Vintage Lenses are Still Cool

To reflect that VMI’s wide range of vintage and vintage-look lenses, we have redefined the vintage category on our website to now includes 14 different types of sets of Vintage/Vintage-look … Read more

Bristol’s 1st EV arrives

The supply chain issues post-COVID has meant that Bristol has been waiting a full year for their first of two EV to arrive with their electric van expected to arrive by Christmas.

Bristol’s 10.5KW solar panels will help to realise emissions-free deliveries.


Is This the End of 8K TVs?

8K TVs are so power-hungry, that they are now about to be banned from the European Union, so does this mean that the quest for higher and higher resolution monitors will now cease?

My private 4K TV is in the A+ efficiency category but 8K sets are currently classed as G, so is 8K doomed?

VMI Implements using Potato Starch Bags for Sealing Filters

After widespread experimentation with different materials, VMI finally took delivery of its first bags made entirely of potato starch which break down in a regular consumer compost bin within 3-months.

VMI will use these to seal filters and some other items to minimise its environmental impact.

It all started with a comment…

Read how VMI’s entire environmental strategy and successes were all triggered by a chance comment made in 2018 by one of VMI’s clients, who was concerned about its use of single-use plastic to wrap cables and filters.

We are all the sum product of our choices and how we choose to act on inconvenient truths shapes who we are and how we do business. … more

How A Supportive Team Say Farewell

Many people have described working at VMI as feeling a bit like being in a family (without the seasonal discord bit at Christmas…). Well, we think that this is quite descriptive and thought that a picture of the team saying goodbye to Henderson (front second on right) tells the story well.

Henderson has been commuting daily from Bexley in Kent to Acton and after 18 months, has found himself somewhere closer to work but as you can see from the team’s faces, he will be missed!

Sustainable Dog

There has been a lot of research demonstrating the positive impact that pets can have on staff, just by being in the workplace. 

So if you visit VMI in Acton, you might just see Paula’s dog – here sporting a VMI cap – doing his thing to keep VMI a happy place!.

VMI’s solar panels save over 4T CO2 in June 22

VMI’s solar panels in London and Bristol generated 1.05MWh in June 2022, saving an estimated 4.46T of CO2.

This is the equivalent of 2 people flying return from London to Las Vegas!

(We use a 100% green electricity tariff anyway but it is great to know that our solar panels are already making a measurable difference).

VMI awards Best Shorts award at KIFF

VMI loves to support new entrants to the industry and is proud to have been a partner and sponsor of the best short film at the inaugural new film festival held in June in Kingston, LONDON.

Mid-range cameras don’t mean compromise

At VMI we’ve noticed a recent trend among filmmakers and wondered if you agree? We’ve spotted that a significant number of productions are ‘trading down’ from using traditional top of the range cine-cameras like ARRI Alexa Mini/LF or Sony Venice to instead using mid-range cameras, like Sony FX-6, FX-9, Canon C300 Mk III and Canon C500 Mk II etc.

The reason? We think producers (or rather DPs) have realised that they can achieve similar production values by using mid-range cameras whilst saving budget on camera hire.

VMI Books Eurostar to Visit IBC in Amsterdam

We have been travelling to visit the IBC TV convention in Amsterdam for decades and other than the Superheroes campaign (2017-2019) when we travelled by bicycle, we have always travelled by aeroplane.

VMI’s net-zero sustainability policy required us to replace air travel with more sustainable methods of transport, so for the first time, VMI will be travelling to IBC in 2022 with Eurostar!

VMI 2021 Carbon Audit Shows 9% CO2 Reduction

Our second annual carbon audit of 2021 is complete and demonstrates that VMI has reduced its total carbon emissions, according to the Science-Based Target Initiative from 234TCO2e to 213TCO2e, a reduction of 8.9% compared to the 2019 baseline, on target with our net-zero by 2030 strategy.

We only started our formal net-zero journey mid 2021, so this is a terrific result since many of our initiatives had yet to be completed.

The breakdown of each Scope emissions are as follows

  • Scope 1 emissions had reduced from 54TCO2e to 37.6TCO2e
  • Scope 2 emissions also reduced from 13TCO2e to nil, as all electricity for 2021 was using exclusively green tariffs.
  • Scope 3 (excluding CapEx purchases), increased from 167TCO2e to 175TCO2e

Some of the increase in scope 3 emissions can be attributed to a greater detail of measurement, such as a detailed analysis of employees commuting, which was not undertaken in 2019.

