Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Dawn of Color Film

Here's the Chicago Reader's capsule review of the 1926 silent The Black Pirate (to be screened with live piano accompaniment at Page Hall this Friday, 10/15):

"Two-strip Technicolor—in which red orange and blue green exposures of the same action were fused into a single length of celluloid—was being used in silent films as early as 1922, but this rousing 1926 swashbuckler was the first full-length two-strip feature." More.

You can also read about the rocky beginnings of color film on the website of The American Widescreen Museum:

"Since the print was actually two strips cemented back to back, the side facing the projector's arc lamp would heat up and expand more than the side towards the lens. This caused the film to 'cup' and replacement reels were constantly being supplied while the folks back in the lab 'ironed' the cupped reels flat."

Also, its nice to know that the Fairbanks family is still in the business of swashbuckling three generations on....