Pixar's Rod Bogart: 'While We Hope Film Is Forever, It May Not Be'

3:12 PM PST 11/15/2012 by Carolyn Giardina

AMPAS presents a loving look at film during a program that traced how color science has been applied to moviemaking from Melies’ "A Trip to the Moon" to Scorsese’s "Hugo."

A program on color in the movies, held Wednesday evening at AMPAS’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater, provided a loving look at some classic films -- though it came with a reminder that celluloid’s future is in question.

“While we hope film is forever, it may not be,” said Pixar Animation Studios' senior color scientist Rod Bogart, who co-hosted the program with Joshua Pines, color scientist and vp imaging research at Technicolor Digital Intermediates. “A lot of [films] are going to be difficult to locate in the future.”

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Pines noted that some directors continue to choose film, citing as examples Oscar contenders The Master from Paul Thomas Anderson and The Dark Knight Rises from Christopher Nolan.

Through a series of clips, the co-hosts demonstrated how color science has been applied to the art of filmmaking. Black-and-white examples included film struck off the original negative of the 1941 classic Citizen Kane.

Examples of hand-tinted film frames dated to 1902’s iconic A Trip to the Moon from Georges Melies. Several clips from Technicolor’s recent restoration of the film were projected.

Technicolor’s two-strip and three-strip processes were among the techniques also covered before the program turned to a look at a pair of films -- Pleasantville (1998) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) -- credited for pioneering today’s commonly used “digital intermediate” process, through which movies are color graded in the digital realm, rather than in a lab.

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Film prints were used during the event, in addition to a 4K digital cinema package (or DCP, the digital equivalent of a film print) for a clip from Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, as well as a DCP for a selection from the recent restoration of Lawrence of Arabia. A film clip from David Lean’s 1962 epic also was projected.

The Academy’s Science and Technology Council presented the program with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

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