Our commitment is to publish our results every year, so view the full report and our roadmap as to how we plan to achieve net-zero by 2030 on the link here.

Bristol Building 10.6KW Solar PV Installation

VMI’s Bristol building has been fitted with a 10.6KW Solar PV array, to provide the majority of it’s power requirements.

As part of this initiative, we have also replaced all lighting in Bristol facility with known Lumens/Watts-rated LED lights, to match Acton. This has reduced light-caused energy consumption by up to 90%.

Even with EVs, 10.6KW is a lot more power than the Bristol branch is likely to use except at peak times and since our surplus is now being sold to the grid, we will in some small way help fortify Britain’s green power generation.

Click here to see before and after pictures!

Bristol Solar PV cuts power use by 56%

Amazingly, Bristol’s Sola PV installation has cut their power use by more than half (56%), though the pictures tell the full story though!
(Data from Octopus energy readings taken 25-April – 22 May but excluding 13 May when the installation was in progress). Previous daily average (18.92KWh. After installation, daily average reduced to 8.31KWh. Reduction of 10.61KWh per day of electricity use from grid or 56.1%)

VMI London has 10KW of Solar Panels Installed

In May 2022, in spite of having a 100% green electricity tariff since 2018, VMI installed 10KW of solar panels to its London HQ to generate most of its own power.

With rising energy prices and fleet of electric vans coming, this looks like a good move to make.

Environmental Grant won from West of England Combined Authority and European Regional Development Fund

50% Funding for environmental improvements to Bristol was sought and approved from the West of England Combined Authority and European Regional Development Fund.

They helped to fund improvements to Bristol’s building for:
• replacing existing fluorescent lighting with LED equivalents;
• applying insulation above false ceiling.
• replacing single-glazed rooflights with triple-glazed equivalents;
• and a solar photovoltaic (PV) array.

Website Link

VMI is Infinity’s Prime UK Rental House

VMI has a long-standing relationship with Infinity Photo-Optical who makes the Infiniprobe TS160 probe lenses. Barry Bassett, VMI’s Managing Director, has been recognised as being their ‘Nelsonian Award’ winner back … Read more

VMI donates full ARRI camera kit to West London College

West London College is proud to announce a significant partnership with camera rental company, VMI, who supply camera packages to the TV Industry for dramas, feature films, documentaries, music videos and more.

The partnership will ensure students on media courses at Ealing Green College will have access to cutting-edge equipment, with VMI donating a full ARRI digital camera kit, worth £100,000, to the college. The camera kit is still used in industry production and this particular camera was most recently used for shooting season 22 of ITV’s “Midsomer Murders” in summer 2021, which is due to continue airing throughout 2022. …more


VMI held a BLIKE open day in April for our staff to try out the full range of E-Bikes available to lease from BLIKE. The scheme has been set up as an alternative to the existing Cycle-to-Work scheme, to personally lease E-Bikes as a healthier and cost-effective way of commuting and which is also very tax-efficient.

I can personally attest to these bikes also being a LOT of fun!

We publish updated VMI Environmental and Sustainability Policy

We updated our Environmental and Sustainability Policy and uploaded it here. We strongly believe in the power of community and continues to share ideas and solutions that inspire wider industry action and in June 2021, we committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2030 and to halve its carbon emissions by 2025 using 2019 as the baseline year.

These aren’t just words, so we have backed them up with a commitment to promote a plant-based diet and giving staff an additional annual day’s leave, if they haven’t used an aeroplane in the previous year for personal use.

Download VMI Environmental and Sustainability Policy Document

VMI stops stocking Polyboards and pioneers sustainable replacement

Polyboards are horribly unsustainable and their size makes them difficult to dispose of, so we have found a practical sustainable alternative and have stopped supplying the originals.

The new Lastolite Rapids are even more versatile than the original, as we supply them with a variety of covers including black, white, silver and diffusion and can be easily assembled in 60 seconds.
They can be reused over and over and even fit into a car – try that with an 8×8 poly!

VMI is Double Winner at 2022 West London Business Awards

VMI Named West London Company of the Year For Leading On Climate Change

The actions and leadership of VMI and its Managing Director in galvanizing the industry around net zero targets have been recognised by West London Business.

VMI have won two prestigious awards at the West London Business Awards. It is named West London Company of the Year 2022 while MD Barry Bassett won Business Leader of the Year. Read More

Company Food Poll

What kind of company polls their staff to see what food they would like to eat for catered events? We do!

In February 2022, we polled the entire VMI staff and overwhelmingly, people asked us to provide them with predominantly vegetarian food.

