Re: [Frameworks] B & W on colour stock

From: Robert Schaller <>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 07:16:17 -0700

I second Pip. I've been able to get decent results, too, but only after several prints did the lab get the color right. You need to find a lab that will work with you on it.

One approach would be to give the lab a short silent black and white negative (1 minute? you do want it long enough that you can project it and get an impression watching it). Make sure that the negative represents the typical density range -- or has examples of the whole range -- that you're working with. Have them time it and print it, then watch the result. Then have them adjust the timing as necessary and repeat until you are satisfied with the result. Once you've done that, the timing numbers they come up with should work at that lab (but only at that lab!) for whatever follows. Doing this with a short "film" makes the repetition easier and less expensive.

I would further point out that what will really help you is to establish a relationship with a particular lab. Get to know them, attend timing sessions, talk to them about the results they give you. They are NOT interchangeable like chain stores; you need to get into a good relationship with one. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say "behind every good filmmaker is a good lab," but it's kind of true. We experimental filmmakers can not take take the existence of labs for granted, less and less so as the commercial industry moves away from film.

I hand process and hand print everything I do, but only at the camera and working intermediate stage. When I'm all done with the "creative" part, I don't want to have to be the one who has to make every print; it's just work at that stage! We filmmakers need labs as long as labs are around, and if we use them they'll be here longer. If you're lucky enough to be near one that prints on film, take advantage of that fact by adopting them as a part of your practice! You might have to invest a little time and money on projects like this, but I think it's worth it.

- Robert Schaller

On Nov 28, 2011, at 5:02 AM, Pip Chodorov wrote:

> Hi Shumona,
> I was able to do this for a film that had some black and white and some color.
> The lab just has to do answer prints, filtering out the dominant
> color until they get it right.
> But it is possible to get it just right, if they are willing to work at it.
> -Pip
> At 15:53 +0530 28/11/11, Shumona Goel wrote:
>> I am trying to print a 16mm black and white film onto colour stock
>> because there is no black and white print stock available in India,
>> nor is there a lab that would process it. I recently did a test that
>> had a strong magenta tint.
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Received on Mon Nov 28 2011 - 06:18:16 CST