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Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees

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Matt Steeves
Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:00:58 pm

I am a little concerned:

AE Portal News reported last week on a Twitter post claiming that Apple has laid off 40 members of its Final Cut team focused on the company's professional-level video editing software tools. The cuts were apparently focused on remote teams based in the Los Angeles and Austin areas.
And while it doesn't mean that Final Cut is doomed, it is interesting that Pro App teams in LA and Austin were cut so confidently before NAB.

Apple's last major release to its Final Cut Studio product was made in July 2009, bringing a number of new features and a lower price tag to the company's highly-regarded video editing suite.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:09:11 pm

I don't think anybody expected anything announced this year, FCP is an every other year announcement. So that would put the next version expected in 2011.

The only surprising thing about this is that apple had so many people offsite.

I guess Twitter is were all the real news is :-)




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Drew Lucas
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:13:42 pm

I agree. Nothing to write home about. I think they are trimming the fat in the company.


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Allan White
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:13:33 pm

I'd very much like to see some interviews with those former employees as to why they were cut. They're probably under NDA agreements though. I wonder what their roles were.

What I hope is the case: Apple has finally ported FCP to buttery 64-bit Cocoa goodness (or better, rewritten the foundation completely), and requires fewer engineers to maintain the resulting (cleaner) codebase.

Worst case: they're putting the pro apps into the fridge and winding them down. Or, EOL like Shake (may it rest in peace).

Crazy awesome case: iPad is the future of Mac computing, and they're creating the multitouch future of FCP. Probably won't see anything like that for a few years (no, um, 30" iPad yet).

- Allan White, Video Producer, Luis Palau Assoc.

Quad 3Ghz Mac Pro, 10GB RAM, X1900 GPU, XSAN, CatDV Server


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walter biscardi
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:36:33 pm

First off, this is from a twitter feed. No substantiating follow-up reports yet.

All companies have been laying off people of late, should not really be a huge surprise to see Apple let some people go. The fact that it's in the ProApps division should not really be a surprise either. In the overall scheme of things, ProApps is a very small part of Apple's operations.

I would not be surprised in the least if Apple ended up selling off the Pro Apps to another vendor in the next two years. As long as the right company picked it up, it could be a win-win for all of us, except then the price would most likely increase since it won't be subsidizing hardware sales.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Steve Connor
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:20:48 pm

If it would move the product on I would be prepared to pay more for it. If we don't get any good news at NAB this year I think I'll be looking for my next edit software just in case

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

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Devin Crane
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:18:43 am

Here's a quote from Mr Jobs concerning the initial Pro Apps sale.
"[quote author=“Steve Jobs”]This rumor is false. Competitors have been trying to spread it around for a few months now. Apple’s Pro business is thriving and it is not for sale. Period. Steve"

Who brought up the rumor last year about Apple selling pro apps? Avid. Who's bringing up the rumor that Apple is laying off 40 FC engineers? Adobe. Even if it is true that they laid them off it's probably due to them finishing up on a major overhaul.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:53:24 am

I would be very happy if people stop bringing this kind of stupid news to this forum.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:37:47 am

If you read the other popular sites, this rumor is everywhere, it was first posted on the PVC website by Bruce Johnson, or at least that was where I first saw it since I didn't see the Tweet. Kind of hard to avoid it if you read any other industry FCP sites.

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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walter biscardi
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:40:24 am

[Devin Crane] "Here's a quote from Mr Jobs concerning the initial Pro Apps sale.
"[quote author=“Steve Jobs”]This rumor is false. Competitors have been trying to spread it around for a few months now. Apple’s Pro business is thriving and it is not for sale. Period. Steve""


Well, as CNN shows, you can never totally trust what Steve says. He has a habit of throwing stuff out there as part of a misdirection.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/17/steve.jobs/index.html?hpt=Sbin

He's the modern version of PT Barnum for sure. :-)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:59:09 am

What? A giant corporation laid off some of it's workers?

No way. That never happens.


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Joe Meme
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 20, 2010 at 3:48:22 pm

Devin,

The lone report did not say FCP engineers were laid off, except maybe one instance which was elaborated on (former Apple ee) Warden's blog. That blog noted layoffs in LA and Austin not Cupertino. Maybe they're outsourcing to China or India, or eliminating apps from FCS in favor of other purchases. Who knows.

Adobe is not "bringing up the rumor" and alas has never supported AE Portal News -- or ANY previous efforts.



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Ben Holmes
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:24:55 am

Well - I guess it IS unsubstantiated, but it comes from a former Apple coder (who worked on Final Cut) and I see no reason to think it's false - why else would Pete Warden be putting forward specific ex-employees for other work on his own blog?

http://aeportal.blogspot.com/2010/02/lone-twitter-apple-lays-off-40-of-fina...