Interestingly, only one person voted for a 100% meat diet, though they admitted that this had been a mistake (they were vegetarian!)

We have now adopted the results of the poll so all food supplied by VMI from now on will be in the proportions of 70% vegetarian, 30% meat, in line with staff wishes.

Launch of VMI Microsite to show 20-year Sustainability Journey

Not many people know that we have been working for almost 20 years to make VMI into a more sustainable and socially equitable company. We are totally committed to becoming a Net-Zero company by 2030 have launched a microsite to share our journey.

VMI Donates Lights for Student Training

VMI has partnered with Bristol-based college, boomsatsuma, donating a range of lighting equipment for BA Hons Filmmaking Production and Post-production degree student skills development, Jan 2021. Degree students based at … Read more

VMI is a certified Great Place to Work!

VMI has always striven to be a place that people enjoy working in and a recent independent audit by organisation, GreatPlaceToWork, has confirmed that 96% of VMI’s workforce judge VMI … Read more

VMI E-Bike Scheme Launched

VMI launched the BLIKE scheme as an alternative to the existing Cycle-to-Work scheme, to personally lease E-Bikes as a healthier and cost-effective way of commuting.

Latest BECTU Guidance Adopted

Jason Henwood, working with the Bectu Camera Branch, has published the latest guidance document detailing policies and and recommendations to help camera assistants, producers and rental companies to adopt more sustainable working … Read more

Celebrate the World achieving Net Zero!

Celebrate the world achieving Net Zero and not surpassing 1.5°C global temperature rise and 20 years of Net Zero as a company thriving within the green economy.

…well, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of optimism!

True Net Zero Achieved

We aim to reach Net Zero emissions in Scopes 1, 2 & 3 by 2030. This means that we will have reduced our emissions as far as technology allows and we will have offset any residual emissions that we can’t eliminate (yet!).

Address Scope 3 Emissions

As with many companies auditing their emissions, we know that Scope 3 can be tricky. But by 2026 it is our goal to have all upstream & downstream Scope 3 carbon emissions fully audited with changes made in suppliers to reduce emissions where ever possible.

We plan to have all Scope 3 emissions been verified and neutralised by us or by the stakeholder responsible for them.

Cut Emissions by 50%

We will have cut our emissions by half by 2025 compared to 2019. Our plan is to create less than 62,500KG this year (and/or less than 2KG/employee).

We will have cut all our dependency on natural gas by 2025 which will eliminate another 13,000KG of CO2e emissions.

Full Transition to EVs

We plan on transitioning all of our vehicles be electric to the end of 2024. This will save approximately 37,000 KGs of CO2e (when compared to our 2019 transport emissions)

Data Centre Power Audit

We’re auditing all of our data centres to make sure that our hosts all use 100% renewable electricity.

Cut Packaging 10%

We plan to cut a further 10% of our packaging and the packaging we receive. Even if packaging can be recycled, it’s better if it can be eliminated in the first place.

Our 2021 Carbon Emissions to be fully offset

Whilst offsetting isn’t quite the same as not emitting CO2 in the first place, it is nevertheless a start!

By measuring all our employee commutes we will be able to analyse the difference in emissions impact between homeworking and office working and adjust our policies where we can.

We will be offsetting all the commutes measured and indeed all of the CO2 which our audit calculates that we were responsible for.

Bristol Building Insulation Programme

The Bristol facility is being fully insulated and fitted with triple-glazed roof lights.

We don’t know exactly how much CO2e this will save yet, but if it saves 33% of natural gas emissions, it could save nearly 2 tonnes of CO2e.

In building projects like this, VMI require that builders only use timber from sustainable (managed) forests and when tendering for the work contractors must show their sustainability protocols.

VMI wins National Climate Award

VMI won a national award being crowned “Hero of Net Zero” by the UK Government at the international COP26 climate summit in November 2021 for its work on sustainability.

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2030, 20 years ahead of the Government’s own climate commitment.

VMI.TV won over the competition judges for taking responsibility for their sectors environmental impact, spreading the sustainability message as founding members of the Bectu’s-Film-For-Future group.

  • VMI.TV, Bristol and London-based camera rental company, crowned Hero of Net Zero at COP26 awards ceremony.
  • Small business celebrated for original and creative actions taken to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The company urges other businesses to commit to net zero at UK Climate Hub.

Read the full story of this amazing achievement here.

Formal commitment to Net Zero on Government Business Climate Hub

The Government Business Climate Hub keeps a register of all UK companies who have committed to a net Zero Pledge and August 2021 saw VMI also adding its name, committing it to.

