Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Filmic’s Entire Staff Laid Off

Jaron Schneider (Hacker News):

Filmic, or FiLMiC as written by the brand, no longer has any dedicated staff as parent company Bending Spoons has laid off the entire team including the company’s founder and CEO, PetaPixel has learned.


Considered for years as the best video capture application for mobile devices, the team behind Filmic Pro and presumably Filmic Firstlight — the company’s photo-focused app — has been let go.


The company acquired Filmic in September 2022 in what was framed as a move designed to provide much-needed support to further build out the company’s capture apps, which made sense given Bending Spoons’s focus on post-production.

Via Christina Warren:

This sucks but is sadly not at all surprising. If you pay for a Filmic subscription, I would cancel now and start migrating to the Blackmagic Design camera app. It is free b/c it is a loss leader, and is actively developed. But I hate this for the Filmic team who I truly believe erred in underpricing their app for close to a decade before selling/moving to a very unpopular subscription model.


Update (2023-12-08): John Gruber:

Filmic was featured by Apple in numerous iPhone keynotes and App Store promotions over the years — for a long stretch it was undeniably the premier “pro” video camera app for iPhones.

The Impassioned Moderate (2022):

The problem? Bending Spoons is the one the most predatory actors on the entire App Store - they’re terrifying in a completely different way.


So what most likely happened is that Bending Spoons raised ~$50M in equity from all these various celebrities, and a much larger debt facility (~$300M) that they can draw on to pursue the “acquisitions” they refer to. It’s highly misleading for the company to foster the narrative that this was a $340M equity funding round[…]


Now, lest you think this critique an ad hominem one, let’s talk about Bending Spoons’ business model.

Via John Gruber:

Bending Spoons’s business model is to buy successful apps, change them to a weekly auto-renewing subscription model that perhaps tricks users into signing up, and using the revenue to buy more apps and repeat the cycle. Filmic, for example, now defaults to a $3/week subscription — over $150/year. To be fair, there’s also a $40/year subscription.

It doesn’t seem like a scam, per se, but it doesn’t seem like a product-driven company. Apps seemingly don’t thrive after acquisition by Bending Spoons — instead, they get bled dry.

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Seems like auspicious timing given the Halide folks just announced a video app in their future.

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