Against the push for supreme digital rule. Against glamour. Gatsby is editor-in-chief and artistic director and her lead interview and copy-editing partner is Ines Kovacevic Gill, who is based in London.
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Since then, there have been countless connections made between women artists in Chicago and around the world, documented in six editions of the independent publication. There is a vision, a theme. Then, Gatsby and Kovacevic Gill reach out to artists they admire and hear from some secret admirers to assign in-depth interviews, photo essays, profiles, and experimental pieces. Photo shoots are orchestrated, some with ample prep time, others rigged together and finished right before a flight departure.
There is the design work on the computer, then every page is printed and laid out for Gatsby to scrutinize, walk through, and accept as complete. Glamour was derived from Scottish English in the s to mean magic, enchantment, or witchcraft, the latter of which has seen a reclamation in more recent years.
Some contemporary feminist activists still look to the witch, a femme persecuted for defying patriarchal authority through the ages, as a protector. Before this Scottish permutation, during the Medieval period, glamour shared a similar definition with grammar. The Latin grammatica encompassed all learning and knowledge — period placement, scholarship, necromancy, Faust. In a Europe starkly divided by class, the rich and educated, literally speaking their own language, were not to be trusted. In the more recent past the 19 th century , glamour came to be perceived the way we think of it today — attractiveness, sex appeal, illusion, Grace Kelly, soft focus, Fergie.
Open it to witness skin become canvas, dance channel spirits, stone eternalize youth. Although the GG mission is not to highlight artists who already have large followings and platforms, cover girl Brooke Candy lives the Glamour Girl philosophy and theme of the sixth issue. Candy, covered in hundreds of tattoos, speaks in her interview to the carnal power of the feminine body, of which she has a CV of expertise: a film collaboration with PornHub, career in stripping, and family tradition of work in the porn industry. She also touches on her nostalgia for the Old-Hollywood-style excess of sex symbol Anna Nicole Smith.
Her feature in the magazine marks a new level of visibility for Glamour Girl. When comparing any two particular tints, it is usual to say that one is redder, yellower or bluer than the other, and the two may therefore be matched accordingly. Almost any tint if delicate may be employed with advantage, though for general use those ranging through pink, rose, orange, yellow, pale green and pale blue are to be recommended; others are for special purposes.
It is always desirable to obtain harmony in color, especially when combining tinting with toning, so that the combination is pleasing to the normal eye. Slight bleeding and insufficient squeegeeing when on the drying rack. Always carefully remove any surface moisture from the film with a damp chamois, before drying. This is due to the precipitation of the dye by small traces of alum or iron in the water supply.
In many localities water is purified by adding alum, and only the smallest trace need be present to throw some of the dye out of Solution. This occurs only when tinting on the drum with Cine Scarlet, Cine Orange, and Cine Green, but no inconvenience will be caused if the drum is revolved slowly. Rochester NY, pp. Better than ever. They were frequently confused in the minds — and just as often in the eyes — of even experienced viewers. It would be many years before widely distributed Technicolor and its various competitors filtered across the world. Over the last twenty years, I and my colleagues in the Gamma Group a European interest group of moving film archivists, film laboratory technologists, and members of the FIAF Technical Commission have written and published a great deal of technical information on the origin and practice of tinting and toning technology, and the restoration techniques for silent era film.
It is not my intention to repeat that work in this article, which should be considered an informal introduction to those original texts. As additional information I have attempted to place this information into the context of the relationship between the film makers, the associated film laboratories, and the manufacturers of film stocks and their technologists and researchers. I spent my school years in Hampstead and my university years in central London, where opportunities to visit the cinema were legion.
It was an eerie experience punctuated by the coughs and shuffles of the audience. Several years later, about , I watched a screening of a tinted nitrate travelogue in the Kodak Testing Department theatre at Harrow, an after-thought to follow the screening of a Cinemascope print of Ben-Hur. A bit of light relief selected by the projectionist for the benefit of my students! By that time I was a Kodak film technologist: I had worked in research, I knew the chemistry, I even thought I knew something of cinema history. I was commissioning Eastman Colour laboratories, teaching laboratory staff to control the chemistry and sensitometry of those early tripack colour processes.
Review: The Art of the Body – A Body of Art, Glamour Girl’s 6th issue
I was also training young science graduates, newly employed by Kodak, who were starting their research careers in film technology science graduates know a lot of science, but photographic technology was, and still is, a closed book to them! My first reaction was to search out some literature on silent cinema, but the only information available to me then was the plain technology of how tinting was done, and not why.
I have since discovered that why can still be contentious. In: Film History , When I started to teach film history in a British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society course in Film Technology in the early s, I discovered that tinting and toning were not easily separated concepts for my students. I needed to demonstrate the difference by using coloured diagrams, as access to original coloured films in the British National Film Archive was impossible. Later, when teaching film archiving in the s to post-graduate students on the EU Archimedia programme, access to original film was available in the Royal Belgian Film Archive.
