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· Senior Shackster
791 Posts
Leonard is correct.

There are too many variables to make any conclusions.

However, there is a problem in features shot in Eastmancolor from 1952-1982 regarding
color fading. Most major features have black and white separations that can be used
to restore the color if the camera negative is too far gone. All pre-1982 films shot with
Kodak color negatives faded to various degrees. It was a very unstable format. The
negatives do not stop fading either. They continue to get worse over the years.

There are also rare cases where a film is altered in it's DVD release, sometimes by the
film-maker himself as was the case of Friedkin and "The French Connection". He made
the colors intentionally colder for later DVD releases than they were in the original prints.

In general, video colorists try to find some original release version in some format as a
reference before mastering a movie these days. For new features the director and/or
cinematographer supervise the transfers. In the case of old Technicolor movies, they have the
advantage that the original dye transfer prints didn't fade so they can be used as a reference. Eastmancolor prints all faded but sometimes there is a post-1983 (after 1983 they developed low fade Eastmancolor negative and prints) element to use as a reference when mastering a movie.

And they keep improving the transfer machines. 2K used to be the standard but it was sub-standard. That was replaced by 4K which was much better. Now they are mastering in
8K ("Wizard of Oz", "North by Northwest") which is superior. So the later the transfer, the
more likely that it will surpass the previous release on DVD or Blu-Ray. Which is why it's integral for all distributors and owners of movies to keep a hard copy on 35mm film for the future as better video/digital systems are developed.
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