Film Language Tag: tinting

A process used to add color to black-and-white film. Generally, one or more tints (colored dyes) were added to each frame by hand (as with the original release prints of 1903's The Great Train Robbery) or to entire sections by automated stencil machines (as with the original Pathécolor process). A second form of tinting added a single color to an entire image by using a pre-tinted film base, processing the finished film print through a chemical bath, or hand painting an entire section of film with a colored dye. In either case, the tinting process had its greatest effect in the lighter areas of an image since the metallic silver that made up the image remained black. As with most early color processes, tinting was often reserved for specific sections within a film and less often applied to the entire film. The last fully-tinted film released was Portrait of Jennie (1948). Kroon, R. W. A/V a to z: An encyclopedic dictionary of media, entertainment and other Audiovisual terms. McFarland, 2014.


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