Technicolor No. II
The first subtractive 2 color process introduced by Technicolor captured the incoming light through a beam splitter with red and green filters also. However, in contrast to the first Technicolor process, the two b/w images were recorded on one negative strip. This was achieved by the pull-down of two frames simultaneously, a process that required the double speed in the camera. These two frames were arranged in pairs, whereby the green record was inverted up-side down (see image).
These two images were then step-printed onto two positives. A tanning process hardened the silver image. In the following step the soft portions were washed away. The relief matrices were then glued together and the opposite sides of the film dyed red-orange and blue-green respectively.
Although the first film shot in this process, The Toll of the Sea (1922) was a huge commercial success, the system encountered many practical difficulties. The cemented film tended to be scratched more easily and more noticeably and even more so it curled as a result of irregular shrinking caused by the heat in the projector. In addition, the costs were very high and Technicolor faced difficulties to deliver on time due to their limited capacities. Only very few feature films were shot entirely in color. More often, the films contained short scenes in Technicolor while the rest of the films were dyed by the usual applied processes (see list of films on this page).
In the course of time Technicolor II prints fade to orange.
Margaret Herrick Library Link to the gallery
Credit: Images courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library. Photographs by Barbara Flueckiger.
Four different prints of Ben Hur (1925) Link to the gallery
Some parts of Ben Hur (USA 1925, Fred Niblo) were originally shot on Technicolor No. II and combined with tinted, toned and black-and-white scenes.
Trailer, Technicolor No. III dye-transfer print. Credit: Library of Congress.
Technicolor dye-transfer print. Credit: Národní filmový archiv / National Film Archive, Prague.
Chromogenic print. Credit: Národní filmový archiv / National Film Archive, Prague.
Chromogenic print. Credit: George Eastman House, Moving Image Department.
Lights of Old Broadway (1925) Link to the gallery
Technicolor fragment of Lights of Old Broadway (USA 1925, Monta Bell).
Credit: Library of Congress. Photographs of the nitrate print by Barbara Flueckiger.
Technicolor Collection Link to the gallery
Frames from the Technicolor Collection show typical signs of decay.
Credit: George Eastman House Moving Image Collection. Photographs by Barbara Flueckiger.
Kalmus, Herbert T. (1938): Technicolor Adventures in Cinemaland. In: Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 31,6, 1938, pp. 564-585, on pp. 566-571. View Quote
Cherchi Usai, Paolo (2000): Silent Cinema. London: BFI, p. 38. View Quote
Haines, Richard W. (1993): Technicolor Movies. The History of Dye Transfer Printing. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, pp. 4-7. View Quote
Ruedel, Ulrich (2009): The Technicolor Notebooks at the George Eastman House. In: Film History, Volume 21, Number 1, 2009, pp. 47-60, on p. 49. View Quote
Happé, Bernard (1984): 80 Years of Colour Cinematography. London: British Kinematograph Sound & Television Society, p. 8. View Quote
Coe, Brian (1981): The History of Movie Photography. Westfield, N.J.: Eastview Editions, p. 132. View Quote
Ryan, Roderick T. (1977): A History of Motion Picture Color Technology. London: Focal Press, pp. 78-79. View Quote
Cornwell-Clyne, Adrian (1951): Colour Cinematography. London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 451-479 (all Technicolor processes).
Behlmer, Rudy (1964): Technicolor. In: Films in Review 15,6, 1964, pp. 333-351, on pp. 336-342.
Koshofer (1993): Seit 75 Jahren Technicolor-Filme. In: Film & TV Kameramann, 42,1, 1993, pp. 24-34, on p. 24. (in German) View Quote
Brown, Simon (2012): Technical Appendix: Technicolor. In: Street, Sarah: Colour Films in Britain. The Negotiation of Innovation 1900-55. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 284-286 (all Technicolor processes). View Quote
Neale, Steve (1985): The Beginnings of Technicolor. In: Angela Dalle Vacche and Brian Price (eds.): Color. The Film Reader. New York: Routledge, 2006, pp. 13-23, on pp. 14-15 View Quote and on p. 18. View Quote
Pinel, Vincent (1992): La forêt des techniques. In: Michel Ciment (ed.): Ciné mémoire. Colloque international d’information (7-9 octobre 1991). Paris: Femis, pp. 17-24, on p. 21-22. (in French) View Quote