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The Festive Season


The festive period is the time of year when many of you will be videoing your family – the opening of presents, family get togethers, children’s nativity performances – the list is goes on. These films will be wonderful for you to look back on in years to come; they’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy with the rosy glow of nostalgia. It’s a lovely feeling. And it’s one that the Shetland Moving Image Archive Group hopes to recreate all year round.


We want to bring you films of yesteryear that you can enjoy. Recently I’ve seen some great footage of people no longer with us – Rhoda Bulter and Gordon Smith performing at variety concerts, I’ve watched .


We’re working hard behind the scenes to make the moving image a reality and we’ve been busy over the past few months laying the metaphorical foundations to bring the archive to you. All those things that you never really think about when you enter an archive building. The Collection Policy – what we will and won’t collect. The Donations Agreement – where the donor either signs over the copyright of the film to us, or retains it. The Uses Strategy – what we will actually do with the archive. We certainly don’t want it laying around where nobody can see it. We have 6 main strands to our Uses Strategy to make sure that it reaches as many people as possible.


  1. Commercial
  2. Creative
  3. Education
  4. Health
  5. Heritage
  6. Tourism


We’ve been meeting with people from each sector to see how we can fit in with their remit and what services we can deliver. We’ve currently working with the education sector on how best to deliver workshops in schools throughout Shetland. We will encourage the young people of Shetland to not only use film we’ll be collecting, but to add their material to the collection – thereby extending and informing the archive of the future. After all, today’s footage is tomorrow’s archive.


Another service we’re keen to develop is reminiscence packs for people suffering from dementia. Studies have shown that film is an effective tool in bringing back memories for people and it gives them a feeling of self worth. We’re working alongside Adult Learning to develop these packs – not only for people suffering from dementia but those with additional support needs too.


We’ve got trips out planned to visit various Heritage Centres and History Groups in January (weather permitting!) to see what footage they have – we’re already aware of some of the gems held by some. We’ll work together with these groups to preserve their collections and ensure there’s a comprehensive catalogue available of Shetland footage.


We’re also working up our commercial strategy, which will enable us to attract filmmakers and broadcasters to our archive.   And then there’s the creative side – well, everything in our collection can be used creatively and given a new lease of life.


So with that I’ll leave you for now. Remember to take lots of videos throughout the year. If not for our collection, then for yours. I assure you that when you watch them in years to come they’ll leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling – even better than a warm woolly jumper.