  1. Halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  2. Achieving net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Disclosing our progress on a yearly basis

In doing so, we are proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.

RA Futures Programme

VMI supported the RA Agency Futures Program, identifying and developing black female talent in the scripted camera department, by offering space and equipment.
To find out more about RA Agency and the Futures Program:

Picture Credit: Teresa Adamson (2nd AC) training Samara Addai (Camera Trainee) to assist stepping up to 2nd AC. 

VMI 2021 Client Survey – 96% Service

In December 2021, we held our 14th annual client satisfaction survey, asking all VMI clients who had hired from us in the previous 12 months exactly what they thought about us and we have included them for you here.

Most importantly though, 40 of you voted VMI 4.8 on customer service (3 is average, 4 is good and 5 is excellent), which is equivalent to 96% client approval rating.

Electric Vehicle Charging

We installed EV charging bays, for which 1 x high speed charger was installed, for electric vans and staff cars in our Acton Branch. Charge points were also installed in anticipation of an electric van in 2022 in Bristol also.

VMI Shortlisted for Park Royal Business of the Year award 2022

For the third year in as many years, VMI has been nominated as a finalist for the West London Business Awards. VMI has been shortlisted as one of three companies for the Green ‘Race to Zero’ Business of the Year but what is really surprising is that also, for the first time, we have been also shortlisted as one of three companies in the category of Park Royal Business of the Year.

Read Full Story

New generation of Auto Focus lenses now available with E and EF Mounts

Auto Focus is here to stay and whilst this is not a panacea to force all focus-pullers to retrain, the increased adoption of Full Frame (which necessarily makes focussing more critical than S-35 or APSC formats) and the enhanced development of the technology, makes this functionality more useful and as a result, we are noticing an increased interest in it.

Lighting & Camera Sustainability Group

We all agree in the importance of working together and sharing best practice, so Barry Bassett, VMI’s Managing Director set up a new sustainability group in late 2021, to build on the excellent work of Jason Henwood pre-COVID and to involve all UK rental companies who are interested in sustainability.

The goal is simply to share everything that we have learned that is both good and also doesn’t really work and to collaborate openly in order to build a more sustainable industry.

The first meeting was held on Wednesday 17 November 2021 and we plan to meet quarterly from hereon.

VMI Are Recruiting!

VMI currently have the opening for a Senior Technician to join our busy camera rental facility in West London and are inviting applications now. Candidates must have a background in … Read more

VMI Retires all Tungsten Rental Lighting

Tungsten is the most traditional form of TV/Film lighting still in use today, having replaced expensive and dangerous Carbon Arc fittings.

In reality though, tungsten lighting fixtures ought to be called lighting heaters, since 96% of the energy used is output as heat, leaving only 4% to produce light. This makes them immensely inefficient and not at all compatible with modern sustainability ideals and on these grounds, VMI has decided to retire all of its tungsten lighting in October 2021*.

Read Full Story

Climate Crisis Employee Education

Engaging with all stakeholders on our climate crisis journey is integral to realising the change needed. One step in this is educating our team on the basics of Climate Change so that they feel informed enough to speak about it and understand the urgency and what we can do about it.

Company Policy: Vegetarian Meals Encouraged

Our company policy now requires meals and drinks paid for by the company to be mostly vegetarian saving approx. 480 kgs of CO2e (based on current employee count and purchasing levels).


Print and Toner Recycling

All old ink and toner cartridges are disposed of in a responsible and sustainable manner with a new recycling bin installed by Lewis.

We all know that these are very easy to buy and even easier to put into the dustbin when empty but he has found a waste company called Zero Waste Recycling, who will for a small fee, take all of our old cartridges and recycle them responsibly.

We are all interested in the pursuit of saving more waste from going to landfill, so well done, Lewis!

Ethical Banking

We have reviewed our banking facilities and are pleased to be with the Cooperative Bank, who have the best ESG profile of all UK banks*. We continue to review all financial investments, including pensions, and if necessary, are moving from institutions investing in arms, coal, oil and natural gas.

*Rated by Sustainalytics in the Regional Banks subindustry with a score of 9.2 as of 11 June 2021.

Created Net Zero Roadmap

We’ve created our Net Zero Roadmap! We will reduce our emissions to the limits that technology and society set for us by 2030 and offset any residual emissions along the way.

AA rechargeable Batteries

VMI Stops Using Disposable AA Batteries

VMI has made the transition to using rechargeable AA batteries and entirely stopped the environmentally harmful use of disposable batteries and shared this practice with the wider rental community.

