Success Stories

Graduates rescue historic film footage at iMetaFilm

Since securing 12-month placements at tech start-up iMetaFilm, graduates Gordon Park and Holly Allan have been restoring and digitising archive films. They told us about their experience so far.

Published: 13/02/2017

Gordon and Holly started their graduate placements with film restoration, digitisation and archiving start-up iMetaFilm in September 2016. Originally from Falkirk, Gordon (22) graduated from the University of Aberdeen in History and Film Studies, and 23-year-old Holly graduated from Glasgow University in Film and English Literature.

Now based at iMetaFilm’s headquarters in Glasgow, both graduates have hands-on roles working with delicate, rare, and historically significant film reels.

Describing his role, Gordon said: “I’ve been working on digitising and restoring a historic moving image archive which included some of the first experiments in time-lapse photography – certainly not something I pictured myself doing with my degree!

“I’ve always been obsessed with film, but my colleagues at iMetaFilm have been teaching me about film as an object and a technology, which is fascinating and expanding my outlook on the subject.

“I knew I wanted to work with film after university, but it’s an incredibly tough industry to get into, particularly as a graduate with little work experience. When I found the iMetaFilm placement advert on ScotGrad, I knew I had to apply as it suited my ambitions perfectly.

“Since I started the placement I’ve met people from across the industry, from filmmakers and broadcasters to curators, which will stand me in good stead as my career progresses.”

Both Holly and Gordon have been involved with high profile projects, including a commission from the Cuban National Archive to restore footage of Havana in its heyday in the 1960s. The film included clips of a young Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, and was screened at the Havana Glasgow Film Festival in November 2016.

Watch some short clips of that film here. 

Holly said: “Showcasing the work we did to the public was wonderful, especially when people came back for a second time to re-watch the footage we had worked on.

“I’ve had so many opportunities during my placement at iMetaFilm that I don’t imagine I would have had anywhere else. I’ve gained new qualifications in film handling and understanding the more technical side of the film industry.

“I have found working in a smaller organisation is very rewarding. There is a lot of freedom and your ideas and input are genuinely valued and taken into consideration. I really look forward to working with iMetaFilm as the company continues to grow.”

Linda Howell, co-founder of iMetaFilm, said: “Being able to bring on graduates has really helped us deliver to our customers and they offer insights and ideas that we might never have thought of. I can’t praise Holly and Gordon highly enough.”

To find out about our current graduate opportunities, visit our placement page