>Responding to the post on B & W, Stephen Hart wrote:
>>It seems to me that the use of black and white nowadays is purely an
>>aesthetic choice on the director's part.
> There may be more to this. I couldn't cite this, but I read sometime
>ago about the problem with color dyes losing their colors and retaining
>the "red" (red shift). I had read that the B&W bio on Jake Lamotta (sp) was
>NOT done in color was because the integrity of the colors couldn't be
>guaranteed for the long haul. After we got away from technicolor (and I'm
>way out of my league on this) color shifts were (and are) a serious
>problem. I don't this point has been made on this B&W thread.
> Route 6, Box 208 Boone, North Carolina 28607 (USA)
> [log in to unmask]
It's even more complicated than that. You can shoot a film in B&W, but if
it's printed on color stock (which, strange as it may sound, does happen
for various reasons), the B&W film can turn red (or whatever) just like a
By the way, there is some color footage in RAGING BULL--some home movies of
Jake, his wife, and his brother. Presumably, Scorsese would not be
troubled if this footage shifted color since the same would be true of the
home movies it represents. Unfortunately, unless there happened to be
strict supervision over the lab printing, say, 16mm prints of this title,
the film would probably be printed on color stock because of this footage
and therefore would be subject to the problem noted in the paragraph above.
As Fats Waller would say, "one never knows, do one?"
What the heck, I might as well elaborate on the "reasons" mentioned above.
Within the last 15 or so years, the price of silver went up dramatically
and made B&W stock at least as expensive as color stock. That made it more
economically reasonable to use color stock for all prints or at least not
to make an effort to get B&W stock if just a few B&W prints were needed.
This applies primarily to 16mm prints.
Richard J. Leskosky
Unit for Cinema Studies, UIUC
office phone: (217) 244-2704
FAX: (217) 244-2223