|Colour in EARLY CINEMA|
|Colour in Early Cinema
Colour as signifier of fantasy, or as metaphor or as sensual intensity or as superadded feature or as greater attraction or as spectacular effect....
EXCELLENT RESOURCE on this subject at following link
Hand Tinted Films
Hand Colored Films
Natural Color Films - Additive Color
Natural Color Films - Subtractive Color
2-Color Multicolor System
Two-Color Subtractive Color System
Three-Color Motion Picture Systems
Hand Tinted Films
The language of Color in Early Silent Film
Many Early Films offered color versions - that is hand tinted versions.
Example Méliés Journey to the Moon, DW Griffins Intolerance.
Hand Colored Films 1900s to 1930s
Colour as an attraction in itself..
Hand coloring evolved to a fairly high level of sophistication, as can be seen in this frame from The Last Days of Pompeii produced in Italy in 1926.
Two Colour Systems
The Kinemacolor camera exposed black and white film through alternating red and green filters. The camera speed was 32 frames per second to achieve the normal silent projection speed of 16 color images per second.
Like all sequential color processes, Kinemacolor suffered from color fringing when objects moved, since the two color records were not recorded at the same time. In projection, a filter wheel, similar to that in the camera, added the red and green tints to the successive frames.
Other early additive processes
Two Colour Kodachrome
With subtractive color system, Color films could be handled exactly the
same way that black & white films could.
System 1 Technicolor System 1 - Additive Color 1917-1922
System 2 Subtractive Two-Color Cemented Print 1922-1927
The cemented two-color process was used in about two dozen films, mostly in key sequences of otherwise monochrome films. Some of the best known films to utilize the process were The Big Parade (1925), The Merry Widow (1925), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), and Ben-Hur, (1926).
Example Ben Hur 1926
System 3 Subtractive Two-Color Dye Transfer Prints 1927-1933
System 4 GLORIOUS TECHNICOLOR 1932-1955
the film going audience became underwhelmed with color
In 1931 Kalmus put the company on the course to develop a three strip camera and to refine the dye transfer printing that had been introduced in 1927. In 1932 the first camera was completed, and it was expensive,
DETAILs on how the camera worked with a detailed diagram of the prism and film advance assembly link
The production of prints began with a "blank" receiver film, which was a black and white stock coated with chemicals called "dye mordants". The function of a mordant is to attract and hold color dyes so that they do not spread or bleed during the high pressure dye application. The "blank" had the soundtrack, black frame lines, and a 50% density copy of the green component exposed to it
The three printing matrices begin life looking like conventional black and white films with slightly odd tones. The negatives are printed to the matrix stock and then the silver image is washed from the resulting print. This leaves a gelatin "topographical map" impression of the color content in each matrix. The gelatin is transparent and the image is nearly invisible.
Each matrix is coated with a complimentary color dye, the red matrix using cyan, the green using magenta, and the blue using yellow. One at a time the matrices are brought into contact, under high pressure, with the prepared receiver film and the dye is transferred to the receiver. With each successive step the color image takes form on the final print.
Walt Disney Used Three Strip Camera
Walt Disney Flowers and Trees 1932 the first commercial film to use the 3-color dye transfer system. He made the popular Three Little Pigs 1932 with the same system
Successive Exposure Photgraphy
Becky Sharp by Pioneer in 1935
Three strip full color Technicolor® in 1934 Example Becky Sharpe 1935
Clip available at http://www.sabucat.com/
Other Films with technicolour
articles on subject
2-Color Multicolor System
- very early colour, precursor to cinecolor, marx brothers in color
Right Click and Play to Play Flash Clip Version. Source
Color footage of "Animal Crackers", as seen on TCM's documentary "Glorious Technicolor" Link to various web clip formats available at http://www.sabucat.com/ go to samples section. This footage was shot in 1930 at Astoria Studios in (probably) 2-color Multicolor, a precursor to Cinecolor. The version here is a flash version from site http://www.sabucat.com
Cinecolor Corporation came into being in 1932. Cinecolor took the Multicolor system and continued to use it with little or no modification until the late 1940s when Eastman color negative and Ansco color made it possible to obtain three color photographs without the use of the Technicolor three strip camera.
Unlike the Technicolor two-color processes which photographed both color elements on the same piece of black and white negative, Cinecolor used two films in "bi-pack", meaning that two films were placed emulsion to emulsion. Each film was sensitized and/or filtered to record its appropriate portion of the color spectrum, red or green. Film used in the Cinecolor process was supplied by Eastman Kodak or DuPont.
Cinecolor Printing The Cinecolor two-color print carried its two color components on opposite sides of the film. To make this print, a special "duplitized" stock was used which had a yellow dye layer beneath the emulsions. A step printer placed the printing stock between the two color component negatives and both sides of the stock were exposed simultaneously. The sound track was also printed at this time on the blue-green side of the film. After conventional developing the print carried a black & white image on both sides of the film. The second step of producing a color image requires that the film be floated on a chemical bath that converts the red record, in contact with the bath, to a blue-green complementary tone. The film is then dried and the process is repeated on the opposite side of the film using chemicals that convert the green image to a red-orange tone. The Cinecolor process is relatively complex, relying heavily on chemical reactions to create the image, and this brief explanation is presented to provide only a basic understanding of how it worked.
Cinecolor resulted in not only a limited palette, it also suffered from other problems that were decidedly inferior to the Technicolor system. Having the color elements on opposite sides of the film resulted in a soft projected image because it was not possible to hold focus on both records at the same time. .. While the color recording capability of Cinecolor was not accurate, it was, nonetheless realistic looking.
Jack and the Beanstalk (1952), starring Abbott and Costello, was photographed with Eastmancolor negative and printed in the Super Cinecolor system. The comedy team also made Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd in Super Cinecolor. Super Cinecolor film courtesy of Jeff Joseph, Sabucat Productions.
Jack and the Beanstalk 1952
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Early Color Motion Picture Processes - Additive and Subtractive Color
Motion Picture and Television Picture Reading Room - American Library