VMI takes on three new Apprentices

Our apprenticeship programme has launched! Jonah Mann, Josh Barker, and Matt Fisher are our first recruits. This makes all the nagging, lobbying, meetings and consultations worth it.

200 people applied and of those we invited 42 to an activity event hosted at the London Screen Academy. 13 trainees will become the first cohort of Camera Technician Apprentices, They started a 2 week “boot camp” at the LSA on 24 August to begin a 2-year training programme designed by UK rental companies, which will train them to near Senior Technician standard without any cost to them and whilst being fully employed.

Upon completion, they will achieve a formal industry qualification of a level 3 NVQ by August 2023.

Read more

Sustainable Travel Policy Implemented

We created a company travel policy, committing to not using airplanes for all European travel. Our policy promotes video conferencing, bike and rail travel, suggests road travel as Plan B and, only when flying is necessary, asks staff members to discriminate, where possible, between airlines/planes based on fuel and fleet efficiency.

Zero to Landfill

VMI Group Recycles 100% of Waste – CERTIFIED

You heard that right! Our waste reduction plan is working!! For the last year we were able to divert everything we didn’t need any more to be fully recycled or composted, making us 100% landfill-free!! In 2019 we created over 24,000Kg of CO2e, we haven’t performed our 2021 carbon audit yet but we look forward to seeing a huge cut in this number.

Read full audit here

Long-awaited UK Camera Tech Apprenticeship standard is rolled out

More than 200 young hopefuls who initially lodged their interest in the new Camera Tech Apprenticeship programme, were reduced to 100 after the first sift, 56 at the second and just 42 received invitations to the activity and selection day event, hosted at the London Screen Academy on Wednesday 21 July.

Lower Carbon Cleaning Products

We use Splosh, who provide washing up liquid, cleaning products and hand-wash, in order to entirely eliminate unnecessary plastic waste, since their products are refilled using pouches, which are then sent back for refilling or to be turned into new products. Splosh is formulated using kind chemicals which are also good for the environment. Less and smaller deliveries mean lower carbon emissions.

First Carbon Audit Complete

VMI completed its first ever Carbon Audit. Since 2020 was such a peculiar year, we used 2019 as our base year from which all of our carbon saving measures will be compared with.

Going forwards, we commit to completing a carbon audit every year and publicly publishing our results. This way, we can demonstrate that we are taking real action to reduce our emissions annually and hopefully be on track with our net zero commitment.

Brand New VMEDIA on-line database V2

With so many different recording formats, memory card types, media sizes, compatibility issues and upgrade requirements, it can be a challenge trying to find compatible memory cards or SSDs for your camera or recorder.

However, Lewis has been extremely hard at work to make this easier for you with the VMEDIA Online Database V2 which is organised into the most popular brands and sortable by camera model, which gives details on compatibility, data rates and approximate recording times too

VMI Bristol Image

VMI Bristol is 6 years old

VMI Bristol celebrates six years since it was set up and in that time, Gary, Jon and the rest of the Bristol team have established it into a mainstream camera rental supplier for natural history and commercials/documentary productions in the South West.

Some S-35 zooms already cover FF (you just didn’t know this!)

This is an extremely brief article to help to explain a lesser-known but extremely valuable tip. In summary, film zooms designed to cover S-35 sensors, will also cover Full Frame as well IF used with a 1.5x extender and this is built into several zoom lenses already, such as the Canon Cabrio zooms.

Going viral with Venice in lockdown London

Enterprising young filmmakers Edoardo Forato and Fyras Slaiman hope their new short film In-Flu-Enza will catch the attention of producers and directors.  The period drama, set amid the 1920 Spanish flu outbreak, … Read more

5 years of renewable electricity

We have been powered solely by 100% renewable electricity since 2016 at all our sites.

We are proud that in 2022, all of VMI’s gas and electric supplies of all buildings are supplied by Octopus Energy

Macro and Micro Cinematography

We all love to see images of extreme magnification to show a world which we can’t experience with our own eyes but just like all cinematography, this is hard to do well.
The choice right lens for the specific shot is key and this article aims to explain the differences between Close Up, Macro and Micro photography/cinematography and in particular, to introduce the cinematographer to a relatively recent new type of lens, which are called Nelsonian Lenses made by Infinity Photo-Optical and which use microscope techniques to create unique images which are not possible using traditional optics.

Leitz Summicron-C 40mm T2.0

VMI Guide to Film Lenses

Article introducing the differences between film lenses and explaining the terms and factors which distinguish them.

