut. 

Apple would like you to update to Final Cut X, its newer editing application that initially disappointed professionals but has slowly beem regaining some of the ground lost. But as opposed to the Apple vs. Avid world of 2007, the last time FCP-7 updated, we now have a broad landscape with Avid, Adobe Premiere, and Blackmagic Resolve competing for that marketshare.

We imagine the folks at Blackmagic are both celebrating the timing of this announcement and rushing to get 14 out of beta before the official High Sierra launch.

Considering the amazing improvements with editing tools in Resolve this year, we imagine the folks at Blackmagic are both celebrating the timing of this announcement and rushing to get 14 out of Beta before the official High Sierra launch, since moving from FCP-7 straight over to Resolve would make a lot of sense for the majority of users. Unfortunately, Avid has hobbled Media Composer First too much to make it a real consideration if you are the type of user who is still hanging on to FCP classic. If users haven't jumped to Premiere already, it's likely the subscription fee they want to avoid and so they aren't likely to jump now. Good old free Resolve is waiting for those FCP-7 users investigating other options: just be sure to get the newest beta for your testing, as beta 6 is much more stable than before.

Credit: Blakcmagic

There will likely be workarounds. Someone will write up a patch to let FCP-7 open on High Sierra. Or you can avoid updating your OS. After all, creators are notoriously attached to their software, with writer George RR Martin famously continuing to use the DOS based WordStar 4 writing application. You don't have to update to High Sierra if you don't want to. But George RR Martin only has to write, he doesn't need to do VFX and sound and work with various other freelancers turning in edits on their platforms. In other words, he doesn't need to play well with others. The rest of us do, and to do that, we need to update our OS and update our other software for sound and FX work to stay current. Which means no more FCP-7.  

Also, as we learned back at the Larson Studios leak, running older operating systems leaves you vulnerable to hackers.  Finally, as a side note, this seems to imply that Apple servers are still aware of who is running Final Cut Studio applications on a regular basis, which is kind of impressive, and maybe a little bit creepy for software that was purchased a decade ago outright for $1000, not a subscription. Of course, Apple has every right to still track those licenses, it's just surprising that they do so.

Final Cut Pro 7, for all its frustrations and bugs and flaws, was just as important to the film and video world around us today as the 5d Mark II was. It helped Apple survive until it could launch the iPod and iPhone. It let us make movies in ways we could never before. It'll be missed.      

Your Comment

29 Comments

R.I.P. old friend...

August 23, 2017 at 2:56PM

162
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Or, they could switch to a faster, logical and efficient NLE called..oh never mind. They could NEVER do that, could they?

August 23, 2017 at 3:54PM

5
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Eric Emerick
Producer, editor
23

I've been using FCP since it's alpha version in late 90's. Paid for all those upgrades up to 7. Switch to FCP X in 2012 with absolutely no remorse, FCP7 never even got close to the speed of FCP X. I think that any editor still working with 7 got to give a shot at X. With so many free tutorial online you will know rapidly if you like it or not.

August 23, 2017 at 4:42PM, Edited August 23, 4:42PM

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Bruno DesRosiers
Director / Director of photography / Editor
29

"Apple would like you to update to Final Cut X, its newer editing application that initially disappointed professionals but has slowly beem regaining some of the ground lost. "

Is this the only coverage of the features FCPX has that could benefit a majority of editors? The last time you covered FCPX you belittled it (same author too).

I have no idea what your issues or concerns are with FCPX, but it's pleased many professionals since day one. Either report without bias or just stop writing these articles that really don't give anyone an answer to the problem.

August 23, 2017 at 4:50PM

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Sam Woodhall
Video Editor & Motion Graphics Artist
112

When they released FCPX it was a completely different interface with less features and more akin to iMovie than 7 or Premiere. Premiere basically ripped the FCP7 design and kept it going. It was totally disrespectful to their users. If your were in the industry at that time, you would know this isn't bias.

August 25, 2017 at 11:10AM

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I totally agree. It's not unfair to say that in 2011 when FCPX was released, it wan't really ready for prime time. But, hell, that was 6 years ago which, in tech terms, is ancient history. Today, August 25, 2017, FCPX 10.3 kicks bloody ass. Any film editor or 'critic' who posts about it in the negative who has not kicked the tires recently is just plain uninformed, and I might add, missing out on a great experience.

August 25, 2017 at 12:59PM

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In my edit suite I have full Adobe CC, DaVinci Resolve and FCPX.

FCPX is my go to in every situation I have control over. The reason: It's bloody faster to cut in.

August 23, 2017 at 5:04PM

6
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Noel Evans
Director / Director of Photography / Cinematographer
120

Sponsored content from Blackmagic much?

