Subject: Re: Combat footage: Pacific vs. European
From: email@example.com (John W. Schaefer)
Date: Mar 04 1996
In article <DnoysI.9IE@ecsvax.uncecs.edu>, firstname.lastname@example.org says...
>...film footage of Pacific combat (air, ground, and sea) is in color, but
>most footage from the European theater is black and white. Does anyone know
>why this is? Also, was much combat film shot with sound, or were all the
>sound effects in documentaries added later?
Speaking only from a knowledge of the technology of the time, I'm
very surprised that much footage would have been shot in color from hand-held
cameras on the battlefield or from combat aircraft. Raw color film of the
time was very unstable as to temperature and humidity, and its color
rendition was extremely dependant on lighting conditions. Are you sure that
some of the documentaries you've seen have not been "colorized"? If the
picture's color keeps changing crazily moment to moment, it might be
original. If it's pretty and stable, it almost certainly isn't.
I'm sure that no direct sound-on-film was used on battlefields or (of
course) on combat aircraft during WWII. It would have had to be
optical-track, and the microphone-to-optical-track stage would have required
perhaps twenty pounds of tube amplifier and batteries, at a minimum.
Processing would have required a special facility. In special locations,
where studio-type equipment could be set up, a separate synced
optical-recording setup would have been practical, but not in the field.