1960s Apollo film unit team on location

An exhibition is being planned to document and celebrate the work of this group of young 8mm film makers working in York in the 1960s. All the original group members are working on this project, some from a considerable distance, thanks to the Internet!

15 April 2016 Three of the group visited the Yorkshire Film Archive. After an interesting tour of the archives, they were able to view their standard 8mm material on an amazing piece of equipment used to digitize this gauge of film. The content of the material, and it's image quality, could be judged from this initial viewing. The three, John Skelton, Ian Symonds and Bill Thomson, were very pleased to see the work again after all these years and left to work on a plan for the exhibition. Their films have now been deposited with the Yorkshire Film Archive.

June 2016 A message from a former project student at the University of Leeds about the idea of an exhibition. "The project with your York friends sounds great - particularly in this age of digital technology where everyone has access to mobile phone cameras - I think it'll be really fascinating to people to see how things used to be done (it's certainly fascinating to me!). I'd love to come over to York and check it out when the exhibition's running, so please keep me updated."


June 2016 The first public showing of the film When The Moon is High for fifty years is to be in Slovakia! This "gothic horror" was made by the group in the 1960's and has featured again in The Press in York. The poster for this new showing is shown below.

When the Moon is High - film poster

July 2016 The plans for the exhibition support material have been updated to focus on When The Moon is High as this is the only complete film with soundtrack available at the moment. The excellent reception that the film has received at John's showings also suggests this should be a major feature for the exhibition.



Image of UHER 4000IC on log July 7th 2016 A UHER 4000 IC reel to reel tape recorder purchased in Otley is now repaired and tested. A digital copy of a short film soundtrack was made via a USB audio interface and the program Audacity on a Laptop. The recording was satisfactory so work has started on the digital transfer of original tapes for the film When The Moon is High soundtrack.

February 11th 2017 A meeting was held in a cafe in Haxby, near York, to discuss the plans for the exhibition. John arrived from Slovakia on the 10th and Bill was leaving the early the following week so they met with Ian to study and expand on an initial plan. This initial plan had all the resources in terms of films, equipment and potentially working exhibits that we could use. The meeting was very useful and a working plan was produced from the initial ideas. This working plan will no doubt be refined as progress on film soundtrack and exhibit build and repair continues.


August 7th 2017 A start has been made on the equipment rack to allow the UHER 4000 TAPE RECORDER and the NORIS 8mm PROJECTOR to be held in the optimum positions for correct operation.

September 2017 John produces the Poster for the Exhibition, shown below, and the first copy is distributed and displayed in the window of the YORK CAMERAMART.

Poster for Apollo Cine Club Exhibition

Setember 30th 2017 Quick phone photos of the venue at the BLACK SWAN in peasholme green, York. Note the row of 13A sockets near the window in image 1.

Image 1 at Black Swan Venue, York

Image 2 at Black Swan Venue, York

Image 3 at Black Swan Venue, York


November 14th 2016 The final version of the video interview was filmed today using the video function on John's digital camera. Extra LED lights on stands were used to augment the daylight from a large window. The sound was recorded separately using a clapper-board as in conventional film use. John's questions were shot and then Bill's answers. A number of "cut aways" were shot of equipment and John listening to be used in the final editing.

Bill recording first video test

To watch INTERVIEW VIDEO click here


March 14th 2017 The first day of shooting a short video about the tape recorder and its use in our film making in the 1960s. The outside location shots were done in a park area close to John's home in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia using the UHER 4000 portable tape recorder and video sound on a digital recorder for later synching to the video image.

March 15th 2017 The second day of shooting was carried out indoors partly due to the weather. This was the section of the video that dealt with the various parts of the of the tape recorder and the operation of it. Some of the voice overs will be redone in a more suitable accoustic using the takes from today as a guide.

March 16th 2017 The last day was a visit to the local school that John had shown "When the Moon is High" in the past. Today we intended to tell them more about the use of the tape recorder, with an actual Tape Reocrder for them to look at. We also used part of the video that we were making as part of our talk. The image below is from a local newspaper about our visit, with a translation of the Slovak text.
Newspaper article on school visit

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