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Former Shake designer: Video pros, don’t rely on Apple – your heart will be broken


In the light of the ongoing criticism surrounding Final Cut Pro X, the latest iteration of Apple’s video editing software for professionals (so says Apple, disgruntled users says it’s a glorified “iMovie Pro”), MacRumors pointsat some interesting revelations by former Shake product designer Ron Brinkmann who was on the original Shake development team. When Apple acquired the company, they kept Brinkmann to work as the project’s product designer until the company silently phased out the famed video compositing software in 2007.

In a nutshell, Brinkmann says Apple doesn’t really care about the professional video editing market anymore,“not enough to focus on it as a primary business”. He says Final Cut Pro X fell victim of Apple’s focus on simplicity, ease of use and headline-grabbing features for the broader audience. As a result of that focus on consumers, he says, “if you’re really a professional you shouldn’t want to be reliant on software from a company like Apple.” He also describes a high-level meeting Steve Jobs held with top video pros from Hollywood:

After the acquisition I remember sitting in a roomful of Hollywood VFX pros where Steve told everybody point-blank that we/Apple were going to focus on giving them powerful tools that were far more cost-effective than what they were accustomed to… but that the relationship between them and Apple wasn’t going to be something where they’d be driving product direction anymore. Didn’t go over particularly well, incidentally, but I don’t think that concerned Steve overmuch…

Feeling the pain of its loyal Final Cut Pro customers, Apple made a rare exception to the all-sales-are-final iTunes policy by issuing refunds upon request to Final Cut Pro X to customers who are unsatisfied with the product’s features and capabilities. Yesterday, the company posted another FAQ and promised “next major release with fixes” in an effort to alleviate the PR disaster which is now snowballing into a catastrophe.

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