If you really want to make a splash editing movies, you’d ideally use the software that’s espoused by the professionals. In a perfect world, your software choice would have been associated with films that won major Academy and Emmy Awards. But there’d be a hefty price to pay, right?

Wrong: Lightworks – which ticks all the previous boxes, having been used on films such as Pulp Fiction and Shutter Island – has now been re-released as an open source package, opening up its future development to whoever wants to get involved.

This first public beta release of Lightworks 10 offers a complete set of video-editing tools, including media management and trimming. Need to apply some special effects? There’s stereoscopic support and multiple and secondary colour correction alongside effects that can be applied in real-time by utilising the power of your graphics chip.

Lightworks also promises to natively support a wide range of imported video formats, but this isn’t strictly true: for example, if you want to edit QuickTime MOV files in Lightworks, you’ll need to have installed QuickTime first. You’ll also need to make sure your project matches the frame rate of any videos you intend to import, otherwise they’ll fail.

The power of the program is indisputable, but despite an attractive front end, it’s not really a tool for the casual user who simply wishes to quickly and easily edit a selection of video footage together. Video-editing enthusiasts – along with professionals – will, however, find it’s a powerful tool to add to their armoury, particularly now it’s completely free.

Note that this is the 64-bit edition.

See the 11.5.1 changelog.

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Professional-level video editing is now yours for free – but despite the plethora of features and user-friendly interface, it’s definitely not a tool for beginners.