Technicolor Process Number IV

The Hollywood laboratory was expanding and so in 1932 a new process was developed. This process is known as the three-strip dye transfer process. The process was similar to the one prior with the exception of the addition of a third color. With the addition of third color, a new camera and a new printing process were developed. The new camera cost $30,000 per unit.19 Because of the cost of the camera and the lack of interest in Technicolor film at the time, Technicolor needed to find a new way to show off their new process.

Technicolor and Walt Disney teamed up to create a three colored animation film. On the black and white negative film “the animation cells were photographed on three successive frames filtered to emit the red, green, and blue spectrum of color in silver densities.”20 These three matrices were then developed onto the blank stock creating one colored film. The film that Disney and Technicolor first used the process on was Flowers and Trees(1932). Disney won the Academy Award for Best Cartoon for the film.21

While the production of animated films was being enhanced by Disney, Technicolor went on to find a way to produce live action film. Kalmus went to Jock Whitney, a financier, to gain the resources to produce a live action film.22 But first, Whitney wanted to have a test run with the new process. Technicolor produced two short films that did incredibly well with the new process and so production was underway for a live action film. Becky Sharp premiered in 1935. It had mixed reviews on how great the movie was, but most the reviews had the same opinion on the use of color. In a review on the movie in the New York Times, the author writes that:

The fact is that the new Technicolor process has been employed here and there in the photoplay so brilliantly as to bludgeon the intelligent spectator into the belied that color will one day become an integral element in the cinema.23

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