But I found the most effective method was to demonstrate the process practically in a photographic dish, and show the differences on fresh film. To this day even experienced archivists have some trouble separating tints from tones. Part of the problem is conceptual understanding, but many original film elements have faded or have altered dye colours, and nitrate film bases discolour and stain both uniformly and unevenly to confuse both the experienced and the beginner.
The easiest concept is to understand that the starting point for tinting and toning, and hand-colouring and stencilling, is a conventional monochrome black and white photographic film image. Tinted film has a scale that runs from the tint colour to black; a toned film scale runs from white to colour. In order to distinguish tinted from toned films the best method is to look at the clear parts — for example, outside or around the perforations — as tinting colours the entire film including the perforated edge of the film, except in the case of the lacquering method.
Toning leaves the non-image areas outside the frame uncoloured, although this is not so well defined with some mordant dye toned film, which tends to spread in time or if badly processed. Tinting is the process where the film base is uniformly coloured overall one colour. Thus the black-and-white image remains, and is overlaid with one uniform colour across the entire image. To see a visual demonstration of this, look at a black-and-white photograph through a coloured gelatine filter; what you will see is exactly the same image as a cinema film frame where the clear film base has been dyed that colour.
Tinting, as carried out by film laboratories, is a simple process. Dissolve an acid dye in some water with a small addition of acetic or citric acid to acidify the solution and soak a print in the solution. Remove after a few minutes, wash the surface dye solution off the film, and dry it. The degree of colour will depend on the dye concentration in solution, provided the time of immersion is long enough for maximum dye penetration.
Dyes can be mixtures in order to obtain the required colour. It is not known precisely when uniform colouring of the film stock began to be a component of film production. This uncertainty is somehow surprising, since much has been documented and published regarding other colour techniques in an era when the paternity of a discovery was the frequent object of contention, and competing claims were made by the presumed pioneers of this or that device.
A plausible explanation for the absence of reliable evidence on chronological priority might be that tinting and toning were adopted by different producers more or less at the same time. It should be emphasised, however, that the introduction of tinting was gradual, and without much fanfare. Although anonymous — perhaps simply because not subject to any form of proprietary ownership — the invention spread to all the producing countries with great speed. No statistical analysis of this diffusion has been attempted, but an estimate based on surviving nitrate prints suggests that the technique went through three phases.
The first, from to about , saw the occasional use of tinting and toning. In the second, from to , the uniform colouring of the film base became a widespread practice. The great majority of films during this time were coloured using one or the other technique, or both combined. This period may be further subdivided into two trends — initially, the frequent use of both tinting and toning; later, the slow decline of toning in the years to In the third phase, corresponding to the twilight of silent film, there was an increase in the number of films distributed in black and white, even though tinted films were still common.
The decrease in uniform colouring of the film base is in all likelihood connected to at least three concurring factors: the increasing availability of more sophisticated techniques, such as the first experiments in Technicolor; the gradual introduction of panchromatic film, less suited to the general application of colour than the orthochromatic film for which the techniques of tinting and toning were originally designed; the introduction of soundtrack on film in the late 20s as tinting and splicing would be likely to interfere with the optical cells in the projector.
Surviving nitrate copies of silent films suggest that some form of tinting or toning was employed in approximately 85 per cent of the total production. This estimate does not take into account a practice quite common even in the earliest cinema, that of colouring the intertitles in films otherwise released in black and white.
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Similarly, Gaumont intertitles were often tinted blue-green. Tinting and toning films became such a widespread practice that some companies produced brochures and catalogues on the subject Plate Eastman Kodak was by far the most prolific, issuing no less than five editions of its manual on the tinting and toning of positive film between and These are works of great historical value, as they contain not only the chemical formulas used to create the coloured baths but also actual samples of nitrate film coloured in each tint and by each technique discussed.
They deal with processes of remarkable complexity, allowing the creation of a vast range of colours that sometimes differed from one another only by subtle variations in density and luminosity, difficult for the untrained eye of a modern observer to identify. B from the early years of the 20th century, by immersing the film stock in an aqueous solution containing the colouring agent;. With tinting, a section of a film was dyed a specific color usually by running it through a bath of aniline dye so that the emulsion would absorb the colorant.
This proved to be manageable on an industrial basis, and by the late s and early s, film stock companies such as Kodak and Agfa began producing pre-tinted positive stocks that allowed labs to print films on colored stock and thus avoid manually coloring them in postproduction. The color of tinted frames would be in its purest form in the lightest parts of the image the areas with the least amount of silver halides in the emulsion such as a clear sky, a white apron, or the highlights of a face.
Yumibe, Joshua : Moving Colors. Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism. New Brunswick et al. Tinting is a method of applying color to the surface of the film without altering the physical structure of the emulsion. Two details characterize a tinted nitrate print: the entire picture is colored uniformly, and the area around the perforations is also colored. The oldest method of tinting is nothing more than a variation on the hand-coloring technique. Instead of applying the color to a portion of each frame, the whole print was brushed with color.
This method can be recognized by the varying density of the dye on the print. An early example can be seen in the fragment of an unidentified Gaumont film. The distinctive shape of the frame and perforations, as well as other written evidence, indicates that this film may have been produced in late and certainly predates This demonstrates that the first attempts at tinting positive film stock in western Europe were made quite early.
