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iMetaFilm is aiming to attract international business and establish a new industry sector that will create highly skilled jobs.

iMetaFilm is a Glasgow-based company that digitises old film footage. Its technology, which takes multiple photos of each film frame and converts them into a digital output, provides a cost-effective way to save and store the content recorded in archive film.

The process also provides a unique way to embed searchable tags describing who and what is in the images, and where and when they were shot. The search function will make archive film much more accessible – and valuable. At present, old footage has limited appeal as its content is largely unknown. 

iMetaFilm’s technology is the first of its kind in the world, with patent applications being submitted in order to protect its unique system. 

Concept to boardroom

Before we received funding from SIB and Kelvin Capital we were working from our home. Now we're in our own office and have produced prototypes that are being reviewed by customers all over the world.

Mike Howell, co-founder of iMetaFilm

We began working with the founders of iMetaFilm, husband and wife team Mike and Linda Howell, three years ago while the company was still based within the couple’s home. 

Our support helped the company as it developed its key software and progressed its product offering. This allowed it to build prototypes to showcase its offering to target customers including TV companies, film studios and libraries. The company has already secured an order from the American Library of Congress, which is home to the world’s largest film archive. 

The company also secured Financial Readiness support, allowing it to identify the right growth funding options and put in place a compelling investment proposition. This led to the business obtaining a £217,000 funding package from Kelvin Capital and our investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), in February 2015. 

Funding vision

Mike explained: “Accessing investment gave us a means of getting our product out to the marketplace. Before we received funding from SIB and Kelvin Capital we were working from our home. Now we're in our own office and have produced prototypes that are being reviewed by customers all over the world.

“Think of how many people are in a crowd shot. Every face in the crowd is someone’s relative. Every reel of film is a treasure to someone.”

Linda added: “The funding we received has allowed us to take the first steps to our goal. We aim not just to sell and rent our equipment but also to utilise it ourselves and build our own scanning centre here in Scotland.”

The centre has the potential to generate new high value jobs. In addition to being equipped with the company’s technology and staff with the skills to use it the facility would also offer to enhance the quality of the content it generates. 

Our support

A Scottish Enterprise account manager is continuing to work with iMetaFilm to further develop its strategy and consider next stage developments to help the company to achieve its significant growth ambitions. Our international arm, Scottish Development International (SDI), is also assisting the business with International focus and and helping with overseas promotion. 

Stewart Gordon, investment specialist at Scottish Enterprise, said: “iMetaFilm has created a unique product which will recover lost gems from film archives and allow people to access footage according to their interests.

“What’s great about the technology is that it provides an opportunity to build a genuinely new branch of the creative industries in Scotland. Scotland could become a world leader in this exciting new sector.”

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