And naturally the word comes from outside Apple - you may have noticed they're pretty secretive. Anyone seeing some kind of Adobe conspiracy here needs to take off the tin hat and get some fresh air.

I take the opposite view from Walter about this - I think for as long as Apple sell pro computers (and that's actually most of them if you include MacBook PROs) and continue to make big money from them, Final Cut will continue to be a huge driver of sales, and will remain under Apple's control. Spinning it off is just not going to happen - can you see a situation where another company could release Final Cut on PCs? Unthinkable for Apple. Even a more tightly controlled spin-off is just not Apple's thing.

I've also long been in the camp unconcerned about Apple abandoning Pro Apps - I don't believe the success of the iPhone means they've stopped selling computers. I also recognise that the requirement to re-write FCP from the ground up and go 64-bit means a slowing of new features for a while.

However, if you look at Pete's reply in the above link (and really, what reason do you have to think he's lying - apart from that "Apple is evil" line in his tweet - after they laid his friends off?), Apple have laid off experienced "creatives, product managers and graphics coders". These sound like people who actually do real work on FCP. I also don't think it can be that small a part of a Pro Apps team. Why not relocate them if you're cutting back on off-site staff? At the very least, some word as to why would be useful.

Personally, I'm still in the camp that sees Apple continuing to support what continues to be a growing market, and a massively popular piece of software that drives a lot of hardware sales. I can simply see no reason for them to do otherwise. I'd still like to see some word from Apple why this happened - some word what their intentions are for FCP before users jump ship. A little less 'veil of secrecy' nonsense.

And to whoever said they wish less of this kind of thing was posted on this forum - I'm sorry, but I wish this were posted on the internet more, and the story spread until Apple feel they should comment - as they have on other topics once it hits the mainstream blogosphere. I also think the future of FCP is one of the most important topics that could be discussed here. It certainly makes a change from two hundred posts about why someone's graphics look worse in their canvas.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 11:36:00 am

Perhaps Apple saw that the ProApp Division walks too slow.
The asset of Apple is not the people that today have an iPhone and tomorrow they may have another brand.
The asset of Apple are the professionals that works with a Mac.
Take this away, and what is Appel?
I don't think they have become insane in Cupertino.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ben Holmes
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:08:08 pm

[Rafael Amador] "Perhaps Apple saw that the ProApp Division walks too slow. "

I like that theory! It sure feels like the Final Cut division needs a kick - maybe this is a sign of a restructuring for the better?

Trouble is - with Apple we will never know. I do know that if this is the case, unless they just finished a new FC product, if there is a new team we are a LONG way from a new product...

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/casestudies/detail.asp?case=therydercup


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walter biscardi
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:47:34 pm

[Ben Holmes] "Spinning it off is just not going to happen - can you see a situation where another company could release Final Cut on PCs? Unthinkable for Apple. Even a more tightly controlled spin-off is just not Apple's thing."

As we have learned in the past. Never say never when it comes to Apple and Steve Jobs. Remember Final Cut was a Windows app when it first appeared.

There's a lot of good reasons and some bad ones why a spin off of would and would not work.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
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Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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Craig Shields
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:58:25 pm

I hate to see people loose their jobs, but it is the way of the world right now. I would have to think that this means that they are pretty much done with the re-write of FCP and now they are trimming the fat. I really can't see them selling because FCP still sells Macs. Period.

And who else is going to buy that big cash-sucking 30" Cinema?



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Ron Trelle
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 7:31:43 pm

One optional consideration on this. Apple has done this in the past in Pro Apps are when a team is not performing to expectations. After Aperture v1 was released, they fired most of that team and rehired newer people. Also, I read somewhere that FCS was consolidated under a VP who has an Adobe background, so it could be that he didn't like progress as compared to what's happening with Premiere. Just a thought.


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Allan White
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 19, 2010 at 8:04:05 pm

Great point re:comparison w. Premiere. Seen the "Mercury" engine demos? Impressive performance. Mac editors deserve better.

- Allan White, Video Producer, Luis Palau Assoc.

Quad 3Ghz Mac Pro, 10GB RAM, X1900 GPU, XSAN, CatDV Server


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Don Walker
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 20, 2010 at 9:15:41 pm

I bought the Adobe production bundle so i could get PS and AE and Sound Booth which I like better than Soundtrack Pro, all for a great price.... of course Premiere is setting on my hard drive also. Is anybody else tempted to do a project in another App now and then, just to be ready to bailout?
Don

John 3:16


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arc nevada
Re: Apple lays off 40 Final Cut Employees
on Feb 21, 2010 at 8:53:17 am

Adobe has approved several cards for the Mercury Playback Engine with more to come. The MPE is amazing. I think the only option for FCP is the RED Rocket. I don't think the Red Rocket accelerates anything other than the R3D codecs but I am not 100% sure. It is also very expensive.


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