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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kodak Kodachrome Film Test (1922) by the Eastman Kodak Company

This is a collection of very early color film tests by Kodak. To provide context, the first full length color feature film did not appear until 13-years later (Becky Sharp).
Music (added): Killer Tracks CD entitled: KT223 (Inspire). First track used is called "Breath," the second is called "Kindle." "

In these newly preserved tests, made in 1922 at the Paragon Studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, actress Mae Murray appears almost translucent, her flesh a pale white that is reminiscent of perfectly sculpted marble, enhanced with touches of color to her lips, eyes, and hair. She is joined by actress Hope Hampton modeling costumes from The Light in the Dark (1922), which contained the first commercial use of Two-Color Kodachrome in a feature film. Ziegfeld Follies actress Mary Eaton and an unidentified woman and child also appear.
George Eastman House is the repository for many of the early tests made by the Eastman Kodak Company of their various motion picture film stocks and color processes. The Two-Color Kodachrome Process was an attempt to bring natural lifelike colors to the screen through the photochemical method in a subtractive color system. First tests on the Two-Color Kodachrome Process were begun in late 1914. Shot with a dual-lens camera, the process recorded filtered images on black/white negative stock, then made black/white separation positives. The final prints were actually produced by bleaching and tanning a double-coated duplicate negative (made from the positive separations), then dyeing the emulsion green/blue on one side and red on the other. Combined they created a rather ethereal palette of hues." Of Note: This footage is from the George Eastman House collections. Preservation was completed by the museum's Motion Picture Department, a project of Sabrina Negri, a student in Eastman House's L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and a recipient of the Haghefilm Foundation Fellowship.

References:
http://1000words.kodak.com/post/?ID=2982503

So without further adieu, here from 1922, a full 7 years before the first Academy Award ceremony, is some of the earliest color motion pictures that you will ever see.

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