Films Edited Using Final Cut Pro

By Ryan Koss

For more than 15 years, Final Cut Pro has remained the independent filmmaker’s editing system of choice. Its clean interface and intuitive mechanics make for a streamlined post-production process that is hard to find elsewhere. Need proof? Check out these hit movies made with FCP:

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
The Final Cut Pro editing system met Director Jared Hess’ tight budget requirements and helped him deliver a hit. (Image: Fox Searchlight/Paramount Pictures)

John Heder starred as Napoleon Dynamite in the art-house comedy of the same name. With a next-to-nothing budget and no way to hire additional editors to cut the film, Final Cut Pro became the obvious choice for director Jared Hess and producer Jeremy Coon. They edited Napoleon Dynamite in Coon’s apartment, using a $6,000 Macintosh loaded with Final Cut Pro. More than $46 million later, Napoleon Dynamite became a lasting cult classic that helped define a new era of teen-angst comedy.

Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton edited the film using FCP, and shot it using Canon DSLR cameras.

Who says Final Cut Pro can’t help bring animated characters to life? Filmed using the Canon EOS-1D Mark II DSLR, Burton’s grim musical featured his usual dark sense of humor along with many of his regular actors, including the voice talents of Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp.

The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Matt Groening’s hit television series made its way to the big screen with a little help from Final Cut. (Image: Fox Studios)

After years of waiting (seven, to be exact) and more than 100 rewrites, Homer, Marge and the rest of the family became a part of Hollywood history, thanks to Final Cut Pro. FCP was used for the film and has also been used for scenes from the TV show.

Enchanted (2007)
Giselle is about to become a princess when her dreams of meeting the perfect prince become a reality. (Image: Disney Studios)

The film payed homage to classic Disney productions (although you’ll find more Disney easter eggs in Frozen). Edited using Final Cut Pro, Enchanted blended animation with live action to create a magical Disney experience.

The Social Network (2010)
Final Cut Pro helped The Social Network win three Academy Awards. (Image: Columbia Pictures)

Academy Award winner for Best Film Editing, David Fincher’s The Social Network immediately caught the attention of audiences around the world. Based on Mark Zuckerberg’s experiences when creating Facebook, The Social Network exposed the controversy that surrounded the building of a social-networking platform.

Focus (2015)
Focus was produced completely with Final Cut, including its titles. (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

Editor Jan Kovac used a few versions of FCPX 10.1.x for Focus – the Will Smith/Margot Robbie con-artist film. Originally, Focus was shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but filmmakers used Final Cut to re-frame the film to 1.85:1, which they felt better suited the movie.

Michael Matzdorff, Kovac’s first assistant editor, was so impressed by the editing process that he wrote Final Cut Pro X: Pro Workflow: Proven Techniques. Focus is also the first studio film to use FCP X.

Other films that have used Final Cut? True Grit and Zodiac.

For a quick, inexpensive and comprehensive editing suite, Final Cut Pro is the choice of editors around the globe.

Making the Final Cut

From animated projects to live-action epics, Final Cut Pro has helped critically acclaimed directors and editors bring their films into the spotlight. With hands-on instruction from industry experts, you can learn how to edit a film using Final Cut Pro. So what are you waiting for? #CreateTheNext indie blockbuster this summer at Digital Media Academy.