On Tuesday 19th April 2022, a group of over 100 people in TV and film production worldwide sent an open letter to Tim Cook of Apple about Final Cut Pro.
They used the letter ask Apple to publicly stand by the use of Final Cut Pro - Apple’s video editing application for professionals - in TV and film industries worldwide.
It wasn’t a criticism of the Apple team developing and marketing Final Cut Pro. They have worked very hard for over a decade on making Final Cut Pro better and better. This open letter is aimed at the executives who set the priorities of the Final Cut Pro development team and the Apple managers whose policies limit the public marketing of Final Cut Pro to a couple of website updates a year and some mentions in Apple keynotes about how much faster Apple hardware is getting.
The letter’s signatories aim was to encourage Apple to make a new commitment to the professional TV and filmmaking industry. They believe that would potentially benefit filmmakers the world over regardless of their personal NLE preferences.
Competition is a positive. Apple has demonstrated a willingness to swing big. The very fact that they are not exclusively tethered to our industry allows them to try things others likely can’t. We hope you’ll support us in encouraging one of the heaviest hitters in media and technology to more forcefully push the boundaries of all of our tools.
They gathered some comments about Final Cut Pro and Apple:
Galliano Olivier, editor of ‘Marianne,’ a French TV drama series edited in Final Cut and distributed by Netflix says “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, etc...”
Knut Hake BFS, editor of ‘Blood Red Sky,’ a feature film distributed by Netflix and edited using Final Cut Pro commented, “I think it would make a big difference for workflow consultants, systems integrators and third-party developers if there was a public Beta program for Final Cut Pro. Apple already do it for iOS, macOS and even Safari. It would make Final Cut more reliable and make it much easier for people to fit Final Cut into their plans for the future.”
Steven Sanders, editor in chief of of the Fox TV series ‘War of the Worlds’ season 3 said “The two main reasons why I am often not allowed to chose my favourite editing application, which is Final Cut Pro are: 1. Collaboration! 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. That will change everything. 2. Many professionals do not know how Final Cut works. They are afraid of it, even regard is as ‘iMovie Pro.’ I hear that all the time in my business. This perception really has to change."
Vanessa E. Brogna, assistant editor of ‘Bridgerton’ one of the top TV shows on Netflix commented: “Final Cut Pro is my favorite NLE. It's an absolute powerhouse and I feel the most creative and productive. Doing one step in Final Cut is about 3-4 in other NLEs. However, the real magic of Final Cut is its free form style of editing. Editing on a magnetic timeline is streamlined and smooth so I can still be organized, but I'm able to spend more time experimenting in the edit creatively and finesse my work.“
Jeff Asher, editor of ‘Big Sky,’ a US TV series on ABC and Hulu, says “As a TV editor, my job consists of being creative and being fast. Final Cut is the best NLE to achieve both of those goals. Now we need Apple on board with a roadmap and open dialogue with Film and TV creators to restore confidence lost over ten years ago.”
- An open letter to Tim Cook about Final Cut Pro, signed by editors and post-production pros around the world (ProVideo Coalition)
- Apple responds to the open letter to Tim Cook about Final Cut Pro (ProVideo Coalition)
- Apple responds to open letter about improving usage and reputation of Final Cut Pro in filmmaking industry (9to5mac)
- Apple Response to “Final Cut Pro in TV and Film” Open Letter (fcp.co)
- Apple Responds to Open Letter Demanding Improvement of Final Cut Pro (PetaPixel)
Open Letter (19th April 2022)
We the undersigned support the points made in the following open letter sent to Tim Cook of Apple:
Dear Tim Cook,
We are professionals working in Hollywood and other high-profile movie and TV markets all over the world. We are excited by Final Cut Pro. We think that it is the biggest leap forward in editing technology since the move to digital. We think it’s incredible.
We also think it’s incredible that some of us still can’t choose it to do our work. Work that could easily include productions for your very own Apple TV+ service.
Final Cut Pro is a wonderful application used by many YouTubers, education and small business content creators worldwide. We know why it is successful. It is liberating, efficient and fun to work with. But, unfortunately in professional film and TV, editors who use Final Cut Pro are a tiny minority.
We ask Apple to promote Final Cut Pro publicly and add the few remaining features that our industry has consistently stated are needed.
