The BBC and Final Cut Pro X: Any progress?

Monday, 03 August 2015

As the UK’s publically funded broadcaster, the BBC is not allowed to endorse any specific product or service, either on air or in third-party publicity. That means that companies that make the tools that the BBC uses cannot get quotes from BBC members of staff that speak for the whole of the organisation.

Avid cannot get a quote from BBC Studios saying “Over 90% of BBC Drama is editing using Media Composer.” They can refer to specific customers who do work for the BBC.

This is true of Apple and the BBC’s use of Final Cut Pro X. In a big story from last year concerning the use of Final Cut in news acquisition first reported on fcp.co, there were no official quotes that represented the BBC.  

This was true of the BBC when Final Cut Pro 5, 6 and 7 were being increasingly used.

Although that there are rumours that Final Cut Pro X is being taught to everyone in the BBC but experienced editors, all we have on record are a few news stories and mentions of Final Cut by staff and freelancers in social media. Interestingly for those interested in the progress of Final Cut in the BBC, Twitter is a public social media platform where people who work there have bios that state that their opinions aren't official policy of the BBC.

I've started a collection of public tweets on the subject of the BBC and Final Cut Pro X - mostly by people who work for the BBC. 

It seems that X is being widely used in News, but there is little evidence of it spreading to BBC Drama. This might change once new production companies not brought up in the Avid tradition are commissioned to make shows and films for the BBC. This might be how X started being being used in BBC Sport.

Given the limitations of BBC endorsements, I hope others create similar collections for other NLEs.