2016 Film Zoom Lens Comparison Chart

A very useful chart including all current film zoom lenses in a table and compariring useful data including image coverage, front diameter, weight, min T stop etc.Compiled by Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock and reproduced with kind permission from Tom Fletcher

Easyrig – all you need to know

This is a short article to explain the principles behind the Easyrig concept and to introduce the product range of models with advice to their suitability for various camera configurations.

2019 Camera Comparison Chart

A very useful chart including all current HD and 4K cameras in a table and compariring useful data including image size, latitude, pixel resolution power consumption etc.Compiled by Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock with information gathered from numerous conversations with various cinematographers, colorists, colleagues and manufacturers. and reproduced with kind permission from Tom Fletcher

2016 Anamorphic Prime Lens Chart

Compiled by Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock with information gathered from numerous conversations with various cinematographers, colorists, colleagues and manufacturers and reproduced with kind permission from Tom Fletcher. Click on the chart to … Read more

Alexa Mini or Amira – which should I choose?

This is a short article to highlight the differences and similarities between the two cameras in order to assist VMI clients in making sensible and informed choices about which system would be most suitable for a given project.

Achieving More From Your Production Budget

A guide to answering questions of How to compare rental prices from competing rental companies? What equipment to use? Whether to buy or hire? Or, if buying is considered, then when is the right time to buy?

Guide: How to Shoot Bullet Time

A VMI guide with video, courtesy of Stephen Roach and Jermaine Allen of Merchant Cantos showing just how easy it is to create unique ‘Bullet time 360″ videos for the ultimate ‘hero’ selfie.

Shallow DoF for Streaming

A shallow Depth of Field can reduce the bandwidth requirement of video, which is good for the internet.We wanted to test this theory and this article explores this idea and concludes that you can save around 10% bandwidth by shooting with a large sensor camera compared with a small sensor camera, as the shallow depth of field means that you capture only the bits that you want in fine detail and as background is defocused.

VMI help to set up UK’s first Apprenticeship Standard for Camera Technicians

We want an industry that is accessible to all. For the past 18 months we’ve been working on an apprentice programme specifically for 16-19 year olds (but open to anyone 16 on up).

We got in touch with the TV Industry Body, ScreenSkills and we persuaded the Institute of Apprenticeships to approve the design of a new standard. Now our apprentices will gain an NVQ by working with us.

We collaborated with many industry companies to create the standard including S+O Media, Panavision, Movietech, ARRI Rental, Shoot Blue, CVP, Focus 24, Shift-4, Brownian Motion, Take-2 and CVP. While we’re proud of initiating this idea, collaborating with the rest of the industry is important if we are to create an industry that is socially just and allows our apprentices to prosper and grow.

[Designing an apprenticeship standard pre-zoom took a lot of meetings and a lot of coffee!] Read the full story – it took a LOT of time, perspiration and coffee!

Employee Assistance Programme Set Up

All of our staff and their families can access confidential one-on-one advice on any subject, from mortgages to mental health, for which they need support.

Albert Sustainable Supplier

We’ve been recognised by Bafta’s albert initiative as a supplier going the extra mile to be green and support the production industry.

By signing this declaration, we endeavour to work alongside Albert to direct our industry into more sustainable practices, including taking trains instead of planes, using sustainable paper, reducing wasteful packaging, minimising the use of single use plastics etc.  Albert Certification

VMI’s Green Credentials in the news

The Guild of Television Camera Professionals has written an article on our green credentials. Alison Chapman of the GTC said VMI was “the best example we have found of a company within the industry really committing to this in a thorough and thoughtful way is GTC sponsor VMI, which has already introduced many sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.”

Read More

We did it! Superheroes raised over £60K in past 3 years to make world landmine-free

2019 was the final year of the Superheroes ride which actually also attracted the most sponsors for our Superheroes ride so far with 85 sponsors!

We were able to raise over £25,000 for MAG, who save people from landmines.

[8 intrepid Superheroes, en-route to Amsterdam on the final ride of the 3-year Superheroes campaign. From the left, pictured are: Steve Baxter, Darren Cock, Adam Rodgers, Yevgeny Subbotin, Barry Bassett, Ali Wilson, Daniel Layne, Peter Withers]

Read Full Story about why we did did this, how the campaign was started and see pictures of the rides and videos, including letters of support from Prince Harry and the King of Holland!