August 23, 2017 at 5:48PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
485

Look, despite the ubiquity and low cost of Blackmagic Design's gear and software, Resolve is simply the industry standard for on set colour and post production grading. As someone who works full time on Hollywood feature films and television series (shot here in Toronto), I see Resolve (and ONLY Resolve) every day on set. The fact that they have added editing to free powerhouse software MUST be mentioned as users will be forced to transition somewhere.

August 25, 2017 at 9:52AM

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Paul Thompson
Video Geek
1

That said, if asked to do a quick assembly on set, my go to is still FCP 7. I've tried X for personal projects, and I think there are some paradigm shifting concepts in the software, so it might be finally time to dive in and really get to know X.

August 25, 2017 at 9:57AM

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Paul Thompson
Video Geek
1

Do yourself a favor and take the couple of weeks it might take to figure it out. I finally did about 6 months ago and after a few days of head scratching will never looked back.

Tim Newman

August 25, 2017 at 1:01PM

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i just don't get the FCP 7 "deal"... 10 is awesome ... like some others here, i occasionally use Adobe, mainly because I have a complete subscription, truthfully after effects more than anything, ..but honestly 10 is my go to. BTW love how they show Resolve with the 30k work station ....LOL... ya right!

August 23, 2017 at 5:49PM, Edited August 23, 5:49PM

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For all older editors, there wasn't a FCP7 "deal", it was THE THING!!! 10+ years ago people saved money to get a Mac just (or mainly) for Final Cut if you really wanted to be an editor. Premiere back then sucked b@ll$ big time, Sony Vegas was a SOUND editor that did some video nice and DaVinci only CC. AVID was way out of leage for any editor outside Hollywood. So, FCP was the SHIT! not a "deal". I own pretty much everything i am today to Final Cut.
I must add, FCP X since version 10.2 and especially 10.3 it's back to being my go to NLE. I used FCP 7 until 2014 but it got really slow. R.I.P old friend.

August 23, 2017 at 8:26PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
239

that was my experience exactly. i tried Fcx after a decade of FC7, hated it, switched to premiere, and still miss 7.

August 24, 2017 at 10:44AM

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zev st
3

I got interested in filmmaking in 2011. I auditioned every NLE except Avid, which was out of my price range. My initial impression of FCP7 was not good, besides the fact that it is still a 32-bit application. Before I retired, I was an IT consultant, frequently installing software that I had never seen before. My standard for UI was, and is, how hard is it to do the central function for which the application was designed? Except for FCPX, all the NLE's flunked. I had to spend quite a bit of time in the help files just to do a simple operation. In contrast, when I fired up FCPX, it was immediately obvious how to almost everything. And since I did not work professionally, I did not miss the features that X lacked and now has. I cheerfully paid the $300, and have received three free major upgrades plus countless fixes. NFS, wise up. Your obvious bias against X is embarrassing.

August 23, 2017 at 6:07PM

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Curtis Polk
Principal
262

X is still fairly unpopular among editors. It has gained popularity since it was released. X burned a lot of people because it was not a pro application by any means when it first came out. It is still, I think, borderline. I've never worked with a major house that used it for anything other than small projects, and generally because the editor wanted to monkey with it.

It's a fine application for hobbyists. But it's still the least popular of the 3 major NLE's in the pro world.

August 23, 2017 at 6:55PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
485

R.I.P. my friend... we've had some good times together

August 23, 2017 at 10:20PM

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David Huxiley
Director
71

Dang, right in the nostalgia. I realize some people actually still work with it, but it was the first real editing software I learned on, and I hated it, but still so many memories. R.I.P.

August 23, 2017 at 10:30PM, Edited August 23, 10:30PM

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Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1629

I heard rumours a few years ago that this was going to happen. Here it comes.
I'll miss it but not really all that much to be honest. FCPX is so amazing and now has all the pro features that were initially missing that I really only go back to 7 if I have to do something to an old project.
I sometimes open up FCP 7 to do a tweak on an old project and when I do it just seems so slow compared to FCPX.
I have the utility to convert an FCP7 sequence to an FCPX project but haven't used it much. (What I should probably do soon is update every one of my old sequences just in case in the future I need to do something and can't find a Mac with an old OS to open it with.)

I remember FCP 3, then 4 then 6, then 7 changing the world of video and film production. It was first (I think) with the idea of cutting your HD originals instead of doing offline/online. So many people got their editing and assistant editing careers started with it.
When FCP 6 was current, I was working at a post house doing features with it. The big conflict there was Avid vs FCP. There were the old farts who took forever to cut a feature on Avid and were set in their ways and then there were the young guys and gals who had recently graduated from film school using Final Cut who got a movie out the door in a couple months. Those supporting Avid had some idea of "industry standards" and dug in their heels. They got surpassed in the end by Final Cut.

(I see history repeating itself now with FCPX. There are the old farts who are resisting the change of timeline interface and then there are the others who embrace it and are getting more done.)

