Re: One more Tint/tone thing (Actually, 8)

From: marco poloni (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Dec 28 2008 - 08:15:06 PST


thank you so much for your wonderful “one more thing” proto-encyclopedic email. i am a bit overwhelemd at the amount of information you are sharing with me.

as to spelling i do not care very much. i don't use a word speller myself because i believe that the paradigm of correspondence inherited from letters should not apply to emails. this is a view based on my ideas about the specificity of email as a medium. i find typos charming, a kind of serendipity – i like the word you use – between habit and device that sometimes produces funny, new words. anyway, i write in clean matter when asking a salary increase to my dean!

i don't know how to thank you! i'll explore all of this. starting with griffith's intolerance and birth of a nation. i have both on DVD but haven't seen them for a long while so i can't even remember if i have good DVDs which retained the toning/tinting of the original footage.

is this a hip thing, to tint film? i came to it as an idea of a cool thing to do when watching some warhol silkscreens, and i am wondering if there's a tinting zeitgeist among young, underground artists/filmmakers...

to reassure you: i do not consider all this as a fun, rewarding effect. it is really about finding an adequacy between form and content.

all best, talk soon,

-----Original Message-----
>From: JEFFREY PAULL <email suppressed>
>Sent: Dec 28, 2008 9:40 AM
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: One more Tint/tone thing (Actually, 8)
>1} You can tint and tone for 2- 3 colour effects. Since toning changes the silver - meaning the greys and blacks of the image -
> those changs and colours aren't water soluable. But water-based tinting dyes don't affect the silver at all;
>dyes colour only the white/light/transparent parts of the image. Tinting dyes soak into the entire gelatin structure of the emulsion,
>and so can leech out if the film becomes soaked again.
>Good to know if you don't like the tinting colour. Just let it sit in clear warm water, plus 2-3 drops of dish detergent, for a while (an hour?) and most if not all the colour will be gone.
>Agitate gently maybe every 10 minutes, for 15t-30 seconds. The colour becomes removed slowly as the water meets the emulsion surface and dilutes the dye.
>So big agitation is of no help at all.
>2} If you tint and tone both, do your toning first, tinting second.
> Example: Tone the darker parts of the image sepia, let's say it's landscape w/or w/o people.
>Then tint the white parts of the image blue - in this case, mostely sky parts.
>Of course the blue superimposes on the brown parts but if you balance your soaking timings,
>you can get a blue sky and a non-blue landscape.
>3} You can "split tone": soak the film on one colour toner for a shorter time, affecting only the mid-tones.
> That change is permanent, but the short submersion time will have transformed only some of the thinner (lighter) areas of silver, leaving the thicker, darker parts untouched.
>Then, after washing, you can soak the film in a 2nd colour toner for a longer time than #1.
>It will have no effect ont he silver that has already turned colour, but will change only the previously unchanged darker parts.
>So your first toning colours only the lighter tones, and the 2nd toner colours the darker and black parts of the image.
>Some of the mid-tones will, indeed, pick up the colours of both toners.
>5} Some toners require you to what's called "bleach" the image first using the chemical potassium ferrocyanide.
> The amount of chemical in the solution you use is small, say 2-5 ml of ferrocyanide to a litre of water.
>The ferrocyanide doesn't fume so you can use it indoors, but wear rubber gloves.
>The cyanide part of ferrocyanide is, of course, a very concentrated deadly poison.
>But the potassium ferrocyanide is a stable compound so use it with glove care.
>The cyanide will come out of solution only if you both leave it uncovered in a tray for days,
>and sunshine hits the tray.
>Google "Poison Centre" and find an entry you can trust and read officially the care and feeding of potassium ferrocyanide.
>ALSO: read how to dispose of properly.
>6} You can strip film emulsion down to the base - removing all traces of emulsion and gelatine, using clothes bleach.
> (try 150ml bleach in 2 litres of water. Using gloves, shmoosh it around and watch it turn transparent.
>If you get bored, add another 150 ml of clothes bleach to speed things up.
>USE GLOVES and do this outside because of chlorine fumes. They are nasty.
>7} One of my former students, Steve Sanguedolce, is making his 2nd feature length documentary using B&W in a Bolex, shooting actors.
> He develops the footage in buckets in the basement, and dries it in the family clothes dryer. (!)
>Then he tints and tones (Berg toner by the gallon).
>This semi-wrecked look is only semi-predictable, (part of the adventure)
>and, in the case of his last film, "Dead Time", the messed up image was an analog to the characters' (real life recovered addicts)
> lives which, for decades, had been totally subsumed to drugs.
>The various flickerings of the image at times were synced, momentarily, to the fluctuations of their Voice-Overs or to the momentary silences.
>Out of chaos: order!
>Mind: all this hand-made stuff helps give a look to the image that HELPS TELL THE STORY!
>It isn't teachnique for its own sake.
>Since messing around like this GUARANTEES interesting/pretty footage, for beginners, understand that these techniques can seduce
>you into falling in love with "your" footage.
>The image is the work of serendipity and guaranteed chemical reactions.
>How you choose to apply it, edit it, use it to enhance your idea allows you to say that it is, now, "your" footage.
>8} If there's a hip DVD rental place available, check out these silent films for the looks of tinting and (mostely) toning:
> - Birth of a Nation,
> - Intolerance
> _Orphans of the Storm
> - Haxen ( an early Danish ("educational"!) film about Witches
>The very early shorts of Georges Melies with hand-tinting of each individual frame. (If the DVD is high quality, the effects are lovely - and amazing when you think
>of tinting individual parts of 16 images for each second of screen time.
>9} Also check out the still-photo work of Alfred Steiglitz and other "Pictorialists" who tinted and toned B&W prints around 1910.
> You will see you have a lot to live up to!
>LAST: I'm a shitty speller, and Safari doesn't seem to have a spell check so I take responsibility for spelling mistakes but I don't want to hear about them.
> It never helps; I'm too far gone.
>Jeffrey Paull
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

Marco Poloni, Korsörer Strasse 1, D-10437 Berlin
gsm +41.78.6322028, skype marcopoloni

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.