Jay Beats Cancer

We are so pleased that Jay Patel, who has worked with the driving team of VMI for almost 15 years, has managed to totally beat Pancreatic Cancer against the odds. … Read more

We’ve been super busy-busy

VMI has been busy-busy over the past 12 months and have supplied camera equipment for 17 drama series, 5 x Natural History Series, plus several features, promos, commercials,corporates and feature films. … Read more

Benchmark Year for Carbon Reduction

This is our benchmark year for carbon reduction. We audited our emissions and discovered we created 123,725KG of CO2e emissions in 2019. We measured Scopes 1 and 2 along with water and waste. We will use this number as our starting line to measure further into Scope 3 and with the goal of Net Zero by 2030.

Monthly Wellness Day

We offer a monthly ‘wellness day’ to staff, working with Lulabelle Wellness, giving staff an individual 15 minute gentle massage with a trained masseuse.

This has been incredibly popular and the last Tuesday of the month is eagerly awaited by everyone!

Cloud-based Company

We archive all documents electronically, to save printing and storage and set up a cloud-based HR system, where staff can access all company procedures and staff manuals. This ensures all employees have equal access to the information and means that we aren’t printing packs of documents for each new member of staff.

Our servers are on site so they are powered via 100% renewable electricity.

Film for Future, BECTU

We are proud to be founding members and continuing contributors of Bectu’s Film for Future. To promote best sustainable practices within the department, the Camera Branch’s Sustainability working group, has designed a handy guide to be shared amongst crew.

You can read the latest guidance document  here detailing policies and and recommendations to help camera assistants, producers and rental companies to adopt more sustainable working practices.

Biodegradable Plastic Packaging

We switched to EPI biodegradable plastic to seal filters.

We tested this plastic ourselves to see how it degrades and found that it didn’t perform as well as we had hoped and plan to change to potato starch based tubing later in 2022.

You might be interested to note that this change was inspired by client feedback in our annual customer questionnaire survey.

Paper Labels to Seal Cables

We switched to paper adhesive labels to seal cables. These give us and clients a visible indication of whether cables require testing or not.  The labels are recycled paper for minimum environmental impact. Cables were sealed in single-use (once-opened) plastic sheathing until now.

Full supplier details of our paper labels, including size & supplier and also tubing supplier is here.

Our Superheroes Ride raises £20K in Year Two

Year two of our superheroes fundraising bike ride from London to Bristol and we doubled our fundraising to £20,000! The money raised all goes to MAG International to make the world landmine free by 2025.  They cleared 100,000 pieces of ordinance during 2019 and as a result, the toll on innocent human beings being blown up reduced from 24 to 20, though it still meant that around 10 children were blown up daily.  

We were going to show an image of the 4 riders arriving in Amsterdam (Steve Baxter, Barry Bassett, Ali Wildon, Darren Cock), but instead preferred to show this image instead, explains perfectly why we felt compelled to do this.

Our First Electric Vehicle

VMI’s media rental arm, VMEDIA, offers the first solely electric delivery service from a camera/media company.  This means 100% of our VMedia deliveries will be electric! As a low-carbon service, the vehicle incurs no congestion charge and this saving is passed on to customers.

Free Fruit

We buy unlimited free fruit for staff to munch on. This really simple and popular decision has continued and encourages great eating and is much more health that the free biscuits that we used to buy everyone!

Recycled Paper Only

We only use recycled paper and we recycle all paper and cardboard waste that it produces. Faxes and emails are received and filed electronically, avoiding all printing of them.

Superheroes Bike Ride raises £10K for Landmine Charity

Superhero bicycle rides begin! In our first year, riding from London to Amsterdam, we beat our fundraising target of £10,000. It’s our goal that the world is free of landmines by 2025. All funds raised by our rides go towards MAG (Mines Advisory Group), a charity based in Manchester, UK. MAG go into places inflicted with conflict and find and destroy landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs. Please read about them and support them directly or through our Superhero rides.

[Year 1 of the Superheroes ride arriving in Amsterdam.  From left, Jay Odedra and Barry Bassett] 

Major Project saves 30,000KWH per year

We consolidated seven separate servers into one more efficient server, saving the power to both run the servers and cool them.

The project was innovative enough for Ealing Council to give us their Environmental Award!! We save approximately 30,000KWH electricity annually.