Aniline dyes are coal tar-based synthetic dyes that are water soluble and, unfortunately, light fugitive. Only carefully processed prints would yield a relatively permanent tint. Films to be tinted had to be printed with slightly more contrast. A rotating chassis system, tanks, or vertical tubes were used for applying the color. This last system was thought to provide the best control over the uniformity of the tint. In some cases, it was even possible to provide a gradual transition from one color to another for example, from blue to amber, in order to show the coming of daylight.
Such a delicate operation, however, had to be supervised manually and always remained an exception. Usually, the transition from one tint to the next was abrupt and entailed splicing together two separate strips of film. When tinting was combined with other coloring techniques, for example, with toning or stencil coloring, technical difficulties often occurred. Since toning always preceded tinting, the process of tinting the film stock could sometimes alter the toning dye substantially.
Besides ensuring very uniform tinting, this stock proved to be very stable when immersed in fixing, toning, and mordanting baths. Furthermore, the colors were not altered by the heat and light of projection equipment, not even after several dozen screenings. An analysis of the surviving nitrate prints shows that tinted and toned prints were far less common in the United States than in Europe. To my knowledge, tinting and toning remained a relatively uncommon technique in the United States until , used only for the most ambitious projects.
The exception to this is the production of the Vitagraph Company of America. The co-founder of Vitagraph, J. Stuart Blackton, often expressed his interest in new developments in coloring techniques for film, as is demonstrated late in his career with the films he produced in the United Kingdom such as The Glorious Adventure Many copies of this film exist. An original nitrate print is preserved in the film collections of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. In: Abel, Richard ed. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, pp.
Through the techniques of tinting and toning, color was designed primarily to work not at the liminal edge between screen and viewer but unobtrusively in the background of the image. With these processes, color tended to be used less to illuminate specific foregrounded objects than to craft a radiant world that harmonized the mood of the scene with the emotional engagement of the spectator.
This harmonic approach to tinting and toning is often invoked in the trade press at the end of the first decade of the s. For instance, in an editorial on tinting and toning found in the Moving Picture World, the trade journal discusses the aesthetic potential of these processes:. Toning or tinting, or a combination of both, produces nice color effects which are always appreciated by audiences, especially when those effects harmonize with the colors of the original subject. In other words, though the indexical bond between a color and its object is severed when reproduced in black and white, its harmonic sensation can be re-created—translated with nice effect—through these applied color processes.
A cluster of aesthetic assumptions about color are invoked in this seemingly simple statement about tinting and toning, and it is worth tracing their implications on color design during the emergence of narrative cinema in the first decade of the s. From various accounts and from the evidence of surviving prints, tinting and toning were first deployed in the cinema in the late s as a quicker and cheaper means of coloring films than the processes of hand coloring and stenciling.
One of the earliest descriptions of film tinting can be found in C. Color sensuously corresponded to music and could harmonize with the moods and emotions of a scene.
Blending and dissolving effects could be produced with these colored gels to create a variety of effects, such as the gradual alterations of light throughout the course of a day, or shifting color schemes within or between scenes. A very light blue tint slide will brighten a yellow film considerably, but the tint must be very light , just a bare tint.
Griffith, for example, patented a gel-lighting system for Broken Blossoms that double-projected color tints onto the film, and various filmmakers such as Harry Smith have experimented with such effects. Since early cinema their primary use in film has not been for projection, but rather on film cameras during shoots, when tinted color filters are used to balance color temperatures—warming outdoor, natural lighting with yellowish-orange filters when shooting on indoor tungsten film stock, or conversely cooling indoor lighting with bluish filters when shooting on daylight stock.
In its more standardized form, film tinting works by coloring the emulsion of black-and-white film prints with translucent dyes. As detailed in chapter 1, synthetic aniline dyes were the main colorants used for tinting throughout the silent era. One early method of applying these dyes onto films grew out of hand-coloring techniques and simply entailed using a wider brush than the single-camel hair ones used for selective hand-coloring work and broadly applying the dye over a swath of frames.
Though quicker than selective hand coloring, this method tends to produce uneven irregularities in the color to create a pulsating, fringing effect when projected. Due to fringing and also to the labor that was still involved with hand-brushing every release print, this method of tinting was not a widely adopted industrial practice. Color produces a uniformly tinted world, in reds, greens, or blues in this process, for example. The simplest means of achieving this for short lengths of film was running the exposed and developed section of film to be tinted back and forth through a bowl of aniline dye.
In the late s, companies such as Kodak, Gevaert, and Agfa simplified tinting further by producing pre-tinted, positive film stocks on which producers could print their films and avoid manually tinting each release print in the lab. Italics in the original. It is not possible to say with precision when tinting started to be used on film, but since the process was one of relative simplicity it was certainly very early. We have an example in BFI Collections of tinted film from There is a strong relation between tinting and the chemistry of synthesis-producing synthetic dyes directed towards the textile market.
