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.
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.