BBC Blast in Sheffield

Well, I have just got back from four brilliant days on the BBC Blast truck in Sheffield!

Throughout the time there I was working with the BBC Newsround team, helping young people put together news bulletins. They were filming with Sony Z1 cameras and editing in Final Cut or iMovie, depending on their prior experience. The editors would pick up the basics of editing, then have to deal with the camera tapes from the crews as they came back in from filming. Deadlines were very tight, and a studio links tape was added in as well!

By and large it went very well – the bulletins were cut in time (only just!) and the young people were left with a good product. Over the course of the days we learned a lot about how to do this and refined the process as we went.

Of real note was the kit provided by Reflecmedia ( for the chroma keying. This is a seriously good system to do any kind of chroma work, and we thoroughly enjoyed firing it up for the first time…

Also of note was the fact that BBC News and Sport were also in Sheffield running an event. They were based in the city centre but needed to use the BBC Blast truck for their editing. The man for the job was Robin Marks, and a nicer bloke you couldn’t meet. He was also a dab hand at using Final Cut Pro, despite being an avid Avid user! I certainly learned a great deal by watching him work, and was pleased to be able to add in a few tips of my own to help speed his work up. I’ll definitely be taking up his invite to go and see News 24 being broadcast, as soon as I can get an opportunity!

The truck support team are legends, every one of them… what a great experience! I can’t wait to get back on board and do the London leg, then Norwich, then Bristol and later in the year, finish it all up in Birmingham.

If you haven’t yet seen it, head over to and check it out on the web site!