The same dyes were used for tinting films, and in the abundant literature produced by the film manufacturers to describe this process, complete with formulas and instructions, it is possible to observe the parallel evolution of the tinting process and the dye industry. For example, in the period during and immediately after World War I, the European dye industry was perhaps more developed than the American.
The Kodak tinting and toning manual for contains a reference to difficulties in obtaining certain dyes for tinting and mentions the disappointing results produced by the locally-available alternative dyes. By the next edition of this manual, in , the problem had apparently been overcome — new dyes had been developed and good alternatives were available in America.
The principle of tinting is similar to dye toning, but in tinting the technician uses acid dyes instead of basic ones, because gelatine is normally positively charged. These acidic dyes will be attracted, and if the electrical condition of the dye is sufficiently neutralised the dye will precipitate as insoluble coloured matter, becoming trapped and staining the gelatine.
Oliveira, Joao S. In Roger Smither ed. Brussels: FIAF, pp. The work on a film of this character must be of great precision and the coloring must be done with consummate care. It is one of the triumphs of motion picture art to be able to accomplish such beautiful things. These magic pictures are always attractive and are watched with a greater interest perhaps than almost any other variety of pictures which can be shown. Such pictures are none too plentiful and the addition of another successful one to the list should be hailed with pleasure by lovers of motion pictures.
Hand coloring was the predominant technique used to color films during the pre-nickelodeon era. When production companies began to increase the length and complexity of their films during the early s, the method became unfeasible on an industrial basis, and other techniques of coloring films—specifically, tinting, toning, and stenciling—grew more prevalent.
The current chapter tracks these developments into the early s: through the nickelodeon period and into the single-reel era ca. From the fairy and trick genres to melodrama, color was integrated systematically into narrative and nonfiction films during the first decade of the s. An issue central to this change is how the sensual and affective qualities of color usage during the dominant era of the cinema of attractions ca.
Even though a change in coloring style is evident, there is in fact not a fundamental transformation in how color was thought of aesthetically during this period. An essential continuity remains pertaining to how color was conceived of in affective and physiological terms, and the stylistic transition that does occur pertains to the restructuring of the sensual address of color for new ends.
Specifically, color became relatively less obtrusive, pushed to the background of the image, but from this position its sensuality remained and was to a degree even enhanced by its potential to immerse the image and viewer, unobtrusively, into a world of carefully gradated tints and tones. Rather than evolving toward a classical cinema that aims only at telling stories efficiently and unobtrusively, this history recovers the ways in which these very norms were conceived aesthetically at the level of the senses.
The history traced here through color theory and practice is not in opposition to narrative developments in the cinema; rather, it reframes cinematic narration in terms of its sensory appeals. The use of single color tints and tones has paralleled and intermixed with the so-called natural color processes since the introduction of color to motion pictures. Tinting, the earliest means of bringing color to the screen, was in use prior to The first attempts were handpainted films that tried to produce natural color pictures.
In some films only one or two scenes were colored; in others the whole picture was toned a single color. Griffith used toned sequences in Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. Erich Von Stroheim used a yellow tone for his symbolic gold sequences in Greed. The popularity of the monochrome prints became so great that the film manufacturers offered Black and White positive film on tinted support in several colors. Tinted Nitrate Base 1.
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Red 2. Pink 3. Orange 4. Amber 5. Light amber 6. Yellow 7. Green 8. Blue 9. The same colors were also offered in tinted acetate safety base. However, these tints were slightly lighter than the corresponding tints on nitrate base. By the early s it was estimated that during some periods 80 to 90 per cent of the total production was printed on tinted positive film. Unfortunately, the majority of the dyes used in tinting absorbed the wavelengths of radiation to which the sound reproducer cells are most sensitive.
The dyes reduced the response of the cell to such a great extent that high amplification of the photoelectric currents was required to obtain sufficient volume of sound. This high amplification increased the inherent cell noises and microphonic disturbances in the amplifier so that the reproduced sound was of intolerably poor quality. For this reason, the use of tinted film was discontinued entirely in the production of positives carrying a photographic sound record. Some viewers thought that this was a serious loss and that the absence of color impaired the beauty and dramatic power of the screen production.
The producers and creative men in the studios agreed with them and requested help from the film manufacturers. Tinting usually means immersing the film in a solution of dye which colors the gelatin causing the whole picture to have a uniform veil of color on the screen.
Toning consists in either wholly or partially replacing the silver image of the positive film by some colored compound so that the clear portions or highlights remain uncolored. The dye should not bleed when the film was washed and the rate of dye removal due to washing should be slow.
The dye should be fast to light even under the heat of projection so that local fading would not take place. The dye should not attack the gelatin coating of the film even after 24 hours incubation at degrees F. The following table gives a list of the dyes used, prior to the introduction of sound on film, for tinting or colouring film by stenciling or by hand. The time in solution varied from one minute to three minutes at 65 degrees depending on the shade desired.
