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IMA's video vaults

by Stuart MacLeod

I was disappointed I didn’t get to meet Ian Macdonald, the founder of Ian Macdonald Associates which later became IMA International.  Overlooking the MacLeod/Macdonald ancient rivalry I think we had some notable common interests, mainly an appreciation of film.

I started working for IMA by creating a promotional film this later progressed into a role as a Digital Communications Manager.

I was delighted one day when looking through an old training brochure from the 80s to discover that we used to offer video editing courses.  I spoke to Chris (MD) about this and was impressed to hear that he had been given some lessons about splicing and editing from Ian when he first started.  The pre digital era of film editing has always fascinated me, I do have some experience with SLR photography cameras and darkrooms which eventually lead me down the path to digital video but I have never tried pre digital editing but often considered the vast patience and attention to detail required for this work considering the time it takes to edit it in the digital era!

So the next treat was to find out there were lots of old slides and VHS tapes from years gone by hiding away in the office loft (my future studio hopefully).

This happened to coincide with my dad’s latest mission, to declutter his loft which included buy a VHS to digital convertor so he could throw out the old tapes, at least this new digital clutter doesn’t collect dust.  After the old holidays were converted (which I was also excited to see again) I got to work exploring the IMA video vaults.

There were around 40 tapes but it quickly became apparent that many of them were actually just documentaries record from the TV but after a full search I successfully found a few that seemed to be original IMA content.  The next issue was the mould which was fairly well established of most of them but there was only one way to find out!

The conversion is in real-time and there turned out to be about 10 hours’ worth of tape so I took them home for an IMA history weekend.  The mould had taken its toll on a few but luckily a few gems were redeemable.

There was an introduction IMA courses from 1989, one of the participant’s from Sri Lanka giving a lesson about how to cook a curry, Ian giving instructions on how to discipline staff, lessons on how to correctly distribute pesticide and most interestingly for me, a video made by Ian about how to do video editing!

Watch them here…

It was definitely very affirming to know the company has deep roots in participatory video and I’m happy for my opportunity to add to this legacy.  If you have any ideas about how we can help you using video, please get in touch.

I have also recently bought a digital slide convertor so stay tuned the inevitable delve into IMA’s box of slides coming soon.