Interview with Jonathan Thomas; Creator & Lead Developer of OpenShot video editor

Jonathan Thomas; Creator Lead Developer of OpenShot video editor
Jonathan Thomas; Creator Lead Developer of OpenShot video editor
  • Gabriel Costa: First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation and for giving us OpenShot.
  • Jonathan Thomas: Thank you very much!
  • Gabriel Costa: Who is Jonathan Thomas? (Occupation e personal life, what you professional works did before OpenShot and/or still do)
  • Jonathan Thomas: I am a professional software developer from Texas, having got my start at the age of 16 years old working for my dad's company. For over 20 years I've been building custom software, and I absolutely love it! I actually started learning to program around the age of 12 to 14 years old, with BASIC and even some C programming. In high school, I studied PASCAL, and soon got a job working with Visual Basic, and soon after, taught myself ASP web programming (which used VBScript). I've worked at some tiny startups and some huge corporations, and am currently working as a Lead Developer for a silicon valley startup gaming company.
Gabriel Costa: Is OpenShot used under production environment? If so, could you give us a few examples?
Jonathan Thomas: OpenShot is primarily used by individuals and schools, and usually for smaller sized projects: home videos, short films, animations, gaming videos, etc... However, our newest version (2.x) is designed to scale towards much longer and more complex projects.

Gabriel Costa: Talking about crowd funding, you started your campaign on kickstarter. Was it a success?
Jonathan Thomas: Kickstarter has been a very interesting challenge. Yes, it was successful in reaching our funding goals, which allowed me to spend more time investing in the core video-editing technology, such as our new C++ library: libopenshot, and lots of powerful new features. It also enabled me time to make OpenShot compatible with Mac and Windows, which was a huge challenge. I think the most difficult part of Kickstarting a software project, is managing expectations and scope... which I didn't do a great job of. Some of my initial ideas were much more difficult that I expected, and it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and expand the scope of the project to unrealistic goals. However, I'm nearing the end of the project now, and I'm very pleased with how it's all come together... it just took an extra year (or two) of effort.

    Gabriel Costa: I don't want to break the rules, but is it possible to tell us any plan for the future? (Something people can expect to see and use on OpenShot).
    Jonathan Thomas: I have some really big and exciting plans for OpenShot over the next 1 to 2 years! I don't want to spoil them all now... but I will say that animation and feature films are a couple areas of intense interest to me. I'm also looking for film makers to join our project, and work one-on-one with me to help flush out some of our new features, and really fine-tune the work flows. For example, there are many different types of users and projects, and each combination has a different "flow" to it. I would like to optimize OpenShot for as many flows as possible, to make it useful to as many users as possible... within reason. =)

    Gabriel Costa: Thank you a lot for this opportunity Jonathan. I wish you success.
    Jonathan Thomas: Final thoughts - It is super easy to get involved with OpenShot, and I'm currently looking for contributors to help me out. Testers, programmers, translators, marketing, film makers, etc... Basically, if you have some free time and an interest in improving video editing on Linux, please contact me ( and let me know what kind of time and skills you would like to donate, and I'll help guide you.

Thanks again for taking the time to discuss OpenShot, and best of luck to you and your YouTube channel!

-Jonathan Thomas

Creator & Lead Developer

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