Artificial Color Processes in Talking Pictures – Anthony L’Abbate

Tinting, toning, even hand- and stencil-coloring did not stop with the introduction of talkies, as commonly believed. Quite the contrary, as we shall learn from the expert who has researched this topic for many years and unearthed many a ‘lost talkie tint or tone’ through contemporary documentation in the process, George Eastman Museum’s Anthony L’Abbate, in his talk,

1928 – 1961

“Artificial color process, such as tinting, toning and hand coloring, were part of the cinema’s language almost from the beginning. It was a language understood by film audiences. History tells us that these processes stopped with the introduction of sound because of optical track interference. The reality is more complicated and the fact is that these processes lasted far into the talking picture era finally ending with the almost universal adoption of Eastman Color in the the 1960’s,”

with THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE, digitally remastered a few years ago and preserved in a rare, original coloured 35mm copy at BFI, perhaps the most recent known example.

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