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"Women's Work" in Colour Film Processing

Ciara O'Brien

To Produce a Hand-Tinted Digital Video Inspired by the Marginalised Work of the Past

To gain a deeper understanding of the gendered division of labour and sexism experienced by women, this paper looks at the role of women in the history of coloured film. This is done to inform the hand coloured film that accompanies this paper.   

This research investigates the different colour film processes. Starting with the process of hand painting in 1895, which led to stencilling in the early 1900s. Then it looks into tinting and toning, a process that heavily relied on editing, starting in 1896. It then discusses the company Technicolor and their groundbreaking film colour process. Focusing on the role of Natalie Kalmus, a colour consultant, who received backlash for her success as woman in Hollywood in the 1940s. Finally, it discusses colour in animation and the gendered roles in the early days of Disney. When the only job available to women was in The Inking and Painting Department, where sexism was rampant in what was considered a “men’s medium”. It also details the working conditions of Disney’s first female storyboard artist, Bianca Majolie a glimpse into what life was like for a woman that didn’t stick to the societal norms of the time.   

Each of these processes informed the accompanying digitally hand-tinted video. Which allowed for active participation in a process analogous to that done by the women mentioned in the paper. Giving a deeper insight into their lives.   

 

Keywords: Colour Film History, Feminism 

 

Date Published

Monday, September 6, 2021