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Technicolor at 100: The Road to Color Film Production

James Layton, manager, Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, The Museum of Modern Art; David Pierce, founder of Media History Digital Library and president, Sunrise Entertainment Inc. Color was an integral part of early cinema, with tinting, toning, and other processes adding imaginative dimension to black-and-white images. In this Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture recorded on December 6, 2015, James Layton and David Pierce, authors of The Dawn of Technicolor, 1915–1935, illustrate the efforts of Technicolor to give filmmakers tools to present naturalistic color on the screen, even as the company was striving to overcome countless technical challenges and persuade cost-conscious producers of color’s virtues. Rare photographs from the Technicolor corporate archive chart the development of the early two-color process and the new aesthetic color photography required for lighting, costumes, and production design. Three early Technicolor shorts preserved by the George Eastman House followed the lecture: Manchu Love (1929), The Love Charm (1928), and Sports of Many Lands (1929).