Camera kits

About VMI

Established in 1979, VMI is one of the success stories of the new generation of Digital facilities companies and today a major supplier of HD camcorder equipment in the UK. VMI specialise in supplying HD and broadcast camera and grip equipment for drama, feature and documentary productions.

VMI London

VMI's London HQ is based in West London (W3 6UU) and Bristol (BS5 7XX).  The main London Office is sited in a 10,000 square foot purpose built building, equipped thoughout with cool LED lighting to minimise its carbon footprint. It has a large equipment preparation area and 2 dedicated camera test rooms which are also pre-lit with LED light panels, and test charts and dedicated lens projection room.  VMI also runs training facilities in the W3 location as well.

VMI Bristol

Following the acquisition of The Hire Company in January 2015, VMI Bristol moved into its own building in January 2016 and has become a fully functioning branch of VMI complete with camera test room and an equipment fleet tailor made for the Bristol market. More about VMI Bristol









History of VMI

VMI started as a consumer video shop called Videomania in NW London, set up by Jeff Bassett in 1979, after he had converted Phillips consumer VCR machines to record in Long-Play format.  From selling VHS and Betamax recorders and renting VHS films, over the years, VMI has evolved to rent quality camera equipment for international TV Dramas, Features and Documentaries.

The business has changed a great deal since inception as a family business and early images of the company are included, as well as stories and shared memories are included on the website





The History of VMI is now the subject of a new book

The full story about the founder, Jeff Bassett, the relationship with his son and current Managing Director, Barry Bassett and the history of VMI is told in a book, Full Experience Living, written by Barry Bassett published in 2020.

From life in an immigrant family, to setting up a family business and then survival from a hideous £600,000 uninsured loss in 2007 taking the company to near certain bankruptcy, the book Full Experience Living by VMI Managing Director, Barry Bassett and illustrated by his son, Josh Bassett, tells the true story of the origins of VMI and the complex relationship with his father, Jeff Bassett who founded the business and died in 2008.

Jeff Bassett Memorial Site







VMI Today

VMI supports our industry by deliberately not being on comparison websites.

Over the last few years VMI has been involved in the production of more than 150 feature films and also 18 drama series in the last year alone.

VMI was set-up in 1979 as a family business by the late Jeff Bassett and today it is run by Barry Bassett and Kevin Oaten.

VMI is also an environmentally aware company and has taken great strides to reduce its impact on the environment - see Environment.

VMI has been recognised for excellence winning many awards including Hire Company of the year, Broadcast Camera Hire Company of the year and also the Natwest Business award for good business practice. As a recognised Investors in People Company VMI strongly believes in ongoing training and development for all staff. See what VMI clients think about VMI in our annual client survey report.

VMI is an accredited Living Wage Employer





Barry Bassett

Barry Bassett, Managing Director of VMIVMI Managing Director with 25 years of Broadcast experience and an MBA from Imperial College. Barry runs VMI, managing key clients, projects and business planning. Barry delivers most of the VMI events and presentations, writes widely and has spoken at MIP in Cannes. the Edinburgh Festival, Broadcast Live Show, HD Show and Production Show in London, the EMIT show in Frankfurt and many others besides.

It is a common aphorism that life rarely works out the way that you planned it and this was my experience too. I wrote a book during the 2020 lock-down of the origin of VMI.  It is my true story of life in a family business, as a tempestuous ride from one crisis to another and overcoming near certain financial ruin on multiple occasions. The great news is that this story has a happy ending and is an exciting, white-knuckle, feel good journey. See pictures, videos, stories accounts and a link to the book on A passionate cyclist, film watcher, cricketer, chef and family man besides – "I am just pretty much passionate about everything." Family Motto: Live for the Full Experience. Life Values: We are the sum product of all of our choices.




Kevin Oaten

Kevin Oaten, Operations Director of VMIVMI Operations Director with 30 years of Film and Broadcast experience. Kevin has held senior positions at ARRI GB and VFG before joining VMI in 2005. A qualified ARRI and Zeiss engineer, he has an excellent knowledge about lenses and cameras! Kevin oversees investments in products and pushing the boundaries in development of kit at VMI.










Ian Jackson

VMI Commercial Director, Ian Jackson (Assoc BSC) has 16 years experience as a Camera Operator/DoP and recently as a Director.  He has worked on 150 episodes of Holby over the past 8 years in both roles.

Ian comes from a crew and Drama background and has shares their same interests which is really unusual for a client contact.  Ian runs the Drama department and his background and experience means that he is ideally suited to it.








Chau Chong

VMI Financial Director, Chau Chong has 30+ years experience in accounting and is an essential part of VMI's operation.  Chau expertly runs the Accounting department and brings a professional and level-headed approach to ensuring that this runs silky-smooth!.










Michael White

Michael is VMI's Operations Manager and brings 30 years Industry experience, 26 years of which were running the Camera Department of rental company, Aimimage.  Michael likes to work along side the Techs and Camera Crews to ensure that they have the kit that they require, the WAY that they like it!  He brings a wealth of experience with him and VMI is a better place for it.  He likes to run a very tight ship.








VMI Team

VMI is nothing without the support of a great team.  Here is most of the VMI team after our Christmas Meal in December 2016.

Logos, PR images, Camera Hero Images and the VMI Video Ident (and Pantone red colour) are available with this link for download

VMI Contact Details


VMI are proud sponsors of:

The British Society of Cinematographers The Guild of Television Cameramen The Guild of British Camera Technicians International Federation of Cinematographers Plasa - Rental Guard Plasa member Cinematography Mailing List Xhire - Anri fraud network