Yesterday I sent off 9 rolls of S8 film to Lost In Light for digital transfer. The footage has all been captured once before by me using a DV camera and projecting the image on a small 2′ x 2′ white posterboard. I used the footage to put together a collection of home videos on DVD – a project that took me months to create. I was very happy with the end result. I did the editing, soundtrack, DVD authoring, and cover art for the box and disc.
The advantage to having the footage captured professionally is that you get much clearer colors and a greatly reduced amount of flicker. Not to mention that it is a great way to preserve the footage.
Lost In Light is a great resource if you have S8 family films that you want captured. The service they provide is free. The only catch is that they encourage you to make your films Creative Commons and allow other artists to download and use footage from them. You maintain all rights to your work, you get the original films back, and you have the option of maintaining copyright if you choose that route over Creative Commons. But I like the idea of the films being out there. I think it encourages others to do the same, it broadens confidence in the artistic community, and it provides an online resource for preserving the films. What good are films anyway if they sit on a shelf for no one to see?
On that note, I want to share another film that I found on the LIL page. This by one of the founders of the project, Jen Proctor. It’s called Alternative Forms of Energy. It’s very unique in that it uses interview audio of a man talking about biodiesel, along with organic images from hand-processed S8 film, painted with india ink and manipulated with clorox. Talk about the physical act of film making! You just don’t get that with digital. The images have the effect of playfulness on screen – contrasting blacks, whites and greys and bubbling supersaturated colors. Many times the film is like watching a dancing painting. The central images are natural ones – water, birds, islands of rock in the ocean – but these are flooded with the chaotic shapes of ink specs, lines, chemicals, and broken up by abrupt cuts. The narration keeps the whole thing linear and the edits take the pace and progress of the speaker. Overall, it’s an intriguing short film to watch.