The roots of Timeless Moments go back many years to the late 1980s. “I remember transferring Video8 films to VHS via my Commodore Amiga, a genlock and a VHS tape deck for a local motorcycle club” says Ian Litchfield, Sale Director. “In those days everything was what we call linear editing, it means that you edit as the tape plays, if you make a mistake you have to do it all over again. An hour long film could take weeks of work to get right. Nowadays Timeless Moments like most other companies and even major film producers such as the BBC and Hollywood Blockbusters are all edited on NLEs”.
An NLE is a Non-Linear Editing program, allowing editing of any part of the film at any time on the PC.
“Comparing those old systems with what we use today is like comparing a Model T Ford with a Bugatti Veyron. I liken it to the aircraft industry, before 1905 mankind had to use balloons to fly, less than 40 years later Sir Frank Whittle was playing around with Jet engines, 25 years after that and we were on the moon, such is the speed of technological growth”.
With business doing well the team decided to go for a mass market and it seemed that being incorporated was the next logical step. On 20th June 2006, Timeless Moments Limited was officially incorporated and the company hasn’t looked back since. The company now has some of the latest digital frame scanning telecine machines from America for Cine films, and equipment to transfer all other formats of film to the computers.
“The computers we use are just incredibly fast now. The fastest is an Intel Core Quad core which has increased productivity by around 40%. I would say it must be around 1000 times faster than my old Amiga” Ian says. “With three transfer suites, we are always upgrading the PCs to increase productivity and the next batch will all have quad cores! Amazing.”
So what is the message to people with precious memories out there? Ian replies
“It’s amazing what you find in your loft. Time and again people bring us 40 year old Cine film which they had either forgotten about or which used to belong to their parents. Films of themselves growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, irreplaceable memories, priceless, yet slowly disintegrating in the dark and dusty realm of an attic, chest of drawers, or even a shed. When you do find them how do you watch them? That old Eumig your dad used to wheel out every Christmas has long since bitten the dust. That’s where we step in. Using state of the art equipment to transfer Cine films into the computers and then digitally remastering them using our own special techniques, most of the time Cine films look better than the day it was shot!
And it’s not just Cine. Do you remember buying that old video 8 camcorder in 1988? Where are those tapes now? Your children’s first steps, your wedding, the school concerts slowly dissolving away in a bed side cupboard. Even the latest miniDV or DVD cameras can benefit from a professional transfer to DVD. There is peace of mind too knowing that if the worst happens to your disc you can always get a backup copy from us.”
Updated: 19th March 2014