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Ipswich filmmaker helping families watch old wedding videos during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 May 2020

Ipswich-based filmmaker Jim Horsfield set up Tenner aTape to help people watch family memories on old video tapes during lockdown.  Picture: JIM HORSFIELD

Ipswich-based filmmaker Jim Horsfield set up Tenner aTape to help people watch family memories on old video tapes during lockdown. Picture: JIM HORSFIELD

Jim Horsfield

A freelance filmmaker who toured the world with Beardyman and Fat Boy Slim is now helping people watch old wedding tapes during lockdown.

Ipswich-based Jim Horsfield is a self-employed documentary maker and video production specialist whose work dried up due to coronavirus.

Looking for something to do during the coronavirus lockdown he started digitising old video tapes given to him by family members.

He said: “It came about because I was thinking ‘how am I going to fill my time?’.”

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“Some of my relatives had given me some video tapes and some old camcorder tapes that I’d said that at some point I’d capture in and have a look to see what was on there and I thought now would be a really good time to do it because I’ll be at home.

“I was looking for a business that would work from home, so that’s when I set up Tenner a Tape.

“I’ve got equipment for lots of old format video tapes going back to the late 70s, all the way through the 80s and 90s because of my work.”

“I started out 20 years ago being a VJ – that’s where you play live video – playing at club nights and festivals. And then I got involved with artists working as a visual director.

“I was a visual director for Beardyman and toured the world with him for six or seven years.

“I made documentaries for Fatboy Slim and Pete Tong and did a lot of work for Madness for a while.”

And now he is using those skills to convert old videos to digital download format.

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He said: “The idea was basically to set up a service where people can post me tapes and I capture those tapes in, digitise them and send them a download link.

“Over the last few weeks people have been spring cleaning and going through cupboards and lofts, tidying places up and they’ll be coming across old tapes that they’d forgotten about.

“I’ve had tapes sent to me from all over the UK.

“We’ve had lots of wedding videos, lots of holiday videos, children growing up. I’ve had people send through bungee jumps that they did when they were backpacking round New Zealand.

“As I’ve been capturing the tapes in it’s been interesting to see a child that’s only just born and then on more tapes you can see them growing up.”

But it has not all been treasured family memories.

He said: “There’s a lot of times when you’re capturing in the videos and you’ll suddenly get the tape bar – that sort of fuzziness that VHS used to have – and then it goes into an old episode of Grand Designs or Groundforce that someone has recorded.

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