Hello. Firstly, I'd like to address new users:
I've been a loyal user of HitFilm Express for a while now, and I frankly think it is ridiculous (in a good way) that all these features are free to use with no catch. Currently I am unable to pay for the software but as soon as I am, I will certainly contribute because I owe a lot to them.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend HitFilm Express for videos longer than 10 minutes in length. I would beg of you to try out the software to see if this applies to you, but with about 80% of people I have spoken to, the Light Theme is extremely irritating if used for long periods of time. What I recommend is increasing the size of the viewer so that the menus are not as bright. Also, use HitFilm for VFX Shots or quick edits, but avoid working on long videos because your eyes will likely get dazzled.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a simple editor without too many features, I recommend WonderShare Filmora (who ironically have the same dev team as HitFilm)
Now, for addressing the HitFilm team:
Like I said, the value for money is fantastic and I will contribute to the software in future regardless of which direction the company goes in. Unfortunately I cannot support continually recommending the current direction. I witnessed this on my server a couple of days ago, and it saddens me
I have found numerous examples of potential new customers uninstalling their copies of HitFilm Express before having a chance to explore the software.
From my point of view, when you release software for editing, you would want to concentrate on the footage without distraction, Having a light theme as default would therefore only suggest one possible reason: irritating the user. I feel ashamed writing this, but I feel it is necessary. This to me looks like a desperate bid to force users to pay up to keep the software and the company going.
Now, having followed the team, you seem completely incapable of doing such a thing. And I think you haven't; as you have made clear to other forum users you are trying to get people to consider purchasing something, because many are taking the treasure without giving anything back. I completely understand this, but remember, new customers won't. New customers will see this as an aggressive corporate move, and not want to get involved at all. Quite frankly I'm now embarrassed to recommend HitFilm, saying it's "heartless" and is "extremely friendly" with its customers; people either think I'm being sarcastic or work out that this is a recent move and want out regardless. Let me make this clear: I absolutely understand you have every right as a company to do what you want with your product. Take this as a recommendation rather than a complaint. The total revenue is obviously going to drop (since this is aimed at new customers, and new customers are dropping out). Instead, I suggest adding a splash screen to existing customers' copies, saying:
"Thank you for using and supporting HitFilm Express. Hitfilm Express is free software, but to continue providing users this experience we humbly ask you purchasing some of the add-on packs to support development. A percentage of the money you donate will go towards charities....", etc.
A percentage of the existing 5 Million users purchasing add-ons is going to make much more money than a slither of new customers.
And finally, I address existing users:
Please, if possible, help stop this from happening by purchasing some of the add-on packs. Part of the reason this is happening is because we haven't been giving enough in return,
I know I am just a regular user, 1 in 5 million, but hopefully enough of us can be constructive enough to make a change. If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for reading it.