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Apple awarded a patent for a script analysis and planning tool

apple Script patent

This week, Apple was awarded a patent in the US for a media production application that breaks down a script, logs actors and locations and then automatically schedules the production. Interesting.

Some people say that Apple are abandoning professional users. So why have they just been awarded a patent that performs a niche task in film production? US Patent number 8583605 was filed on June 15th 2010 (before FCPX's release) and granted this week on November the 12th 2013.

The abstract of the patent describes importing a script, then parsing to identify the story sections, characters and associating those with locations. Photos of each location can be brought in to the app to build a graphical outline (or timeline?) of the production.

apple Script patent 2


We would assume from having had a skim through the 48 page patent that the work would be done on a combination of iPads and a central server. Location photos get geotagged and then web searches can be performed based on that location. If you were shooting in a park for example, the web could provide the opening times.

apple Script patent 3


Will the application get full integration with not only Final Cut Pro X, but other apps such as iCal and Numbers? One diagram shows the application providing a calendar as well as cost analysis.

apple Script patent 4


For us, what is most intriguing is the storyboard planner.

apple Script patent 5

Is this a pre-production planner that information could be taken from and imported into FCPX? Scenes as keywords could be set up and then footage logged on location with iPads would automatically populate the selections in the Event. XML gets more than one mention in the document.

This is of course all speculation (and a bit of day dreaming) but it does prove that Apple aren't just concentrating on building better iPhones and iPads.

Will we ever see this app get published? We don't know, but a simplified version could make the planning, costing, shooting and logging of smaller productions easier. 

Should any of our readers wish to do more digging, you will find the full patent here. We are off to Whois to check iScript and iLogger!


Written by
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I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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