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macOS Sierra FCP7 Cinema Tools

Two different outcomes for older software and the recent update to macOS Sierra. Cinema Tools dies, but FCP7 keeps going with a tweak.



When we first published this article, we stated off with Cinema Tools not working on macOSierra, as described by Garrett Sergeant from Simple DCP. (Who are a provider of theatrical, broadcast, and digital deliverables.)

However a Twitter conversation with Scott Simmonds got us thinking why doesn't Cinema Tools run on macOS Sierra? So we thought we would do a bit of detective work to find out why.

And we cracked it!  

After a bit of Googling for versions and updates, we found out that If you install the Pro Applications Update 2010-02 this will give Cinema Tools with the right components. This was an update to get it to run on Lion. ( You will have to follow this procedure.) 

Then you can open Cinema Tools whist running the new OS!  Maybe that update should be saved off for future use.

cinema tools-and-Sierra

Right click for larger image



Here is the original post from Garrett:

With each passing operating system update, we seem to wait with bated breath to find if Apple’s latest tinkering won’t somehow be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Final Cut 7 and friends. So far, we’ve been in the clear and macOS Sierra didn’t seem to pose as grave a threat as previous OS updates have with most of the upgrades being related to the iOS-ification of our Macs rather than making major changes under the hood. The good news seems to be that if you’ve upgraded to macOS Sierra you’re likely in the clear, barring the obvious exception of Motion, which fortunately has an affordable path to upgrade.

However, if you took advantage of the new OS upgrade to do a clean install of your Mac, you’ll find that there are a few things missing under the hood that kept some components of the Final Cut Studio suite humming along without issue. While we’re not done with the search yet, we can report that one relatively inconspicuous tool has bitten the dust: Cinema Tools. Introduced in 2002, Cinema Tools was initially a $1000 standalone application designed for tracking and managing digital intermediates for film assets. It also included a quick and easy tool for removing pulldown patterns and conforming frame rates on Quicktime files with Intra-frame codecs.

While most users will probably scratch their heads trying to remember if they have ever even heard of Cinema Tools let alone used it, many online editors, AEs, and Post PAs will sorely miss this little gadget. Granted, most of the features of Cinema Tools have been rendered obsolete by advancements in technology and the transition to digital filmmaking, and others can be easily accomplished in other tools nowadays, but nothing was quite as quick and effortless as Cinema Tools for certain tasks.

The question now remains what tools will be rendered unusable next for Final Cut Studio faithfuls? Despite being discontinued with the release of Final Cut Pro X in 2011, FCP7 continues to be the NLE of choice for many editors. Reasons vary, and while many will simply cite familiarity or speed in using the system, the fact remains that above all else, it just works. FCP X just doesn’t quite cut it for many of the fateful and while Adobe Premiere provides the nearest approximation to the old FCP toolset, many professionals are still put off by the Creative Cloud subscription pricing model.



Better news for Final Cut Pro 7 as this video from Will Moindrot shows.


So you might say "Why bother about these old tools?" As Garrett mentioned, we have to remember that there is still a large number of editors and corporations that use these products. There is also a large back catalogue of FCP7 projects at broadcasters and the like that keep being dipped into for material. Yes, There is 7toX, but you have to export the XML first.

Without doubt, there will come a day when all the 'pre FCPX' ProApps stop working. However for this recent OS update, it looks like FCP7 has had a stay of execution.

For more info on what works and doesn't in macOS Sierra, take a look at the informative thread on our Forum