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Free Film Transfers

July 26th, 2008: Sadly, we are no longer accepting films for transfer. As of September 2008, Lost in Light will be retired as an active project, though this website will remain live and searchable. Thanks to all our contributors for a wonderful project.

For another great film transfer service that uses the same telecine equipment we do, check out Blue Cloud Video here in Michigan. Home Movie Day also maintains a list of film transfer resources, so please check out that website as well.

We offer free transfers of 8mm and Super 8 films in exchange for non-exclusive, non-commercial rights to show your work on this site. This means we can show it on our site but you retain full ownership of your work. We also include an option to make your film available to others under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. This license allows artists to use your film to create new work as long as it is not for commercial purposes.

For a sample of the quality of transfer you can expect, see our first post here.

We can transfer your material to Mini-DV (NTSC) or DVD (all region). Cost of tape and shipping are not included. You can supply your own tape or DVD, or we can supply it for you at $5/mini-DV tape or $1 per DVD-R. Shipping costs depend upon the service used and weight of the film, but we charge only for the cost of shipping as determined by the carrier; there is no additional handling fee. (Calculate USPS shipping here; FedEx here; and UPS here. We’re in Grand Rapids, MI, 49506, USA.)

This is a non-profit service that we provide for the love of film. We are interested in personal films, specifically home movies capturing everyday life and artistically-minded work.

Ordering Instructions
If you are interested in sending us film, please email us in advance using our contact form. To ensure your films qualify for this service, let us know the film gauge (Super 8 or regular 8mm), number of reels, and a description of the content of the films (if known). We’ll then ask you to send us your film using the order form below.

Please note that this service is geared toward preserving personal and home movies. We do not accept copyrighted material (unless you hold the copyright), transfers for commercial purposes, or student films. In general, if you would ordinarily use a professional transfer house for your film, our service is not for you. In some cases, we may transfer portions of films for use in student or professional work if the submitted films meet the criteria of preserving home movies and personal films. If you’re not sure whether your film would qualify, please feel free to contact us.

Our transfers are made using this custom-built Regular 8mm/Super8 telecine machine to produce beautiful, flickerless transfers.

Download an order form here.

If our services don’t suit your needs, we recommend fellow Michigan resident Blue Cloud Video, who provide high quality 8mm to video transfers as well as 16mm and VHS, slides, photos, and more, all at reasonable prices. Check them out:

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