Two Prizma Color films, a curious finding in the Mexican National Film archive
Keywords:Prizma, Prizma Color, Color Restoration, Film, Digital Restoration, Mexico
Few years ago an important collection of silent movie was found in the National Mexican film archive. The collection did not contain any Mexican movie, unfortunately, but it was rich in coloring techniques of the silent era; two findings were particularly interesting, the first on the Apache trail (1921) in the United States and the second on the clay making in Ohio (probably ‘20). The added value of both titles is that they were shot using the Prizma Color technique, a very original color-processing invented around 1913 by William Van Doren Kelley and Charles Raleigh. This color system was a additive color technique that eventually evolved into a bi-pack system. Even if a complete restoration it is not yet completed, the films were a particular challenge for a proper conservation and film restoration. The paper will examine the research on the film, the color process and suggest some possible restoration techniques.
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