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Handschiegl / DeMille-Wyckoff / Wyckoff Process

Description

Similar to stenciling, the Handschiegl process was applied mechanically to manually defined image parts. Therefore it is an applied color process.

After the film was shot and edited, for each color applied a separate print was made. In contrast to stenciling, the image parts which were to be colored were covered with an opaque paint. Subsequently a dupe-negative was made. A tanning developer hardened the gelatin in the exposed areas while leaving the blocked-out areas soft. The softer parts absorbed the acid dyes which were then transferred onto the positive print during an imbibition process. Usually up to three colors were applied to a film. The process allowed for subtle blending of different colors.

  • Lights of Old Broadway
  • Trail of '98 (1929)
  • Trail of '98 (1929)
  • CherchiUsai_SilentCInema_Handschiegl.jpg
  • Forbidden Fruit (USA 1921)
  • Forbidden Fruit (USA 1921)
  • Handschiegl_Ryan_fig5.jpg
  • Trail of '98 (1929)

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Original Technical Papers and Primary Sources

Alvin Wyckoff and Max Handschiegl, U.S.P No. 1,303,836. May 13, 1919 and U.S.P No. 1,303,837. May 13, 1919.

Kelley, William Van Doren (1927): Imbibition Coloring of Motion Picture Films. In: Transactions of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 10, 28, 1927, pp. 238-241. View Quote

Secondary Sources

Cherchi Usai, Paolo (2000): Silent Cinema. London: BFI, pp. 32-33. View Quote

Coe, Brian (1981): The History of Movie Photography. Westfield, N.J.: Eastview Editions, p. 114. View Quote

Hanssen, Eirik Frisvold (2006): Early Discourses on Colour and Cinema. Origins, Functions, Meanings. = Diss. University of Stockholm (Stockholm Cinema Studies, No. 2, p. 80.

Kelley, William Van Doren (1931): The Handschiegl and Pathéchrome Color Process. In: Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 18,2, 1931, pp. 230-234. View Quote

Layton, James; Pierce, David (2015): The Dawn of Technicolor. Rochester: George Eastman House, on p. 111 View Quote and on p. 126. View Quote

Misek, Richard (2010): Chromatic Cinema. A History of Screen Color. John Wiley & Sons, on p. 22. View Quote

Nowotny, Robert A. (1983): The Way of all Flesh Tones. A History of Color Motion Picture Processes, 1895-1929. New York: Garland Pub., pp. 15-17. View Quote

Read, Paul (2009): ‘Unnatural Colours’: An introduction to colouring techniques in silent era movies. In: Film History, Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 16 View Quote, see list of handschiegl dyes on p. 37. View Quote

Ryan, Roderick T. (1977): A History of Motion Picture Color Technology. London: Focal Press, pp. 23-24. View Quote

Stokes, Melvyn (2009): Colour in American Cinema. From The Great Train Robbery to Bonnie and Clyde. In: Raphaëlle Costa de Beauregard (ed.): Cinéma et couleur. Paris: M. Houdiard, pp. 184–192, on p. 185. View Quote