August 24, 2017 at 12:08AM, Edited August 24, 12:08AM

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August 24, 2017 at 8:08AM

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Quincy G. Ledbetter
Writer/Director/Musician
164

About damn time. FCPX is legit! Switched from Adobe Premiere 3 years ago. File management workflow (via keyword collection and rating) is UNMATCHED against any other NLE. It gives you a totally new level of editing experience in a much more organized fashion, and effectively help you tell the story easier. If you're a mac user (especially iMac or MBP), FCPX works MUCH faster than Premiere. Export time is ALSO unmatched. Although DR 14 is on the come up, it is still glitchy and less reliable than FCPX as it is still in their beta stage. Old folks still using FCP7 gotta open up their minds and give FCPX chance. Whoever still calling FCPX the same thing as iMovie, you're a goddamn idiot. This ain't 2011.

August 24, 2017 at 9:54AM

2
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John D. Kim
Director & Editor
96

Could you please upload some shit for us watch

August 24, 2017 at 11:03AM

0
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Joseph Otieno Adamson
CEO AILTV[AFRICANS IN LONDON TV ]
79

Finished a 2 hour rough cut on FCP7 just last week. Still works fine for a large project despite memory limitations, that's why production houses still sporadically use it. Oh well - Avid here I come.

August 24, 2017 at 11:49AM

3
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Still use FCP 7 daily. For any flavour of ProRes it's as fast as I need an NLE to be and always up to the task. Used FCP X many times on several projects and I still find it awkward to work with, and always glad to switch back. I just prefer traditional track based editing. Monkeyed around with DaVinci Resolve which looks promising but it doesn't seem fully mature yet. I guess I'll stay on Sierra until someone comes up with a patch.

August 24, 2017 at 11:58AM

0
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Batutta
100

Ding dong the Witch is dead! A skill set is not attached to technology, technology is a tool.

August 24, 2017 at 3:01PM, Edited August 24, 3:01PM

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Darren Orange
Director/Producer
146

I still can't get my head around the people who automatically diss FCPX based on blog posts they read 5 years ago. FCPX is just a tool. A damn good one! I use all the main NLE's (Premiere, Avid and FCPX) and they all have their strengths and weaknesses but, overall, FCPX is the one I use the most, especially when I have a tight deadline. Right now I'm on holidays, editing 4k anamorphic prores4444XQ footage on my 2013 MacBook Pro, from a portable hard drive. No render times. Full quality, zero waiting time for anything. No proxies. Show me someone doing that on Premiere...

August 24, 2017 at 4:09PM

0
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Fernando Mamede
director/dp
162

We use Premiere now and miss Final Cut 7 everyday. It's not just nostalgia. While some things (like mixing formats and seeing previews) are faster in newer NLEs, the real business of straight documentary storytelling (and responsiveness while working with bins of footage) was always faster and more stable in FCP7, at least for me. Maybe in editor heaven there is a Final Cut 8.

August 25, 2017 at 2:31PM

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Good riddance. FCP sucked from day one, with its ridiculous jigsaw puzzle of glued-together floating windows, incompetent dialogs to handle the critical task of locating footage, and its ignorance of the difference between timeline events and clips. Those are just a few examples.

Macromedia junk. No wonder Apple snapped it up; they've always had a knack for identifying the inbred turds that fit perfectly into the Mac's heritage of amateur-hour software development.

Sadly, the industry is still saddled (to some extent) with FCP's ignorant and ill-conceived project-file format. If you want proof of how badly designed FCP was, just take a look at the structure of the XML.

August 28, 2017 at 4:30AM

0
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David Gurney
DP
1394

Once again, Apple is moving on, with better more efficient products and software including their OS's. It's Apple, if you haven't figured that out in the 41 years the company has been in existence. I've been in this industry for over 45 years, and find Apple's constant push forward for better technology refreshing!!! I enjoy using old camera systems and lens for a different vibe not worn out 8 year old NLE's, but if that's your thing more power to you. I probably won't use someone still editing on FCP7 in the next few years, just to avoid the incompatibility issues. Bottom line, If your film is well written, the cinematography is good and it tells a compelling story, that's what really matters. I've never met an editor that was FCP7 or nothing, the good ones can use them all, and do. The NLE is just a tool.

August 28, 2017 at 6:53PM, Edited August 28, 7:46PM

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Dave Williams
Owner/John Landon Multimedia
79

I re-read this bog today in the morning as we are finally killing FCP in our wedding photo/video business (still here: https://studioepic.com/Toronto-Wedding-Photographer.php). We have to move on from the old as the hardware is becoming to unstable. So sorry because now I have to learn the new suite. The issue for us is that we don't really do that much video editing and when we originally learned FCP it look a long time. Now I have to re-learn and I'm not a pro. I do maybe 20 video edits a year so learning a new package is not something I'm looking forward to. I wish there was a smoother way to go from FCP to FCX.

November 8, 2017 at 8:20AM

0
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Alice Bil-Szot
Owner/Photographer
5