Interview with Jonathan Thomas ~ OpenShot creator


Recently Jonathan Thomas, the creator of OpenShot, started a fund raising campaign on Kickstarter. The funds will be used to create a cross-platform version of the video editor. In order to find out more informations about this campaign and OpenShot in general I’ve contacted Jonathan to make a short interview. He accepted and below you can read what we’ve talked about.

1. Hello Jonathan, thank you for accepting to do this interview. First tell us a few words about you.
First off, thank you for supporting OpenShot and speaking with me today. My name is Jonathan Thomas, and I am the creator and lead developer for OpenShot Video Editor, an open-source project I’ve been working on for many years. I am also the CEO of OpenShot Studios, LLC, a software development company that focuses on building custom web, mobile, and cross-platform applications. Like many people in the open-source world, I wear many hats.

2. When did you start developing OpenShot and what was the main reason that made you start such a project in the first place?

Way back in 2008, I had switched over all my computers to Linux. It was very exciting, and I enjoyed learning a new OS. However, soon I needed to do a little video editing, and quickly realized there were no simple, stable, and powerful video editors on Linux. So, after thinking about it for a while, I decided to build my own.

3. How long did it take before you released the first stable version?

OpenShot 1.0 was released in January 2010, and was the first big release that started to get us media coverage and recognition as a real product. All releases of OpenShot have been as “stable” as we could make them… however, to this day, most crashes experienced in OpenShot are not due to our code base, but rather our dependencies. This is the reason we are building our video editing library now, to finally fix the instabilities that plague most Linux video editors.

4. How many members are in the development team of OpenShot?

We have had contributions from dozens of different people over the years, but our core developer team is only 3 people. At times, we have a few other people that help out a bunch… but for the most part, we have only 3 team members.

5. Nowadays OpenShot is a very popular video editor among GNU/Linux users. The next step is to make it available for other platforms such as Windows and Mac and recently you’ve started a campaigning on Kickstarter for that purpose. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, for the first time in our projects history we are fund-raising bring OpenShot to Windows and Mac, while also improving the core library and engine of OpenShot to fix stability and performance issues.
Kickstarter gives us the ability to raise funds to pay for this development, and make this very ambitious project actually achievable. Even if you only use Linux (as I do), this Kickstarter campaign is very important to improve the quality of OpenShot’s core engine, and that benefits us all

6. Do you think OpenShot will became popular among Windows and Mac users, considering there are a few powerful video editors for these platforms ?

I am very confident that Windows and Mac users will prefer OpenShot to the free alternatives. Of course, professional products will still have their place in the world, but OpenShot will be a great bridge between professional and consumer-level products… not to mention free, open-source, and always improving.

7. What can you tell us about the new OpenShot Library ?

The new library is more powerful, faster, and much more stable that the current version of OpenShot. It also offers many new animation features and improved compositing features (i.e. mixing layers of video). This is the biggest upgrade in OpenShot’s history!

8. What are the plans for the next version of OpenShot, and what are the new features that will be included, besides the new library?

Of course, the library is the largest change, but we are also re-writing our timeline (the area of the screen where all the clips are positioned). It will be built with HTML5, and be much appreciated by our users.. I hope. This new timeline addresses many of our criticisms and work-flow issues.

9. Have you ever considered on creating a poll and ask the users about the features that they would like to see in the video editor in the future

We often poll our users, and use social networks to discuss new ideas. In fact, our community is very active, and users can always ask questions, suggest improvements, and vote on new features.

10. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks again for speaking with me, and I hope everyone will consider supporting our improvements to OpenShot through our Kickstarter campaign.

OpeeShot official website :

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This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Murthy says:

    OpenShot uses FFmpeg & MLT
    Thanks to those opensource projects.

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