Created by BBC Backstage, the Corporation’s developer network, R&D TV is the first step in allowing viewers to legally re-edit professionally-produced footage into new forms.
BBC Backstage are hoping that this episode will prove more popular than the previous one, which resulted in only one video mashup from the public. The problem here is that while the video may be interesting to some people (readers of TheNextWeb will probably enjoy it without re-editing it) it’s not something that cries out to be reworked.
R&D TV is an innovative idea, but one that comes from a department at the BBC that’s a little like Morgan Freeman’s character in Batman Begins. They’re working on great projects, but not always with a great deal of support from the wider corporation.
Speaking at the June meeting of Manchester’s Social Media Cafe on Tuesday, BBC Backstage Senior Producer Ian Forrester discussed the project in detail. Many attendees asked why they hadn’t put a popular show like The Apprentice online for remixing. Sadly, there’s little chance of that as licensing deals mean that everything from music to many of the staff on the show would need to be paid for again.
Part of the problem is that some of the BBC’s TV producers and management aren’t keen on the idea of throwing footage out to the public to use as they please. Until there’s a culture shift within mainstream media, projects like R&D TV will remain nothing more than quirky side-projects.
This is a shame. Artists like Cassette Boy are showing that people will remix TV footage whether you let them or not; just see his Apprentice reworking for proof of that. The sooner the TV industry embraces this idea the better. This kind of cut-up TV art would make great promotional material for the show itself, not to mention brilliant training material for rookie video editors.
In the meantime, you can get hold of R&D TV here. The footage is available in a variety of formats and can be used in any non-commercial project.