Where does the pink flash in film transitions come from?
December 21, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

What technical film-editing component leads to "pink flashes" on transitions, like this one or this one?

Just watching that Youtube video I recognized the flash of color and wondered where it comes from. Thank you.
posted by circular to Technology (7 answers total)
That's not a transition, that's looks like some frames were discolored or damaged and they spliced.
posted by empath at 10:42 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

What empath said. The film was probably damaged in such a way that frames got washed out, and they included a 'brighter' frame in the splice to make it look more consistent instead of taking it out and having a more jarring jump between frames.
posted by griphus at 10:54 AM on December 21, 2011

? Of course they're transitions. They're dissolves, ffs.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2011

You could probably simulate this by cutting the film track and replacing a few frames with a pink matte, dissolves across the lot. (remember not to cut the audio track!)
posted by smirkette at 11:08 AM on December 21, 2011

Check this out.

It's an artifact from an optical printer. I would guess that's the same vidiot as MeFi's own.
posted by mzurer at 12:03 PM on December 21, 2011

That looks like the gamma is getting messed up to me. I'm sure technically there are more elegant and less lossy solutions, but picture it like this:

You need to make a fade. You put the first scene in one projector, and the second scene into another projector. You point those projectors onto your unexposed film stock, and hit the "go" button. The first projector is at 100% brightness, the second one is (optimally) at 0% brightness. You lower the brightness on one while raising it on the other, until you are at 0% and 100%. Then you develop that negative, print a positive and splice it in.

But nothing is perfect, and you are going to get light leaking from both cameras, over exposing the film. And film isn't terribly linear to begin with. Then you might have color temperature issues with what color the original prints are being projected with, and what the film stock is looking to accept.
posted by gjc at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2011

Back in the day, if you wanted to add a dissolve to 35mm film, you would double expose a new piece of negative in an optical printer, and splice it in to the negative. If you were cheap, only right at the dissolve would you spend the money for the optical effect. The dissolve was a generation down, and there could be color shifting as a result of rephotographing the negative. There were two better ways to do it - one would be for the entire length of the shot to be shot on the optical printer, not just where the dissolve happened, so that whatever color shifting happened was uniform across the whole length of the shot. The other way to make it go away was the standard way that 16mm film was printed, which was using A/B roll printing, where the negative was checkerboarded onto two rolls, alternating with black film, and then the print was made by exposing it to both rolls.

Digital technology makes all these analog approaches unnecessary.
posted by MythMaker at 4:12 AM on December 22, 2011

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