Tim Cook under fire over Final Cut Pro – and rightly so

Some of the world’s top TV and movie editors aren’t happy with Apple’s handling of Final Cut Pro – and they’re letting the company know.

In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, more than 100 production professionals call on the company to publicly commit to building the video editing software in an industry standard tool.

Frustrated filmmakers praise Final Cut Pro (FCP) as “the biggest leap forward in editing technology since going digital” – before lambasting the company for not supporting the tool’s integration in professional film and television production. Indeed, the authors believe that FCP is strong enough to compete with Avid, but does not live up to its full potential.

Worthy of an Oscar?

Posted on GoPetition, the letter states, “If Apple renewed its public commitment to the professional film industry and its visionary product, we believe that more publishers would discover the joys of using Final Cut Pro.”

Ending in a sharp codathe group notes bitterly that despite AppleTV+ recently becoming the first streaming platform to win the Best Picture Oscar, it’s unlikely the team behind CODA reportedly chose to edit the hit film with Final Cut Pro.

‘Projects for the future’

In a supporting text, Galliano Olivier, editor on French fiction Marianne, explains: “In France, it is extremely difficult to obtain authorization to edit TV with Final Cut Pro. You can’t use it without fighting producers, directors, post-production supervisors, sound editors.

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Knut Hake, editor for netflix exclusive bloody red skyagrees, suggesting that a public beta program for the video editing tool “would make a big difference for workflow consultants, system integrators, and third-party developers…it would allow people to integrate much more easily Final Cut in their future projects.”

In an effort to increase platform adoption and attract new publishers to FCP, the co-signers are also calling for the introduction of industry-specific features that have long been missing from 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, Fox’s Editor War of the Worlds, highlights another major problem: the lack of collaboration. He said, “Editing big productions requires collaboration. Different users need 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 will take more than voice isolation, duplicate detection and mac studio optimization to legitimize the FCP in the eyes of the industry.

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