We are in a very different and testing time at the moment. A lot of freelance editors are at home having had their work cancelled, some right up to September. They will be back at their keyboards hopefully some time this year, but the industry has changed.
I think when we look back at this time, we will realise it was a watershed moment in the TV broadcasting, production and media world. Not the fact that editors weren't working or had to resort to remote working, but by the fact that almost overnight a 'home-broadcast' industry sprang to life.
Living rooms became makeshift TV studios.
My home TV studio https://t.co/HDDmdyAsqE pic.twitter.com/X3lHhw9Xcm— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) March 26, 2020
I’ve done some interesting TV in my time. However, producing a 90 minute football show this Saturday, with 5 guests, none of us leaving our homes & my only crew member standing outside a window...will take some beating. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/fIaWnMKNcE— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) March 26, 2020
Granted they were 'live ends' fed into a regular TV show, but also overnight, 'self-broadcasting' sprang to life.
It sprang to life quite literally for Joe Wicks, a fitness instructor. He had an idea last week to run a half-hour 'PE lesson' for kids every weekday at 9am in the morning. His first live stream got nearly a million people watching and taking part. He's doing it to keep kids fit, although the YouTube income of approximately $10,000 per day must be helping to expand his Fender collection.
The excellent Mark Rober also presents a three times a week science class from his workshop. My kids wanted to watch just based on the YouTube video's title!
Many people realised that they could stream their business from home and continue to serve their clients. OK, maybe not on the scale of the above, but my family's life has been completely dominated by video since our enforced lock-in.
My girls have trumpet and flute lessons via video with one teacher and a school violin lesson via another. Also my wife participates in another fitness class that's moved from a church hall to Zoom. (The company that everyone wishes they had bought stock in last year!)
As for me, yesterday I had a video chat with my web programmer in Canada, another with my graphic designer in Spain. Then I had to wait whilst one of my friends (who used to drink with me in my local pub) finished adding percussion to his daughter's live singing and guitar performance on Facebook before we could settle into our second weekly 'Virtual Pint' live with other friends.
You have to love technology. But there is one thing missing here, broadcast television.
Many of the broadcast channels here in the UK have changed their output to replace live or episodic shows with repeats. But with the audience already moving away from linear programming to consuming box sets on demand, this 'filler programming' could be the few final quick nails in the traditional consumption of programmes.
There are two exceptions here, news and sports because they are live. An example to prove the point here is 27.1 million people tuned into terrestrial TV to watch Boris Johnson's recent address to the nation on the virus.
I go back to Joe Wicks. He has had offers from the BBC and Channel 4 to put his daily show online. Why should he? He doesn't need a broadcaster when YouTube already distributes his content around the world.
This is not just happening with live shows. Dedicated specialist YouTube channels and websites are producing popular content for niches that traditional broadcasters have ignored for more templated 'mass appeal' format shows.
If you have an interest in watching planes abort landings at Heathrow in a storm, a man trying to fire up a VW engine after 30 years of not being used, have an obsession with Fibonacci numbers or want to watch and listen to all media from Apollo13 in real time - There's specialised content waiting for you.
So why is this posted on site about FCPX? Well, as more video is being shot or streamed, the next step is for those newbie broadcasters to package up the content. The violin teacher might edit together a class that can be purchesed, the fitness instructor might have a membership scheme for extra content or the guy fixing VW's might produce a video 'Haynes Manual'.
And that's all going to need to be edited.