Italian app development company Bending Spoons has laid off the entire team behind the FiLMiC Pro (Filmic Pro) app. Although the news has only broken in the last few days, the staff were actually laid off in November.
What is Filmic Pro?
Filmic Pro is a video camera app for smartphones, available for both Apple and Android devices. Currently up to version 7, for a long time Filmic Pro has been rated as the best mobile video shooting app. The app gives you manual control over settings such as exposure, focus, frame rate and bit rate. You can also shoot in flat or log video profiles and use LUTs. As a result, Filmic Pro has been used professionally by news companies and TV shows. The app was even used on iPhones to shoot the 2015 feature film Tangerine.
What has happened?
Filmic, the company that developed the Filmic Pro app, was bought by Bending Spoons in September 2022. Bending Spoons then changed the app from a one-time purchase to a subscription payment model. This move generated a lot of negative feelings within the Filmic Pro filmmaking community, however. Now, via his LinkedIn page, Filmic founder and CEO Neill Barham has shown that he left the company last month. In addition, it has subsequently been confirmed that the whole Filmic team has been laid off.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Filmic Pro. Version 7 of the app was released at the end of 2022 but since then there have only been minor updates. A spokesperson for Bending Soons also told the website PetaPixel: “The Filmic product has now been fully integrated into the Bending Spoons platform — development of the product will continue with a dedicated team at Bending Spoons focusing on it.”
What we think
It’s a shame that such a popular and well-respected video camera app appears to be at risk. Following the unpopular move to a subscription model, the actions Bending Spoons took towards the Filmic team may alienate the wider filmmaking community even further. In addition, Blackmagic Design recently released a free camera app for iPhones based on its own acclaimed cinema camera OS. The Blackmagic app supports recording to an external SSD and has been used by Apple for filming its promotional events. This new competition may make Filmic Pro’s future even more uncertain.