Technicolor Research Topic Report: Sound and Image.

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  • Topic: Technicolor, Green, Color
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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...
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