Do you like movies shot in technicolour?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dude111, May 17, 2020.

  1. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I watch a lot of movies that say they are done in TECHNICOLOR but they arent left that way on the VHS tape.

    I have one movie SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT I (The first 1980 release (MCA VIDEOCASSETTE)) and they left it in ite original techicolour format... IT IS GOREGOUS LOOKING!! (I think thats the only movie I have actually seen in TECHNICOLOR (a lot of movies on VHS are ruined))

    I love analog though which is Why I love VHS so much.....
     
  2. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I've seen Smokey And the Bandit in current reruns on my HDtv and the color does look gorgeous, but most likely it was restored or worked on a bit for Blu-Ray/DVD release. Lot's of '70's movies I saw second gen prints at the theater back in the day now look just as gorgeous such as "Capricorn One" and others. 70 year old 3 strip Technicolor is even more dream like. The Wizard Of Oz as an example.

    On the left is what it looked like on broadcast TV for the past 50 years and the right, the restored Blu-Ray...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Ya I have the first 1980 release of Wizard of Oz also (CBS/MGM Video)
     
  4. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Life is too short to settle for VHS quality. Once I've seen it in restored for disc release I can't go back to the old look.

    Remember the the western series "The Virginian"? Back when it originally aired in the '60's I wasn't interested in watching it. Now that it's been restored and rerun on Grit TV channel I tune in just to see the gorgeous color and detail...

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    YES! a big yes...
     
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  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    : ) it's like sunshine on a cloudy day...
     
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  7. razerx

    razerx Who me?

    Location:
    The East
    Is it cold outside? We’ve got the month of May :)
     
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  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    put the pipe down! quick!
     
  9. razerx

    razerx Who me?

    Location:
    The East
    Wait! I need to drink the water.
     
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  10. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I'm going to report you for harassment...LOL. ; )
     
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  11. antoniod

    antoniod Forum Resident

    Smokey and the Bandit wasn't really Technicolor. It may have been processed by the Technicolor labs, but it was shot on Eastmancolor film or a variant. Real Technicolor captured the primary colors on three separate strips of film that were combined into one image.
     
  12. antoniod

    antoniod Forum Resident

    Most of the films discussed here were not shot in Technicolor. I saw a genuine dye-color print of one, THE GANG'S ALL HERE(1943), and it knocked my eyes out. I searched for more movies that might look like that on TV, but I didn't understand that Eastmancolor copies of Technicolor films weren't going to look like that. I didn't know that the print of Gang's All Here was a dye-processed print which was printed from the original three color negatives in a lab in England(and that was why the admission price was higher than usual at the revival theater I saw it at). I was always let down by other copies of Technicolor films I saw, and confused as to why they weren't as vibrant as GANG. Boy, was I naive!
     
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  13. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    The dye transfer process didn't have that much of an effect on the final color if you consider the look of the last movie made with this Technicolor process which was the movie "Pearl Harbor". It's a print process that has to be scanned digitally now to see it on the screen today.

    Technicolor - Wikipedia

    This process was discontinued in 2002. Now shooting 3 strip technicolor with those huge and heavy cameras and color spectrum filtering prism system as was done with The Wizard of Oz employed a "capture" process that made its color look different even though it still used the final dye transfer "print" process that was projected on the theater screen.

    The OP is more referring to restored "Technicolor" Eastman Kodak stock film that didn't capture using this 3 color prism filtering process.
     
  14. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    @antoniod above has it correct. Any film you see that had the Color by Technicolor® logo at the end wasn't necessarily released as a Tech IB print, nor was it shot in 3-strip Process 4 Technicolor. For the vast part of the last 40 years, Technicolor was just a big film processing lab with worldwide branches in NY, Burbank, London, Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, Rome, and many other cities. They handled both Kodak and Fuji film, and could print on whatever kind of stock you wanted. "Technicolor" was just a brand name.

    I worked for the Hollywood digital branch of Technicolor for about 22 years, and I know a lot about what went on and what were the realities of image quality and processing.

    VHS was (and is) absolutely horrible, and you're not seeing anything even close to what was on the original camera negative, let alone a great projected print in a good theater. The 1980 home video masters of that title were I believe mastered by Pat Kennedy at Modern Videofilm for Universal, and he did a good job with them from a 35mm low-contrast Kodak print on a Rank-Cintel Mark IIIB scanner, which was typical for that era. The later versions done from IP (1990s) and from the camera negative (2000s for Blu-ray) would be a gigantic improvement in image quality because of the lower generation loss. Working from camera negative is pretty standard these days -- assuming the negative is available -- and what we generally do is look at the most recent video release and get the newer version more or less in that ballpark. If I see a 1990s or early 2000s DVD version that looks awful, I'll throw it out the window and just use good judgment for the new mastering. (And that does happen once in awhile.)

