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Cine Film Colour Correction

Why do we need colour correction?

Traditional film is prone, over time, to become faded or discoloured. The degree to which this occurs is generally due to a number of factors:
• Temperature
• The conditions in which the film has been stored
• The type of stock film that’s been used.

It’s often the case that old 8mm and 16mm film has been the most prone to fading and discolouration. This is largely down to the fact that the stock of film available to most home or amateur filmmakers in years gone by was never designed with long term storage in mind.

How to tell if your film needs colour correction

The most obvious sign that a film requires colour correction is, when playing your film back, you’ll notice that the picture has faded and, more often than not, the image will appear pink on screen. If this is the case then the film needs a colour correction.

How do you correct the colour of the cine film?

Colour correction is performed through the combination of digital processing and the expert attention of an experienced technician. The digital equipment is able to detect colours which have faded or been lost in the film while the technician will work through each scene to ensure that the correct colour balance is introduced to restore the image to the highest quality possible. Having a wide colour gammit allows for corrections to be made which are more effective and help restore the true colour balance of the piture that may have shifted over time. 

How long does it take?

There’s no hard and fast rule to the time it will take to perform the colour correction process as it’s often dependent on how discoloured the film is to begin with. It does take a little time because the technician will work diligently to ensure that each frame has been restored to the best quality possible. Generally, colour correction is part of the overall process of transferring cine film onto digital files.

Is it expensive?

The real question is how much do you value the memories captured on the film? This process can bring the lustre back to once-faded film and enable you to retain those moments for years to come. The prices for colour correction are industry competitive and a standard colour grade is included when transferring your films to digital.

Other processes that can help are flicker removal and dust and scratch removal both of which require the use of complex software algorithms to remove or mask these faults, results can be miraculous and are ideal when the footage is need for broadcast purposes.