Technicolor vs. DVD

Technically-oriented discussion of classic films on everything from 35mm to Blu-Ray
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luciano
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Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by luciano » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:36 pm

I picked up a 35mm I.B Tech print of one my favorite Disney shorts, while I was checking it I couldn't help but notice an incredible color shift from my print to the DVD. Just curious how the color can be so dramatically different (background goes from tan to cool blue), also wondering which one is closest to an original print (mine is safety stock so it must be a re-release).

Tech Print on Left, DVD frame grab on right

https://imgur.com/a/N9fCA" target="_blank

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Jack Theakston
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:52 pm

Disney is notorious for doing this. The early Technicolor shorts they made have more of an amber, storybook color to them, and the new transfers are skewed towards blue, presumably to juice other colors up.

Another example:

Image

The left is from an original nitrate. That orange/yellow glow is supposed to represent candlelight, but in the new version, it looks like they've lit the place with a fluorescent light and Doc's beard is neon blue.
J. Theakston
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milefilms
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by milefilms » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:02 pm

Any transfer of a film requires the expertise of an archivist and/or lab technician so color will vary from release to release, and sometimes particular to the time period it was done since some years a "look" has been preferred. (In the 1980s, a lot of things had an orange hue to it.)

Technicolor is very tricky because the prints could vary widely from print to print. And I've seen some terrible original Tech prints. The big difference now is that you can get registration exactly because of the digital process. Nothing done now (that I've seen) will recreate the almost 3D effect of inexact lab printing of the layers.

Another difference is what an archivist will do and what a video department will release. Video departments, historically, tend to brighten the colors.

In Jack's specific case, I have no idea of the background of what was done and why. I do know the Disney archivists are among the best.
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Jack Theakston
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:36 pm

It's not the archival end of the company that's responsible for it, it's the home video department that is continuously scrubbing these films clean to fit aesthetically in with today's flat, colorful computer animation.

Technicolor's prints did vary from printing to printing, but on print runs that I've seen multiple prints compared, I was surprised at how close they all were—the worst was maybe a three point difference in one way or another. But it's not the general timing on these prints that's missing, it's the specific lights that were used for effects, just like old TV masters used to botch day-for-night shots in order for them to be more clear. And all the texture and warts that came with the original cel animation process are frequently being scrubbed out, not just by Disney.
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by Marr&Colton » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:40 am

To me, Technicolor is the big advantage film collectors have over DVD and BluRay collectors---the vivid and incredible contrast of the colors on original IB Technicolor prints still has not been perfectly duplicated to digital video.

The technology is getting better all the time, and from a practical point of view, a $10 Blu-Ray of WIZARD OF OZ is a much better value than a $10,000 Technicolor film print. I have a friend who was once offered that much for his 16mm IB print of that title.

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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by All Darc » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:27 pm

I would like to know if somebody have a original dye transfer print (from 30's) from Gone With The Wind, or at least some good images from the print.

In the digital restoration documentary from the DVD and blu ray theys showed a original 30's technicolor print, and it looked awful. Maybe they choosed a horrible print to try to make the digital restoration from mcamera negative more outstanding.
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by rudyfan » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:36 pm

Gosh, I much prefer the original color! So much depth and beauty and that is just the title card!
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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:23 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:Disney is notorious for doing this. The early Technicolor shorts they made have more of an amber, storybook color to them, and the new transfers are skewed towards blue, presumably to juice other colors up.

Another example:

Image

The left is from an original nitrate. That orange/yellow glow is supposed to represent candlelight, but in the new version, it looks like they've lit the place with a fluorescent light and Doc's beard is neon blue.
They should try splitting the difference. Neither look good to me.

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luciano
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by luciano » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:38 pm

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. wrote:
Jack Theakston wrote:Disney is notorious for doing this. The early Technicolor shorts they made have more of an amber, storybook color to them, and the new transfers are skewed towards blue, presumably to juice other colors up.

Another example:

Image

The left is from an original nitrate. That orange/yellow glow is supposed to represent candlelight, but in the new version, it looks like they've lit the place with a fluorescent light and Doc's beard is neon blue.
They should try splitting the difference. Neither look good to me.
I agree. I've seen some other frame grabs from an original Snow White nitrate print and it is much too warm, nearly having a greenish effect at times. The new restoration is too cold, but I think it looks better. If only they could meet in the middle.

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luciano
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Re: Technicolor vs. DVD

Unread post by luciano » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:43 pm

rudyfan wrote:Gosh, I much prefer the original color! So much depth and beauty and that is just the title card!
What weirds me out is that if I hadn't picked up this print I wouldn't have known how much I was missing it terms of color and depth. When Mickey does what he does I'm going to laugh no matter what, but it's so much better when everything looks good.

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