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Tuesday, April 05, 2011, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Apple to announce new Final Cut Pro on April 12, pushing sponsors out of event

Apple is allegedly requiring sponsors of an April 12 meetup of Final Cut Pro professionals to cancel their presentations in order to reserve the stage time necessary for an official announcement of the next version of Final Cut Pro, a new report claims.

After rumors emerged on Tuesday that Apple would announce the next version of its professional video editing software at the FCP User Group SuperMeet, a side event of the annual National Association of Broadcasters tradeshow taking place on April 12 in Las Vegas, ProVideo Coalition's Steve Hullfish confirmed with several sponsors of the event that they had backed out of stage time in response to Apple's demands.

Cinematographer Philip Bloom, who had been invited to present at the event by Canon, told Hullfish that Canon had canceled his appearance after being told on Monday that Apple has demanded "all "lecturn" or stage time exclusively."

Avid's sponsorship and a keynote featuring director Kevin Smith have also been canceled. "Apple doesn't want anyone to have stage time but them," Avid was reported as saying.

Several other sponsors of the Supermeet told Hullfish that "something was happening," though they declined to give further details.

"I can’t imagine any news that would warrant this kind of “take-over” other than to announce and demonstrate the next full version of Final Cut Pro and possibly an entirely newly designed FCS4," Hullfish wrote.

According to the report, sponsors who were not using presenters may continue to sponsor the event, but will not be appearing on the stage.

In February, producer, director and editor Larry Jordan wrote on his blog that Apple had invited a small group of film industry professionals to preview the upcoming update to Final Cut Pro. Jordan acknowledged that he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement, while admitting that the meeting had happened and the update was "a jaw-dropper."

Earlier reports had suggested that the biggest overhaul yet for Final Cut Pro would arrive this spring with "dramatic and ambitious" changes focused on professional users.

After AppleInsider reported last year that Apple was scaling down Final Cut Studio for the prosumer market, Apple quickly responded stating, "Final Cut Pro is the first choice for professional video editors and we’ve never been more excited about its future. The next version of Final Cut is going to be awesome and our pro customers are going to love it."

Apple has reportedly experienced delays because of development setbacks caused by "fundamental differences of opinion" over the ideal interface for Final Cut Studio. As a result, the update, which was originally slated for a 2010 launch, was pushed back to a spring 2011 release.

The last major update to Final Cut Studio came in July 2009, with more than 100 new features and a $300 price reduction.