Energy Usage Reduced

Over a 4-year period, VMI cut its energy use in Acton by 8% annually through smart energy-reducing measures. Having smart meters really helped us to monitor the effects of these quickly

Conscious cooling

We have fan-assisted heat extraction which requires no refrigeration gases to cool our building. Overnight, the fans expel hot air collected in the ceiling space. However, as we are seeing hotter and hotter days in the UK, we are looking for more extensive cooling that is still environmentally-friendly. In the meantime, we’ve created workstations within smaller rooms in our warehouse so that staff can keep cool without refrigerating the whole warehouse inefficiently.

Satisfied Customers

We monitor the score that you give us for customer service every year and hope to always improve on this.

We still read every comment that clients make on our annual client satisfaction survey and act accordingly whenever we feel that we could do better.  We publish our findings each year and since 2015 have never received lower than a 94% satisfaction rating from you for customer service!  

Water Meters Installed

We’ve installed water meters to monitor our usage with a goal of lowering our water and energy usage.

Home Working Introduced

Created a home-working provision to reduce commuting emissions and improve our staff’s work/life balance. This is available to all employees whose jobs aren’t dependent on being in the warehouse.

[VMI Senior Client Contact, Ali Wilson, working from home with his baby son Ethan Wilson. I am not sure how much work was achieved that day!]

Water Coolers Eradicated

We eradicated bottled water deliveries, installing a mains-fed water cooler instead at our Acton base.

This supplies ground-cooled filtered tap water fountain cutting transport emissions, plastic-creation and electricity consumption. 

Eco flooring

The floors of the warehouse are installed with Ecotiles, insulating the space.

Made from recycled Tetrapaks, Ecotiles are 100% recyclable after their lifespan of 20 years, contain no toxic materials, do not require adhesives and are manufactured in Luton.

LED Lighting Installed

We installed LED lights through our London facility. These offer a better quality of light, are less tiring to staff, as well as reducing electricity by approximately 90% and reduce our need for cooling. 
(Fun note: These were not readily available in 2012, so we imported the lighting fixtures directly ourselves from China.)

Eradicated Using Canned Air

We installed a compressor to distribute pumped, filtered air around the building.

Before this, we were buying around 200 cans of pressurised air annually. We stopped this and installed compressors to deliver pressurised air to the work benches which saves waste and delivery emissions. 

Paid Internships Introduced

We introduce a paid three-month internship programme which provided significant camera training and a route into the TV industry for those with little or some experience. Over half of our camera-floor employees started out as interns.  

For reference, Jack Cherrington (right in image), started out as an intern back in 2015 and progressed all the way to senior technician, where he remained in post until 2021.

[VMI’s Internship intake 2015. From the left: Faith Glennister, Moses Fapohunda and Jack Cherrington]

Introduce Cycle to Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme allows staff to buy decent bikes without the large upfront pay out. We’re proud to be a part of it. Three of our London team … Read more

Commenced Client Surveys

Client Satisfaction Surveys – Your opinion is so important to us we introduced sending clients annual client satisfaction surveys, publishing these on our website.

We read all feedback (good and bad) and always act on this. Eradicating single use plastic polybags from filters was one of these suggestions!

Web Guides Enhanced

Film technology changes fast. We offer free, continued professional development videos and guides to the industry. There’s a wealth of knowledge on our Learn & Help page and we’ve made videos on many subjects too. 

Our expert staff also make videos showing you samples of just what you can expect from a range of equipment. Learn & Help articles span a large number of subjects including lighting, data workflows, lenses, camera and cinematography.  

Began Producing Web Guides

We began producing web guides covering the transition to HD and then extended this to lighting, cinematography and other subjects in order to spread good practice and technological developments within the industry.  Unusually for the time, these were freely available on our website for anyone to access. 

Noise Disturbance Minimised

We have always worked towards minimising noise disturbance caused by our business to neighbours. As we transition to electric vehicles this will improve even further.  

Set up Screening Theatre for Presentations

Amazingly, we even set up our own 19 seat screening theatre at our 19 D’Arblay Street Soho office, so that we could present our ‘HD for Producers’ seminar every week. Over 1000 people attended this course over the next few years.

Began Running Workshops

We began running workshops to promote solid state production workflows to the industry.  [Solid-state workflow course given in Soho, circa 2004] 

Began using Tapeless Technology

We began promoting the environmental merits of tape-less technology reducing stock waste to begin early migration from tape-based production. This included producing internet guides and also running workshops to help promote new production methods.

Recycling of Old Batteries

All our batteries are retired from service and sent back to the manufacturer, either Anton/Bauer or Hawk-Woods for recycling. Anton/Bauer has partnered with Call 2 Recycle to recycle their batteries. Hawk-Woods use Ecobat, who state they are the only company worldwide which operates a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries.

That's all!

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