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Subject: Re: Combat footage: Pacific vs. European
From: (John W. Schaefer)
Date: Mar 04 1996

In article <>, says...
> 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.

                                         John Schaefer

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