We'd love to see Apple publicly support and certify the suppliers of the third-party products and services we use to integrate Final Cut Pro into industry-standard workflows.
We welcome your forthcoming brand-new FCP Certification exams. We need more experienced film and TV production crew members who also know how to use Final Cut Pro.
We also hope to see Apple ensuring that improved Pro Apps support is widely available and that Final Cut Pro can also be bought through current industry suppliers. This is is essential for big productions to accept Final Cut Pro as legitimate.
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.
We hope you will start showing that Apple aims to make Final Cut Pro the best application for editing TV and movies. We believe that this could lead to a Pro Apps renaissance as pioneering as your amazing M1 Max MacBook Pros and the M1 Ultra Mac Studio.
It’s wonderful that Apple TV+ has become the first streaming platform to have a Best Picture Oscar winner with CODA, but it’s disappointing to know that Final Cut Pro is so unlikely to have been a possible choice as the film’s editing app.
We hope you will encourage our industry to see Final Cut Pro as a professional choice for editors of future award-winning TV shows and movies, and for millions more editors all over the world.
- Knut Hake BFS, Editor of ‘Blood Red Sky,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Josh Beal. ACE, Editor of ‘Counterpart,’ TV Drama Series, US
- Marcos Castiel BFE, Editor of ‘Glória ,’ TV Drama Series, Portugal
- Jeff Asher, Editor of ‘Big Sky,’ TV Drama Series, US
- Sam Pluemacher , First Assistant Editor of ‘Blood Red Sky,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Azusa Yamazaki, Editor of ‘Drive My Car,’ Feature Film, Japan
- Dirk Grau, Editor of ‘Charite II ,’ TV Drama Series, Germany
- Liwen Nien, Editor of ‘AquaChallenge ,’ TV Factual Series, Taiwan
- Shahin Shokoui, Editor of ‘MTV Unplugged - Marius Müller Westernhagen,’ TV Music Concert, Germany
- Lau Kok Rui, Director of ‘The Sunny Side of the Street,’ Feature Film, Hong Kong
- Debby Germino, Editor of ‘Genius,’ TV Drama Series, US
- Chankanet Leksomboon, First Assistant Editor of ‘Bangkok Breaking,’ TV Drama Series, Thailand
- Michael Yanovich, ACE, Editor of ‘Another Girl,’ Feature Film, US
- Yann-Shan Tsai, Editor of ‘Nina Wu,’ Feature Film, Taiwan
- Sebastian Riezler BFS, Editor of ‘TerraX - The assassination of Julius Caesar,’ TV Documentary Series, Germany
- Beverly Maguire BFE, Editor of ‘It’s Pony,’ Animated TV series, UK
- Brett Ramsey, Editor of ‘In Pit Lane ,’ TV News, Australia
- Jon Einarsson Gustafsson, Director of ‘Wrath of Gods,’ Feature Documentary, Iceland
- William Hohauser, Editor of ‘Uncovering The Naked City,’ Documentary, US
- Oliver Holtkamp , Editor of ‘Diego Maradona - Was he murdered?,’ Feature Documentary, Germany
- Jeanine - SAGE, Editor of ‘The Odyssey,’ TV Factual Series, South Africa
- David Peterson, Editor of ‘Bluey,’ TV Animated Series, Australia
- Kilian von Keyserlingk BFS, Editor of ‘Blackout,’ TV Limited Series/Mini Series, Germany
- Daniel Rakete Siegel, Director of ‘Schock (WT),’ Feature Film, Germany
- Karien van Biljon, Editor of ‘On Safari,’ TV Factual Series, South Africa
- Martin Reimers, Editor of ‘Defender of the Faith,’ Feature Documentary, Germany
- Christopher Darlington, Editor of ‘The Uncluttered Worlds of Christopher Pratt,’ Feature Documentary, Canada
- David Maria Vogel BFS, First Assistant Editor of ‘The Colony,’ Feature Film, Germany/Switzerland
