Watch these newly discovered film clips from the glamorous birth of Technicolor

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The last clip … Devils glamorously churning butter?



Not “red and green!” It’s red and cyan!!!

I expect better from the BFI.



Technicolor process I (very short-lived) used a bipack camera and a two-filter projector. That used red and cyan to make white. However, the Freize-Greene process used red and a grenish colour to get a more natural colour balance.

Technicolor Process 2 used a bipack camera, and used them to produce two dye transfer prints. These were cyan and red for some outdoor shots with skies, but that gave the actors a tinned tuna flesh tone. Indoor shots were often printed with orange and green which gave better fleshtones and yellows. This look is really hard to reproduce because we don’t know much about the dyes they used. The base film may also have had a black and white 50% dense print for the soundtrack, which could also be used to deepen the shadow blacks.

Technicolor Process 3 has the tripack camera, so you can have three separations. Even then, it is hard to know what dyes they used. Legend has it that one of the components of their yellow came from shells scavenged from seafood restaurants around LA.

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