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SLV. Studio, Film equipment and Crew hire in South London

SLV was born in a shop in Stockwell, South London in 1974. The name SLV (originally South London Video) was chosen in protest to a comment made by John Hopkins, who’d said at the time, “nothing ever happens in South London”! During this period Anthony was shooting a mixture of community and arts-based projects, using the first ever portable video tape recorder – the Sony Rover – and he exhibited in the 1974 Serpentine video art exhibition, which marked the beginning of a new era in the arts.

Our second premises located in Railton Road, often referred to as the ‘front line’, burnt down in the Brixton riots of 1981. With singed equipment in hand we moved to our third premises in Camberwell and, by 1983, we’d built up a filming operation focusing on music and culminating in the co-production of ‘Switch’, a live music program on the newly created Channel 4. By this point Franklin, aged 1, was chewing on cables whilst Alice Hutton (Franklin’s mum) kept the corporate side of the business running. During the late 80’s we worked on countless music videos, television programmes and hundreds of corporate videos. Alongside this we started training technicians.

Anthony continued to grow his portfolio with numerous television commercials and on the more experimental side, shot a series of award-winning productions directed by Mario Cavalli, which included the BBC ‘Opera Vox’ version of Carmen. During this period, SLV began to build up a wide range of hire equipment, servicing the independent film market, broadcast, and corporate sector. In 1995 we moved to Battersea and built our first studio and at the age of 18, Franklin joined the company and went on to become a partner in the business.  Since then we’ve been involved in the making of many award-winning films, most notably ‘Virunga’, the Netflix feature documentary for which Franklin was awarded a Primetime Emmy for ‘Best Cinematography’, in 2015.

SLV has always trained people and tried to move the industry forward, sometimes by developing custom pieces of equipment and sometimes by developing attitude. We are very proud of the crew we have trained, they have moved on to achieve some impressive work and receive many accolades. So in addition to our staff crew we now have a wide range of freelancer alumni that we often call on.

SLV has always enjoyed being a little different to other facilities houses. Our aim has never been big business, we are a small family run company and proud to be one of the longest running in the UK. We are innovative, have always tried to give our clients the best service and cost-effective equipment be it corporate, broadcast or film. We believe that supporting our staff’s experimental work feeds creativity into our mainstream work. We always suggest equipment as if we were using ourselves, not necessarily the most profitable but the right tool for the job. We are happy to impart our knowledge to other people in the industry, the theory being that if we can only survive by withholding our knowledge then we can’t be very good! We are here to get our clients the best possible results so don’t hesitate to talk to us about your project or ask for advice, we are still very much enthusiasts.

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