    Whatever you see in terms of color in home video has nothing to do with Technicolor and everything to do with the mastering colorist who's doing that work. It basically takes a full day to do just one 20-minute reel, so an average film easily takes 50-60 hours to do. They can take hundreds of hours if the director supervises and wants to make a lot of nit-picky changes. The reason why it takes so long is that the original negative is completely untimed, meaning all we see is what the camera captured on set... not necessarily how it needed to look in theaters.

    There are true 3-strip 1930s-1940s "Process 4" Technicolor digital restorations... but that's a whole separate complex subject.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  15. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    So to put it simply if a movie looks good NOW whether it was captured and processed today or 70 years ago, it's not because of the name Technicolor. It looks good because a person made it look good in the format it's presented in.

    There's a reason movies shot on film and later shot digitally look so much better than film mom & pop shot and processed at your local one hour photo lab.

    But I'm sure folks who grew up watching movies shot on film in theaters in the '60's and throughout the '80's remember how bad the second gen prints looked projected on the screen.
     
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  16. antoniod

    antoniod Forum Resident

    It had a very significant effect if the the film was SHOT with a 3-strip Technicolor camera! No way do the Eastmancolor copies of THE GANG'S ALL HERE look as good as the Technicolor one I saw! The color no longer pops out at you-it's just there!
     
  17. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    It's now pretty much hard to distinguish the process from what was done digitally today to account for the final look of the color.

    Renown photographer William Eggleston used the dye transfer print process on paper shown in the video below to get these rich, vibrant primaries but even the more modern demo in the video shows the colors were juiced a bit in the final display. I mean who and how did they decide which cyan, yellow, magenta dye colorants to use to get the right balanced mix shown in the video?



    Dvdbeaver's screen caps of The Black Narcissus show these vibrant colors like the lipstick close-up scrolling down the page in this link... Black Narcissus Blu-ray - Deborah Kerr

    It's hard to tell how much Criterion's colorists made it look that way digitally compared to the original dye transfer process film print decades ago.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  18. antoniod

    antoniod Forum Resident

    But I'm talking about the difference between Technicolor and Eastmancolor prints of Technicolor films, and the 70s was when I had that frustrating experience with Eastman color prints on TV, not this digital era. I'm not the only one who thinks that Eastmancolor prints of Technicolor films-and I'm talking specifically of studio era films from the 30s/40s-are inferior to prints processed in dye-imbibition Technicolor, and I haven't been suffering from some visual delusion.
     
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  19. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Who accused you of being visually delusional concerning the lack of quality in Eastmancolor prints of Technicolor films? I certainly wasn't.

    Besides how would you know whether the poor quality was from the film format itself vs what was done to it in the lab chemically or from people just not giving a damn?

    Can you post a link to an example of what you saw so we know what you're talking about? I mean I watch a lot of '70's TV reruns like Rod Serling's "Night Gallery"(just now) and I haven't a clue why it looks so bad (too much contrast, soft edges like it was shot on a circa 1985 home video camera while "The Virginian" (samples posted above) looks amazing and both were shot around the same time '68-'75.
     
  20. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    I love technicolor. I can’t wait until digital cameras can shoot images using different film stock profiles natively. Not just silly LUTs added. I would love that kind of emulation.
     
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  21. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    You mean silly LUTs as in this example of a digital 3 strip Technicolor emulation?...

     
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  22. Paul_s

    Paul_s Forum Resident

    Location:
    North England
    The Red Shoes (1948) looks sublime in all its Technicolor glory.
     
  23. BRODNATION

    BRODNATION The Future Never Dies because Tomorrow Never Knows

    Location:
    Canada
    :thumbsup:

    That looks real good
     
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  24. BRODNATION

    BRODNATION The Future Never Dies because Tomorrow Never Knows

    Location:
    Canada
    There's only one problem. Technicolor isn't a film stock: Its a color process.

    What would a digital film stock profile of Technicolor emulate? Because I can think of a few different ones.

    • Late 30's direct light interpretation (Scan from negatives representing the exact light)
    • Late 30's direct print (Printing without added contrast layer)
    • Late 30's style print (Printing with the added contrast layer)
    • Improved grain print (as film stock got "faster" the grain on prints got better)

    So for a digital film stock profile does it only represent the color effects? or does it also affect the values and grain?
     
  25. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Think Dutch master paintings like Vermeer's work. But if those that invented the 3 strip process adhered to color spectrum energy science to come up with the spectrum prism splitter AND the dye sub colorants then there still is the influence of the lighting, makeup and set design created and photographed on set.

    Too complex to reverse engineer to get that painterly feel, so it's just easier to do this in front of the camera and use Vermeer paintings as a guide in post...

    [​IMG]
     

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