Approximately 20, feet of film could be dyed per 50 gallons of dye solution. As the rate of dyeing slowed down, the solution would be replenished with concentrated dye solution. The amount of light cut off from the screen as a result of tinting depended on the nature of the particular dye used, the concentration of dye in the film and on the purity of color of the dye. Tests made of tinted films indicated that screen brightness was reduced from 25 per cent to 95 per cent as a result of tinting.
After the introduction of sound it was necessary to replace many of the dyes formerly used 18 for tinting with dyes that were more compatible with the sound reproduction system. The dyes and concentrations listed in the table below were successfully used with the black and white films used for sound-on-film motion pictures. The time in solution was normally three minutes at a temperature of 65 degrees to 70 degrees F. After tinting the film would be rinsed, squeegeed and dried. Approximately 40, feet of film could be dyed per 50 gallons of dye solution.
As the rate of dyeing slowed down the bath would be replenished with concentrated dye solution, not by adding acid. When the bath became muddy it would have to be replaced. Ryan, Roderick T. London: Focal Press, pp. The expense of detailed hand coloring encouraged pioneer filmmakers to seek a less costly and easier method of achieving color in their productions. As films grew in length, the added cost of applying tints by hand, coupled with the scarcity of skilled artisans, forced most producers to employ tinting, toning, or a combination of these methods to produce the desired effect.
Thus, a tinted film will give a uniform veil of one color on the screen. Toning differs in that the clear portions of the film remain unaffected—only the silver image of the positive film becomes colored. Thus, in toning, the highlights remain colorless while all half-tones and shadows take on the hue of the coloring compound. One of the earliest attempts at toning was done by an Englishman named Williamson,. An abandoned house sacrificed to the flames for realism was the mise-en-scene of the film. The fire was sensational in itself, but this quality was enhanced by resort to chemical toning to impart a lurid tint to the flames.
This caught the public fancy; the picture received an extraordinary reception, proving one of the most financially successful ever placed on the market by this pioneer.
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In fact, the popularity of monochrome prints became so great that film manufacturers began to offer black and white positive stock with tinted bases in at least nine basic colors. The high pressure under which some film manufacturers [studio producers] have to work to keep up their regular releases prevents them from giving to their product many artistic touches that would otherwise be done if there was an open market and the competition was on the lines of quality instead of quantity.
Occasionally a reel is seen that is appropriately toned or tinted or both, and it is a relief to the eye and frequently brings applause to a picture that would have been passed in silence if in cold black and white. We have heard manufacturers remark that the people were already getting enough for their money. Rather a narrow minded attitude, is it not? Apparently film producers agreed, and the use of tinting and toning became more widespread than ever shortly afterward. Blair noted:. In spite of the success attained by many workers in producing multicolor pictures by purely photographic means the expense involved reduces the prospect of the natural color picture coming into universal use for some time to come, so in the interval the majority of film will be colored by improved methods of tinting and toning.
With the arrival of sound, the existing types of tinted film stocks became unusable. As Ryan notes:. The dyes reduce the response of the cells to such a great extent that high amplification of the photoelectric currents is required to obtain sufficient volume of sound. This high amplification increases the inherent cell noises and microphonic disturbances in the amplifier so that the reproduced sound is of intolerably poor quality. To overcome this problem, Eastman Kodak produced 16 new tinted film stocks in called the Sonochrome series.
Furthermore, new dyes and concentrations were later developed which would enable the tinting of regular black and white film stock also without affecting the sound reproduction system. Today it is almost impossible to comprehend the phenomenal popularity tinting and toning enjoyed during the first 30 years of the motion picture industry. Despite the low cost and widespread use of tinting and toning methods, such color treatment is inherently arbitrary and limited.
Writing in , Terry Ramsaye echoed the thoughts of many. By the tinting and toning process we can have a green pasture, in tone, with a blue sky above, in tint, but the cream and red Jersey cow in the foreground will also be reduced to greens and blues. This effect may be very well for the spectator who knows a jersey cow when he sees one, but for Johnny Tenement Child it is all very bad, because he is likely to get the notion that cows come in green and blue. And that, you will agree, would be most un-educational.
All of which makes it certain that the perfect educational picture must be in perfectly natural color. Nowotny, Robert A. New York: Garland Pub. Rather, the arbitrary and unnatural uses of color, more intense than reality, allowed color to be experienced as a power in itself, rather than simply a secondary quality of objects. Even the slightly uneven fit between color and object in hand painting and stencil coloring, so that the colors seem to lift themselves off the surface of reality and quiver in a scintillating dance, has the effect of underscoring the independent power of color, even if unintentionally.
They function as attention-grabbing attractions and incitements to fantasy, rather than harmonious and subtle appeals to an established aesthetic order, or carefully observed images of nature. Perhaps it is important to modify this point by observing that in most cases color in silent film did possess realistic motivation, even if it lacked truly realistic effects. And indeed a thorough treatment of color in cinema in any era would need to analyze the delicate pas de deux orchestrated between realistic motives and metaphorical or spectacular effects.
A blue tint for night scenes, for instance, constitutes the most common use of tinting in silent cinema. While these shimmering sapphire nights possess a mystery that actual night photography lacks, at least for this viewer, they certainly functioned primarily as a convention and most likely were more frequently simply accepted by viewers as a signifier for night than experienced as an intense saturation of an image with color.
