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Wednesday, March 21 • 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Work in Progress. Key Questions for The Eastmancolor Revolution LIMITED

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A joint presentation by The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-85 project team: Prof Sarah Street (University of Bristol), Dr Keith Johnston (UEA), Dr Carolyn Rickards (University of Bristol), Dr Paul Frith (UEA). The three-year project (2016-19) is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema project investigates the impact of Eastmancolor, a film stock introduced by Kodak in the 1950s, on British cinema. As a relatively cheap, 'monopack' stock that could be used in any camera, Eastmancolor revolutionised the ways in which colour films were made. Over the next thirty years colour filmmaking came to dominate sound cinema for the first time. The project's focus is on how British cinema, its filmmakers and other professionals adapted to one of the most important technical innovations in film history. In a series of short presentations, the project team report on key issues that have emerged as being of particular importance in the research conducted so far. Sarah Street will discuss how ‘The Canon’ - understandings of what constitutes British cinema in terms of critically-valued films, themes and approaches - presents critical issues for researchers into colour cinema. It raises key questions addressed by the project: How does looking at British cinema from the perspective of colour challenge received opinion on key films, filmmakers and technicians? Also, how does the story of colour in British cinema during the years 1955-85 contribute to our wider understanding of colour? Keith M. Johnston will explore the complex issues of naming and branding that occur across the period of the project in both industry discourse and public advertising. In part, this will consider how the historical record offers a complex (and often misleading) account of what counts as ‘Eastmancolor’ (or ‘Eastman Colour’ to use the British variation), how Eastman Kodak positioned its new process, and the parallel issue around the use of the ‘Technicolor’ brand name once 3-strip production ceased and the company switched to a range of processing methods. Interrogating the current findings of the project will address a central question: can we ever accurately know what an Eastmancolor film is? Paul Frith will give a demonstration of the project database which covers all British feature films produced in colour within the period of our study. Comprised of information collated from trade and industry publications pertaining to more than 2000 titles, the database represents a unique record of key personnel, colour processes and laboratories for each British film shot in colour during this period. Carolyn Rickards will focus on how the collected data can be used to interpret shifts in use of the Eastmancolor process throughout our research period.  This will include a discussion on film genres, studios and personnel who represent the major interests for our study. This contribution provides a general update on and oversight of some of the key research areas, themes and moments of interest across the thirty-year period as covered so far by the project team.

avatar for Paul Frith

Paul Frith

The Eastmancolor Revolution, University of Bristol
Dr Paul Frith is a Research Associate working on the project at the University of East Anglia. In 2014, he completed his thesis on horror and realism in Britain during the 1940s, with publications on this subject appearing in The Journal of British Cinema and Television and Horror... Read More →
avatar for Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

The Eastmancolor Revolution, University of Bristol
Dr Keith M. Johnston is Reader in Film & Television Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is co-investigator on “The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-85”. His research focuses on the interplay of technology, aesthetics and industry in British cinema, including... Read More →
avatar for Carolyn Rickards

Carolyn Rickards

The Eastmancolor Revolution, University of Bristol
Dr Carolyn Rickards is a Research Associate working on the project based at the University of Bristol. She received her PhD from the University of East Anglia in 2015. Her thesis investigated critical discourses attached to fantasy genre and ‘Britishness’ within the context of... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Street

Sarah Street

Professor and Principal Investigator, The Eastmancolor Revolution, University of Bristol
Sarah Street is Professor of Film at the University of Bristol, UK. She has published widely including British National Cinema (1997; 2nd ed. 2009), Transatlantic Crossings: British Feature Films in the USA (2002), Costume and Cinema (2001), Black Narcissus (2005) and (co-authored... Read More →

Wednesday March 21, 2018 2:50pm - 3:35pm GMT
Clore Centre Lecture Theatre, Birkbeck University, London