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Some of the world's top TV and film editors are not happy with Apple’s handling of Final Cut Pro – and they’re letting the company know about it.
The frustrated filmmakers praise Final Cut Pro (FCP) as “the biggest leap forward in editing technology since the move to digital” – before lambasting the company for failing to support the tool’s integration into professional film and TV production. Effectively, the authors believe FCP is strong enough to compete with the likes of Avid, but isn’t living up to its full potential.
Published on GoPetition, the letter states :“If Apple renewed its public commitment to the professional filmmaking industry and its visionary product, we believe an increasing number of editors would discover the joys of using Final Cut Pro.”
Ending with a pointed coda, the group bitterly notes that despite Apple TV+ recently becoming the first streaming platform to win the Best Picture Oscar, it’s unlikely the crew behind CODA would’ve chosen to edit the hit film with Final Cut Pro.
‘Plans for the future’
In a supporting statement, Galliano Olivier, editor on the French drama Marianne, explains: “In France, it is extremely difficult to get permission to edit TV with Final Cut Pro. You can’t use it without fighting producers, directors, post-production supervisors, sound editors.”
Knut Hake, editor for Netflix exclusive Bloody Red Sky, agrees, suggesting a public beta program for the video editing tool “would make a big difference for workflow consultants, systems integrators and third-party developers… it would make it much easier for people to fit Final Cut into their plans for the future.”
In a bid to increase platform adoption and tempt new editors over to FCP, the co-signatories also request the introduction of industry-specific features that have long been missing from the NLE software.
However, Apple may need to do more than release a few patches to make Final Cut Pro the professional editing software of choice. Steve Sanders, editor-in-chief for Fox’s War of the Worlds, highlights another major problem: lack of collaboration. He said, “editing big productions needs collaboration. Different users have to be able to access the same library at the same time. There is no way around this. Avid Media Composer does it and even DaVinci Resolve does it. Apple still targets the single user. They have to change that.”
The editors’ open letter comes just days after Apple released its latest version of Final Cut Pro. But it’ll take more than voice isolation, duplicate detection, and Mac Studio optimization to legitimize FCP in the eyes of the industry.