This granted, I would maintain that tinting the dyeing of a shot with a single over-all color especially demonstrates the metaphoric power of silent cinema, because even when realistically motivated, the singularity of color can seem to dominate the screen in a way that multiple colors rarely do. The most fascinating example of this effect of tinting I have seen comes from one of the few surviving tinted prints of a Griffith Biograph film, the print of The Lonedale Operator held by the Nederlands Filmmuseum.
Viewers of this tinted print notice immediately how the realistically motivated tinting of a key scene renders a narrative point crystal clear which remains obscure in a black and white print. The resourceful female telegraph operator of this film protects the payroll entrusted to her by holding a pair of thieves at bay with a small monkey wrench which they take for a pistol. This key plot device is rendered more believable by the fact that the operator turns off the lamp in her office, so that the scene take place in darkness.
Only a tinted print really conveys the darkness which fills the room as the lamp is extinguished, as the tinting in the shot changes from yellowish amber to blue. If this detail shows that tinting can function realistically and perform key narrative functions, the full extent of this sequence demonstrates the purely formal effect of tinting. This cutting pattern is underscored by the switches between different tints.
The blue of the office and the red of the locomotive remain realistically motivated the red of the engine scenes presumably conveying the glow of the coal burner. But the alternation of red and blue in rapid rhythm also accomplishes a pure sensual interplay of color. The alternation in color directs attention to the formal properties of the editing, the brevity of the shots and their rapid alternation. The replacement of one color by another creates a pure physiological excitement which equals and supplements the narrative suspense. Gunning, Tom : Colorful Metaphors.
Bologna: Clueb, on pp. All these shots have yellow tinting, but this yellow is not the same all the time; it varies in its nuances and intensity. The last shot is taken from the minaret and it shows the sunset with clouds hanging in the sky coloured in magenta. Instead, through combined tinting and toning and the use of various nuances of yellow, the film attempts a more ambitious method of tinting than just passing the whole film through the same shade of yellow, combination of shots of pleasant landscapes of the bay and interesting arch.
A similar case is Amalfi , m. It is also a texture of the city of Amalfi. As in Tripoli, a yellow tint is dominant. Amalfi and Tripoli are both located on the Mediterranean Sea with a lot of sun and it seems plausible to use a yellow colour to illustrate the hot Mediterranean area to the cinema visitor from further North. Shots where the sea is dominant are blue. A Romanesque city cathedral shown in yellow and sepia indicates that a combined technique was used. Santa Lucia ? The sea in Santa Lucia is mostly in the canals with many sailing boats for fishing and transport. The film has a lot of blue tinting but this blue is different from the blue of Amalfi , as it verges on blue-green.
Harbour and boats are tinted in orange or blue, depending on the scene. The sun in Amalfi shines much stronger and brighter than in Santa Lucia , but in Santa Lucia it really sets down…. Their main intention is to show pleasant, exotic places; colour is used to emphasise this theme.
These films are not narratives in the classical sense of the term, thus the function of their colours within may be seen as serving a non-narrative function. In simple words, they work to make the film more interesting and attractive. Tinting gives us blue or green night scenes, yellow sunlight, and the like. It is plain and simple dyeing of the film.
Toning is a bit more intricate. It changes certain chemical aspects of the image on the film and gives the possibility of a second color. So by laboratory work any motion picture taken by any process can be given a two-color effect, which is all that the drama ran well use and which often times helps out educational pictures considerably, particularly scenic and travel films. But any such color treatment by dyeing is rather arbitrary in its effects and cannot be anything more than a suggestion of the natural colors.
By the tinting and toning process we can have a green pasture, in tone, with the blue sky above in tint but the cream and red jersey cow in the foreground will also be reduced to greens and blues. This effect may be very well for the spectator who knows a jersey cow when he sees one, but for Johnny Tenement Child it is all very bad; because he is likely to get the notion that cows come in green and blue. And as inevitable as the perfect educational itself is the perfect color process—it is yet of tomorrow.
Ramsaye, Terry : Color photography and the motion picture. In: Photoplay 15, March , pp. Es scheinen daher nur die Lichter in dem betr. The edition of the Eastman Kodak tinting and toning manual cautioned that toning and mordanting were not advised for films that were to be preserved for a long time, because a chemical alteration of the emulsion was considered inevitable and the results were impossible to forecast.
Therefore it was suggested that high-quality reference prints in black and white be made before a valuable film was altered by toning or mordanting. And indeed, many of the original colored versions of films have already been lost. By and large, film archives today are forced to preserve duplicates of early films in black and white, both for financial and practical reasons.
Even without considering the huge cost of restoring a film in color, the fact remains that current technology has proved unable to avoid the progressive decay of color film stock, even under the best possible conditions of preservation. When color restoration is attempted, film archives usually follow one of two possible strategies. The most common approach is to reproduce the original tints and tones on a modern color negative.
