Trading Project Files Using Email or the Internet

Because the connection between clips and media files is so flexible in Final Cut Pro, you can easily transfer projects between and open projects on different Final Cut Pro editing systems. For example, you can work with reduced-quality copies of your media on a portable computer and then transfer your project to another editing system containing full-quality, full-resolution copies of your media. Because a project file is small, it’s easy to transfer it via email, a website, a thumb drive, or directly from a portable computer hard disk to a desktop system.

You use the Media Manager to create a copy of your project without media, reducing transfer time significantly. Keep in mind that recipients of your project need the same media files on their systems (even if they are at a different quality or different resolution); otherwise, they will only see offline media indicators when they open the project.

The example below shows how to make a copy of your sequence(s) with different sequence settings (image dimensions, codec, and so on) to send to a remote collaborator. You do not actually create any new media.

To use the Media Manager to deliver your project to another Final Cut Pro editing system
  1. Select a sequence in the Browser.

  2. Choose File > Media Manager.

  3. Choose “Create offline” from the Media pop-up menu.

  4. From the “Set sequences to” pop-up menu, choose the sequence preset that matches the media on the editing system you are sending to.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Choose a destination and name for the new project file, then click OK.

  7. Attach the new project to an email, or upload it to an accessible FTP or web server.

Some network servers may not recognize the native Final Cut Pro file format. To ensure that the file is properly transferred, you can create and send a compressed zip archive of your project instead.

To create a cross-platform-compatible zip archive of your project(s)
  1. In the Finder, select the Final Cut Pro project file(s).

  2. Control-click the project file and choose Create Archive Of from the shortcut menu.

    If you create a single archive zip file, the archive file will be named after the file you originally selected (for example, My Movie.fcp becomes My Movie.fcp.zip). If you select multiple files, the archive file will be named Archive.zip. You can change the name after the archive file is created, but keep the three-letter .zip extension at the end of the filename. This will help network servers properly handle the file.

The recipient downloads, unarchives, and opens the project, and then reconnects the sequence to local copies of the media files, which should match the settings you chose.

Figure. Diagram showing the relationship between offline editing of low-resolution files and online editing of the high-resolution versions of the files.

Even if you aren’t sure what settings the other person’s media files are set to, you can send the recipient your original project without using the Media Manager. When the recipient gets the project, he or she can perform the same “Create offline” media management operation explained above to create a project compatible with his or her local media files.