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Technicolor Research Topic Report: Sound and Image

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Technicolor Research Topic Report: Sound and Image.

This is a written report where my partner on the topic and I presented a ten minute oral summary of our chosen research topic on Technicolor. We chose Technicolor as we felt it had most to say to us, threw the progression of the technology the problems threw out the years of perfecting the technology, to the ultimate glory of the Technicolor experience.

As we didn't know too much on Technicolor we were quite eager and wanted to broaden our knowledge on the subject.

We started the research primarily on the internet as we found a lot of informative sites we also confirmed the information using books. The books and sites used were, and The books are as follows, Glorious Technicolor: the movies' magic rainbow / Fred E. Basten. Barnes, 1980 and Mr. Technicolor / Herbert T. Kalmus with Eleanore King Kalmus.

Our intention on the project was to separate the project with Tom doing the early years and I doing the later years in the company's history. We would share the different information with each other helping each other understand the difficult technological information to hand with the different camera systems that were created threw out the years.

Technicolor was the collaboration of Herbert Kalmus, Daniel Comstock and W. Burton Westcott in 1912 with the intention of creating flicker free color films, Technicolor as we know today has produced much success and revolutionized the way we look at cinema but this was not without there many teething problems. Actors and critics criticized the technology every step of the way.

There first invention produced was the Technicolor System 1 Additive Color, which I'm sorry to say flopped massively due to the unfortunate screening of The Gulf Between in 1917 which only a few frames remain of this film today. This was the first public premier of the technology and was disastrous. The film was captured through two separate filters red and green and the light through those two filters was captured on a single reel of film, when processed this negative had red and green information captured on a black and white reel, when this was processed the reel was placed into a projector and then threw red and green filters. To project the image an adjustable prism that had to manually lined up by the projectionist as two separate images formed on the projection screen this did not work as planned as the projectionist failed to line up the images correctly.

The pressure was on Kalmus to present a new improved system. The successor to the system one, was the cleverly titled 'system two' which did away with the two separate prisms for capturing the red information and the green information, a single prism was used to capture both red and green records threw the one prism then the filters without the loss of light, therefore a better sharper image with more depth and contrast to the image quality. Matrix plates were created, red matrix with cyan dye green matrix with magenta dye. When these two negatives were dyed then cemented together and then placed with the black and white record of the scene to add the black and white records and details to the scene. Then these two negatives placed into the projection reel. But the down fall to this system was the two separate negatives which were back to back the side of the negative facing the projector's arc lamp would heat up and expand more than the negative towards the side of the lens. This caused the film to deform and was called cupping. Replacement reels were constantly being ordered and sent back to Technicolor where they ironed the cupped reels flat. Kalmus and the team knew there was more work to be done as they could not successfully maintain consistent color, blue skies could not be successfully captured and the color prints of the system cupped.

Not only did the company receive complications due to technology but threw the press as commented in the (Mr. Technicolor / Herbert T. Kalmus) book chapter one, he comments that the actors didn't see the need for color, could stand the harsh lighting that they had to undergo due to the lighting used to pick up all the information in the scene. Nether the less despite these doubts during the production of a film shot entirely in two strips Technicolor, the first color feature film of its kind which the star 'Anna May Wong' reportable said "This picture will never reach the screen."

" Premiered in New York in, 1922 and was on general release in 1923. It was a massive success for a still silent movie era and was Technicolor's first profitable endeavor since the company was founded in 1915.

A Frame From Toll Of The Sea 1922.

Next to succeed system 2 was the subtractive Two-Color Dye transfer Prints1927-1933 system 3 did use most of the technology from system 2, but was used in a different way. They used the same camera, but instead of producing a duplicate negative that generated the matrices, the matrices were generated from the camera negative which was used to make other prints. This sped up the company's production.

System 4 the three strip release transfer imbibitions dye Transfer 1932-1955, the workings of the camera changed dramatically as the new improved three strip camera produced three separate representations of colors simultaneously through a single lens.

Behind the lens was a beam splitter made by two prisms. The purpose of this was to reflect part of the light to the left and the remaining light passed to a normal positioned aperture, which led to a green filter. The green filter only allowed green light to reach the negative behind it.

The reflecting beam of light to the left reached two negatives. The front negative absorbed blue light filtering out the red light. The red light passed through the blue filter and blue negative and reached the rear negative absorbing the red light. The final processed negative from the camera were in silver, appears the same as normal black and white negatives. Each of the three strips of film captures a black and white record of the colors.

After this process of developing the negatives a blank receiver film was produced, 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



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