The result can be relatively satisfying, but technicians agree that the reproduction obtained is not completely faithful to the original. The materials employed at the beginning of the century the nitrate bases and dyes have a unique appearance that cannot be reproduced. A second and more rudimentary strategy involves reproducing tinted scenes by printing on color stock from black-and-white negatives, using a color filter.
This system has the obvious practical advantage of not requiring the printing and preservation of a master color negative. The result, however, is not accurate in its color reproduction, as the tints obtained are usually rather cold and too bright. Furthermore, this solution cannot be used at all when the original print has any kind of toning, stenciling, or mordanting.
A few film archives 14 in the forefront of film restoration are trying to reproduce the actual techniques employed during the silent period, using machines and dyes that approximate as closely as possible those utilized in the early years of the century. The results obtained so far are tentative, and the work is extremely time-consuming. Given the current situation, with an overwhelming amount of nitrate film needing preservation and the relative lack of available time, money, and human resources, only a fraction of silent film will be restored according to these criteria.
But there is little doubt that, following this direction of research, film restoration can acquire a scientific status comparable to the practices already established in other disciplines, such as painting and architectural restoration. For those who work in the restoration of moving images, the importance of the original tinting and toning manuals is self-evident.
Film archivists are often at a loss in knowing how a silent film looked at the time of its release. These books provide an extraordinary amount of primary evidence that is otherwise unavailable. All the volumes offer precise information about the chemical formulae used in order to prepare the dyes, the timing and methods of their use, the technical problems arising from inaccurate treatment of the film, and the possibilities of combining different coloring methods on the same positive print. Without these manuals, the ambitious enterprise of recreating the original techniques would be impossible.
Preservation and restoration are urgent tasks. Cellulose nitrate is a very unstable material whose estimated life barely reaches years, according to the most recent scientific research. The phases in the process of decomposition are, sadly, well known in film archives. The cellulose base becomes brittle and shrinks so much that it cannot be projected anymore; the photographic emulsion fades; reels develop a layer of brown powder on the surface, then become so sticky that it becomes impossible even to rewind the film, and the image is lost.
In the last stage of decay, nitrate film is reduced to a potentially explosive crystallized mass. But the same effects of nitrate decomposition are beginning to be apparent on the individual frames of nitrate preserved within these manuals. Even under the best storage conditions, the nitrate frames in these books are bound to disappear eventually. Most of their original beauty is still intact. If it is not possible to guarantee their existence for an indefinite future, we can at least undertake an accurate study and reproduce some of their characteristics.
This is a scientific challenge and an ethical issue that involves the expertise and commitment of librarians and film archivists alike. Some of the foremost specialists in film restoration have discussed similar issues at the first school for film restoration ever established on a permanent basis in Bologna, under the auspices of the Cineteca Comunale di Bologna.
New Brunswick : Rutgers University Press, pp. A tinted or toned original may be scanned to make an RGB colour file, and this can be colour corrected and graded timed using a conventional digital colour controller. The results are rarely satisfactory, as the best that can be achieved is a near colour match to the original. However, stains and unevenness caused by storage, fading, and projector lights are all recorded; many dyes are highly saturated and some are outside range of the recording system. Scanning photographic duplicates made via a colour internegative system never achieves a good match with the original.
The best results have all resulted from monochrome scans made from the originals. The term Digital Desmet comes from Thomas Christensen of the Danish Film Institute, who has experimented with digital techniques for tint and tone restorations. The Desmet again refers to the route that uses a monochrome neutral i. In practice the digital effects workstations or software used to create the tint or tone effect on a monochrome neutral image use very different terminology for their various colouring options.
Thomas Christensen has generally used the Discreet Inferno or Flame workstations at Digital Film Lab in Copenhagen for this, but even Photoshop has the facility to do both on a frame by frame basis provided the operator can interpret the software or hardware manual and find the right tool — the terms tint and tone are often used in software menus as digital control terms but never mean what they do to a photographic technologist! In recent years the use of original dyes and recipes has provided a set of colour swatches for digital restorations to work toward just as they became the aims for Desmetcolor ten years ago.
The dye database printed here comprises a list of the dyes and associated recipes formulations of the dye solutions and the process conditions that were published during the silent era, together with some recipes that were published subsequently and purport to be original recipes of the time — for example, the Handschiegl colours given by Kelley in , and the tint dyes for optical sound films found in Ryan. Many apparently detailed manuals have turned out to be copies or subsequent translations of either the Kodak or Agfa manuals, and I have omitted these.
Since the late s I have distributed various versions as an Excel file to archives, laboratories, and digital post-houses that wished to either carry out restorations using original tint and tone techniques, or to create swatches of colours for matching by Desmetcolor or by Digital Desmet. These dyes can be obtained by using the Colour Index to identify the dye index CI number and a manufacturer. Many dye suppliers will find the current alternative just from being told the original name without being told the CI number, as they all have access to the Colour Index and use their own extensive synonym databases synonyms are not listed in this database.
The dye can be used to make a colour swatch on film as an aim for a restoration. Swatches should be made on clear-based black-and-white print film such as Eastman Fine Grain Release Positive with a conventional silver image. In a few cases, dye manufacturers can be persuaded to provide a dyed item, usually wool, cotton or paper, as an example, and these have a value as Desmetcolor or digital reference and should be illuminated by Illuminant D.
