Color Consciousness


Kirk Thibault
 

I recently watched an interesting video about the two-strip and Technicolor three-strip film processes.  In the video, the narrator referred to two sources of information that I thought the group might find interesting, given the discussion a few weeks ago about how color can evoke various psychological responses.

The first source is a website, produced by Barbara Flueckiger, of the history of various color film techniques over the years and is a wealth of how color has been recorded and portrayed as technology advanced:


The second is a short written work by the wife of one of the creators of the Technicolor process, Natalie Kalmus, who oversaw the Technicolor workflow and was the color consultant on many films using it.  Here is her IMDB page:


and here is a link to a PDF of an interesting article she authored for the Journal of the Society for Motion Picture Engineers in 1935, entitled “Color Consciousness”:


From Kalmus’ wikipedia page:

"Natalie M. Kalmus (née Dunfee, also documented as Dunphy; April 7, 1882 – November 15, 1965) was the executive head of the Technicolor art department and credited as the director or "color consultant" of all Technicolor films produced from 1934 to 1949."

It is interesting to think about color when working on an image that I have not personally shot - not only does one need to think about treating and enhancing the existing image itself for the intended purpose, but it is often helpful to think about what could have been done differently at the time of pre-visualization and image acquisition that would have made for a more effective image.  It is often the difference between capturing a snapshot of a moment versus planning a scene to control for lighting, color and composition, as well as the subject and the subject’s rendering.

Here is a link to the original video that mentions some of the content to which I linked:

"How Technicolor changed movies"


Enjoy!

Kirk Thibault

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