Lightworks Editing System Relaunched with New Company

The Irishman - publicity Still - Embed -2020
Niko Tavernise/Netflix

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring Joe Pesci (left) and Robert De Niro, follows a man looking back at his life choices.

Lightworks—the editing system best known as the tool of choice by Martin Scorsese’s legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker—will become the flagship product of a new, privately-owned company, LWKS Software.

The U.K.-headquartered company has acquired the Lightworks editing system and QScan, an automated quality control tool used by customers such as Netflix, from postproduction technology developer EditShare. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lightworks was among the earliest “nonlinear editing systems” to be introduced when Hollywood began to transition from film to computer-based editing three decades ago. But over the years, it went through several ownership changes and never achieved the high profile of competitor Avid. It had been a product of EditShare, whose product lines include storage and media management tools, since 2009.

LWKS Software aims to re-energize the editing system, whose customer base includes prosumers as well as professionals. The new company is led by chairman James Richings, previously the joint managing director of EditShare; and CEO Peter Lambert, previously EditShare’s Asia vp of sales and a former country manager with Avid. Key members of the Lightworks and QScan software development teams are also joining LWKS as part of the agreement.

Acknowledging that Lightworks had effectively been on the back burner, Lambert said the new company “ensures both products will continue to be developed with the care and attention to detail that they deserve.”

Schoonmaker—a three-time Oscar winner who most recently used Lightworks to cut Scorsese's The Irishman—said in a released statement: “It is great news that Lightworks is becoming independent and dedicated to editors again and we look forward to continuing to support Lightworks and its future.”

New releases of both Lightworks and QScan are currently slated for November, along with further announcements regarding the product roadmaps. Lambert sees Lightworks’ “ease of use” as what sets it apart. “We think we’ve got one of the best timelines out there.”