Soho Images, London, has an extensive library of tints and tones representing some forty different tint and tone dyes from silent-era England and a few other European countries , made under different process conditions of dilution, acid content, and time, all using a single standard print image for comparison. This swatch collection has been used for Desmetcolor and digital restorations as well as restorations using original tint and tone recipes within Soho Images, and has on occasion been loaned out to other laboratories and archives.
This database has been fifteen years in the making, and represents only what has been available to me, or interpretable by me. I owe many colleagues a debt for the discoveries in libraries and archives that they have passed on to me. However, the more we look, the more we find, and I expect that there is much more in languages I cannot translate, or easily have translated. The file version of this database, which is available from me, has some additional information that has been removed to enable this version to be published on paper; I have also added several more references to it since , when it was last distributed.
I have to thank many colleagues for their activity in discovering texts, books, pamphlets and articles in libraries, archives, second hand bookshops and in one case the back of a dusty cupboard in a film laboratory, and sending them or copies to me, over the last fifteen years. The most important I need to thank is Bob Mabberley, of Soho Images, London, who discovered most recipes and tested out hundreds of formulae with modern dyes on a small scale and went on to tint and tone complete features using these original techniques. In: Film History, The aim of tinting is to give the film a general colour without modifying the silvered image.
When a film coloured with this system is projected the image appears dark on a coloured background. These dyes could be applied to the print after processing and the film was immersed in the aniline dye solution for several minutes to achieve the right result. However, there was also a market in unexposed film that had already been dyed so that laboratories could use this film to make prints. The dyes used for this purpose had to be fast and inert to the subsequent processing solutions. A list of 16 dyes used for early films in the USA for tinting, stencilling or application by brush are listed by R.
Ryan see Bibliography. The various publications of the s in both the USA and Europe list more than in all. Ryan also lists a further 10 dyes that could be used for tinting sound film prints without impairing the quality of the optical sound. These are listed in Table In practice, the emulsion was tinted by winding the film to be coloured onto a wooden frame or roller which was then immersed in a dye bath. The worker agitated the frame for about 3 minutes, then removed it from the bath when the desired colour was achieved and immersed it in a water wash for about another 2 minutes.
The film was dried on the frame. Once they were dry the various scenes of the film were ready to be edited. Tinting reduces the visual contrast so that when the positives were made it was recommended that the contrast was increased to compensate. This does not always seem to be the case in practice. One problem with this system was that the colours were never perfectly consistent because, depending on what level the section of film was on the wooden frame, and depending on the solution concentration and the time of treatment, the colour could be more or less intense.
One instruction from the National Aniline and Chemicals Co. Presumably the first racks of film came out more deeply dyed than the last! It is recorded in the literature that even when tinting began to be done on continuous machines, the results were never perfectly uniform. The main laboratories in the US seemed to have available about nine different colours at any one time.
This technique can be used today. The images produced by using the original tinting and toning recipes are closer to the originals in their pristine condition than any reproduction on modern colour film. The process is very time-consuming and probably not as economic as the Desmet process for large quantities of restoration. Stencilling and hand colouring was the process of locally applying tint dyes to the silver image. Toning is the process of replacing the silver image with a coloured image material. We have only seen reference to the lacquering process mentioned above in the Agfa technical process manual of about and in a list of dyes from a French dye manufacturer described as suitable for this process.
Lac was a varnish made from the secretion of an insect in India. This coloured stripe would be very easy to identify, but we have never seen an example nor did the Nederlands Filmmuseum survey of their own collection reveal any. Hand coloured and stencilled films were produced by locally colouring a black and white positive print. Some of the prints were presumably made slightly light in density but the techniques and the dyes used to dye the film were the same as for tinting, except for the local application. A number of stencilled films were made on tinted film base or seem to have been tinted overall as well, usually pale yellow.
By the time cinema commenced in , photography was many decades old and a wide range of techniques for colouring the neutral silver images had been tried out on paper prints, and more importantly for cine film, on glass lantern slides. Some of the earliest experiments used natural dyes such as logwood reddish brown , madder red , indigo blue and turmeric yellow to dye gelatine, paper or the silver images.
By the time cinematography existed a number of proven, ready made, techniques using synthetic dyes already existed. There is surprisingly little early technical literature on the methods used to colour film and although it seems likely that handcolouring and stencils came before overall tinting and toning, which was a cheaper alternative, tinting lantern slides was described in several still manuals of the s. The earliest photographic processes existed before the discovery by mistake of the first artificial dye Mauveine by Perkin in England in By , man-made dyes were being discovered or invented at a tremendous rate.
These dyes originated from complex organic chemicals in coal, oil and tars and were not of just a single type. No doubt hundreds were tested on film about dye chemicals of this type are known today , but many were quite unsuitable. Some dyes are inflammable, explosive or toxic, and some of the intermediate chemicals are equally dangerous Perkin blew up two factories during his lifetime!
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