- Cris Mertens, Editor of ‘Young Justice: Phantoms,’ Animated Series, US
- Habiba Laout, Editor of ‘Kleine Germanen,’ Feature Documentary, Germany
- Tom Hsinming Lin, Editor of ‘Summer Blur (Hannan xia ri (2020)),’ Feature Film, China
- Gladys Jimenez, Editor of ‘Red table talk,’ Talk show, US
- Marc Hofmeister, Editor of ‘Sløborn Season 1 & 2,’ TV Drama Series, Germany
- Matthieu Laclau, Editor of ‘A Touch of Sin,’ Feature Film, China
- Sebastian Leitner, Editor of ‘Female Voice of Afghanistan,’ TV Documentary Series, Germany
- Yuval Orr, Editor of ‘Skin- Oscar winner for short film,’ Short, US
- Jan Ruschke, Editor of ‘Die Ibiza Affäre,’ TV Drama Series, Germany
- Andreas Menn, Editor of ‘The Colony,’ Feature Film, Germany+Swiss
- Florian Duffe, BFS, Editor of ‘Tatort: Dreams,’ TV Movie, Germany
- Galliano Olivier, Editor of ‘Marianne,’ TV Drama Series, France
- Louis Mathews, Editor of ‘Stephen King : A necessary evil,’ Feature Documentary, France
- Tanneguy O'Meara, Editor of ‘Gerard Depardieu : Mon Reve Ouzbek,’ Feature Documentary, France
- Helgi Thor, Editor of ‘Cine Holliúdy 2: A Chibata Sideral ,’ Feature Film, Brazil
- Riffaud Richard, Editor of ‘Cobweb,’ Feature Film, US
- Stephen Nahorniak, Editor of ‘Open Hous,’ TV Reality, TV Documentary, TV Non-Fiction, US
- Steven Sanders, editor in chief, Editor of ‘War of the Worlds S3,’ TV Drama Series, UK
- Kilian von Keyserlingk (BFS), Editor of ‘Kilian von Keyserlingk,’ TV Limited Series/Mini Series, Germany
- Maria Gans, Editor of ‘Bibi und Tina - Einfach Anders ,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Stefan Kobe, Editor of ‘Dogs of Berlin/ TKKG/ Kundschafter des Friedens,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Chris Black, Editor of ‘Fly the flag for Human Rights',’ TV Documentary Series, UK
- Andrea Chignoli, Editor of ‘"No" directed by Pablo Larrain,’ Feature Film, Chile
- Benjamin Mercer F.C.E, Editor of ‘Unknown Soldier / Tuntematon Sotilas,’ Feature Film, Finland
- Ian Hinter, Editor of ‘BBC News,’ TV News, UK
- Harin Paesongthai, Editor of ‘Bangkok Breaking,’ TV Drama Series, Thailand
- Weerapat Tembundit, Editor of ‘Bangkok Breaking,’ TV Drama Series, Thailand
- Mike Matzdorff, Editor of ‘The Shrinking of Treehorn,’ Animated Feature Film, US
- Howard Silver , Editor of ‘Looking West: China’s New Generation,’ TV Documentary Series, US
- Romain Imbert, Assistant Editor of ‘Parallels,’ TV Drama Series, France
- Jessica Houston, Producer/Editor of ‘Rockhaven: a Sanctuary From Glendale’s Past,’ TV Documentary, US
- Tabone Dorian, Editor of ‘Parallel,’ TV Drama Series, France
- Fabien Leroy, Editor of ‘Graines d'étoiles, 5 ans après,’ TV Documentary Series, France
- Martin Wunschick, BFS, Editor of ‘Sachertorte,’ Feature Film, Austria
- Mauricio Lleras, Editor of ‘The Red Tree,’ Feature Film, Colombia
- Chris Hocking, Editor of ‘Neighbours: Erinsborough High,’ TV Limited Series/Mini Series, Australia
- Thunchanok Suthanintr , Editor of ‘One Night In Bangkok,’ Feature Film, Thailand
- Kevin Luk, Editor of ‘The Legend of Burnout Barry,’ TV Limited Series/Mini Series, Australia
- Yu Boyang, Editor of ‘Detective Dee 2,’ Feature Film, China
- Sascha Gerlach, BFS, Editor of ‘Die Känguru-Verschwörung,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Carsten Behrendt, Editor of ‘Helden der Hauptstadt,’ Feature Documentary, Germany
- David Wieching BFS, Editor of ‘Schock,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Dimitri Amar, Editor of ‘Marianne,’ TV Drama Series, France
