Saturn Films (1969) was established July 21st 1969 by two young lads with an avid interest in photography, filming and the Apollo missions. Today the company remains in family ownership with one of those lads still ‘sitting on the bench’ .
David remembers “We (Alan and I) were watching the moon walk early in the morning at Barclay School in Stevenage (thanks to ‘The Don’) and talking about our ambitions. The moon landings were inspirational. Our name was inspired by the mighty Saturn V rocket motors which lifted the spacecraft for the moon landings of the 60’s and 70’s although I remember one very cold evening we watched Saturn through Alan’s telescope – memorable more for the cold than anything else! Our early films have the Saturn rocket as a backdrop to the titles, though in later years we switched to images of the planet.
We began with short films on standard and super 8, and 16mm. Our first sponsored movie was a film of the 1973 Rye House go-karting nationals. This was for the ‘Barclay School, Stevenage, Karting Team’. Our Chemistry teacher, James (Jim) Hardy, paid us to make a six minute standard 8 short – it was pretty good! I still have the super 8 film I made at the same time. Several short films followed including animated shorts. We gathered a vast quantity of 35mm slides and photographs plus thousands of feet of movies.
In 1984 we moved into Beta movie, in 1988 we upgraded to include VHS and Hi-8 then digital-8. Our first digital ‘capture’ card was the Matrox Rainbow Runner (I still have it in a Pentium PC).
In 1997 we started transferring negatives, photos and slide images to digital. We were impressed with our results using simple scanners. As time went by we invested in better quality equipment. In 2002 this became our focus (no pun intended).
Oh – those were the days! And, yes, Alan and I are still the best of friends even though our lives have taken us in different directions with our own different businesses.”
Alan is now producing high quality paints and sprays used for amateur and professional modellers. His products have been used on movies such as World War Z. He can often be seen at model railway fairs and other events:
Alan – www.dirtydown.co.uk.
Saturn Films 1969 now offers high quality image scanning of photographs, slides, colour and black and white negatives plus cine film to CD, DVD, Blu-ray and to memory cards. We also offer VHS, Betamax, Hi-8 and Digital 8 editing and transfer to DVD.
Our current projects, started on since we moved into a new workshop in South Wales, include the upgrading of our 8mm movie scanning service to 4k, we are also working on upgrading VHS and Betamax to give better results on 4K and HD equipment. We keep our eyes on the market and if new tech comes along we are always interested. There are some new scanners out there but ours remain the best and ‘we ain’t changin em yet!’
We pride ourselves on our professional service providing high quality images at competitive prices to professionals, clubs, historical societies, amateurs and to the general public.