Apple is already pretty tight with the film production industry. Final Cut Pro has a big chunk of the high-end editing business, and Apple continues innovating to keep their spot secure. A 2007 survey showed that Final Cut Pro had 49 percent of the professional editing market.
A new patent granted to Apple, number 7,827,489, describes a system to make it easier for filmmakers to edit to tape. Most editing today is non-linear, with the video and audio on a hard disk that allows random access. Apple proposes that the media clips get transferred to a sequential medium (tape) for storage. Apple seems to see this as both an easy distribution method and a way to keep a secure permanent record of all the edit clips and have this done within a video editor.
The system Apple describes has icons that represent a function to be saved to the storage device. Apple thinks this method is viable now because of the availability of faster processors. Lots of patents never get very far and never appear as products, but it's always interesting to get some insight into what Apple is thinking and what may turn up on either the professional or consumer side. How busy is Apple at applying for and getting patents? On November 2, Apple was granted 14!