- Steven Moyer, Editor of ‘La Leyenda Negra,’ Feature Film, US
- Ye Ruchang, Editor of ‘The Wandering Earth,’ Feature Film, China
- Lee Chatametikool , Editor of ‘Memoria,’ Feature Film, Colombia
- Benjamin Ikes, Editor of ‘Buba,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Martin Gosset, Post-Production Supervisor of ‘La beauté cachée des laids,’ TV Documentary Series, France
- Oliver Gieth, Editor of ‘Sankt Maik,’ TV Comedy Series, Germany
- Sam Mestman, Workflow Architect of ‘Focus,’ Feature Film, US
- Patricia Rommel, Editor of ‘The Lives of Others,’ Feature Film, Germany
- Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Director of ‘Morrison,’ Feature Film, Thailand
- Dayyan Eng, Editor of ‘Wished,’ Feature Film, China
- Brian Zwiener, Assistant Editor of ‘Terminator: Dark Fate,’ Feature Film, US
- Vanessa E. Brogna, Assistant Editor of ‘Bridgerton,’ TV Drama Series, US
- Gabriel Rhodes, Editor of ‘Time,’ Feature Documentary, US
- Zhang Zhao, Editor of ‘The Best Is Yet To Come,’ Feature Documentary, China
- Kafai Cheung, Editor of ‘IP Man, IP Man 2, IP Man 3, IP Man 4,’ Feature Films, Hong Kong, China
- Jenson Tay Yi, Assistant Editor of ‘Ripples of Life,’ Feature Film, China
- Nathalie Sanchez, Editor of ‘La forêt de quinconces ,’ Feature Film, France
- Leonardo Franke, BFS, Editor of ‘Der Bayernboss, ,’ TV Documentary Series, Germany
- Andrew McKee BFE, Editor of ‘Eaten by Lions,’ Feature Film, UK
- Ray Liou, online editor of ‘Qi yu ren sheng,’ TV Factual Series, China
- Fortis Yen, Editor of ‘Adventure Life,’ TV Factual Series, China
- Gregory Lynch Jr, Director of ‘Stro: The Michael D'Asaro Story,’ Feature Documentary, US
- Liwen Nien, Editor of ‘Aqua Challenge ,’ TV Factual Series, Taiwan
- Chad Tremblay, Editor of ‘Hunter Hunter,’ Feature Film, Canada
- Matthew Alson Thornbury, Editor of ‘Eye Opener TV,’ TV News, US
- Robbert-Jan van der Does, Cinematographer/VFX editor of ‘Welkom in de jaren ‘20 en ‘30,’ TV Comedy Series, the Netherlands
- Brad Stoddard, Finish Editor / Colorist of ‘Sakura & Pearls: Healing From World War II ,’ Feature Documentary, US
- Fernanda Tornaghi, Editor of ‘Girl in the Picture,’ Feature Documentary, US
- Todd Vaziri, Visual Effects Artist on ‘Transformers,’ Feature Film, US
- Abbas Fahdel, Director of ‘Homeland: Iraq Year Zero,’ Feature Documentary, Iraq
- Bo Li, Editor of ‘Plastic China,’ Feature Documentary, China
- Nose Chan, Editor of ‘Suk Suk,’ Feature Film, Hong Kong
- Scott Markowitz, Lead Editor of ‘Restaurant:Impossible,’ TV Drama Series, US
- Rees Dale, Director of ‘Aazadi (freedom),’ Feature Documentary, Germany
- Floris Kotze (S.A.G.E), Editor of ‘Carte Blanche,’ TV Documentary Series, South Africa
- Clark N Henderson, Assistant Editor of ‘Paramedics: Emergency Response,’ TV Factual Series, Canada
- Jonny Lewis, Director of ‘Graham Boyd: A Life In Colour,’ Feature Documentary, UK
- Tom Thistlethwaite, Editor of ‘Nature and Us: A History through Art,’ TV Factual Series, UK
- Martijn Rondel, Editor of ‘Geluk op Wilen,’ TV Limited Series/Mini Series, Netherlands
- Sandro Aguilar, Director of ‘Mariphasa,’ Feature Film, Portugal
- Ryan Malone IATSE 891, Editor of ‘Paramedics: Emergency Response,’ TV Documentary Series, Canada
PS: This letter is not intended as a criticism of the huge amount of hard work done by the Final Cut team over the years. We are asking Apple to change the policies that they work under.