|Welcome to Sprocket School! This project is maintained by volunteer editors. A guide to editing.|
IB Technicolor, also called Dye-Transfer Technicolor, Imbibition Technicolor, or "IB Tech" is a now defunct color process known for nearly perfect color stability.
IB Technicolor prints are impossible to replace and should be handled with great care. Because their colors do not fade, IB Technicolor prints often represent exactly what audiences saw on a film's original release (though likely improved a bit through modern lenses).
An overview of the complex technology used to create IB Technicolor prints can be seen on the George Eastman Museum's website: https://www.eastman.org/technicolor/technology/dye-transfer-printing
IB Technicolor prints are identified by a grey soundtrack, although some early 16mm prints have a blue soundtrack. Blue Track Technicolor prints have a characteristic "vomit" smell and lower fidelity sound.
Not all films shot in Technicolor were printed in Technicolor, and not all films printed in Technicolor were printed exclusively in Technicolor. For example McCABE AND MRS. MILLER was filmed on Eastman Color Negative, and original release prints were either IB Technicolor or Eastman Color.
Years in use: 1926 - 1970s
IB Technicolor printing was in use in the United States from 1926 until the mid 70s. Some countries including Italy, England, and China kept producing IB Technicolor prints after production stopped in the US. Famously, STAR WARS (1977) was printed in IB Tech in the UK and now-faded Eastman Color in the US (AGFA and Fuji prints also exist).
Revival: 1996 - 2001
Technicolor's IB Technicolor equipment was revived for a brief period between 1996 and 2001, and the following prints were produced during this time.
Dye-Transfer prints struck at Technicolor 1996 - 2001
This list was supplied by Jeff Joseph:
This list was compiled from various sources. I am unaware of any shorts or trailers struck in the process. In most cases (unless otherwise noted), less than 100 prints were struck for each title. In addition, various tests were printed, including segments of Gone With the Wind (full frame aperture, Ballroom scene), Adventures of Robin Hood (MOS), and Vertigo (MOS). Likely others were done as well. "Print Extant" = at least one dye transfer print is known to survive as of this date (2008).
|Title||Year||Studio||Notes||Print run||Print(s) extant?|
|Any Given Sunday||1999||Warner||Dye-transfer prints were not ready on date of release; prints went out to theatres a week or so later|
|Apocalypse Now Redux||1979/2001||Miramax||All Redux prints were dye-transfer; several hundred were struck||Several hundred||Yes|
|Bandits||2001||MGM||I’d heard that the director did not approve the dye-transfer prints, but I know that some got out anyway. I know of at least one theatre that had a dye-transfer print on this title.|
|Batman and Robin||1997||Warner||Not many printed|
|Bulworth||1998||Fox||Prints notorious for shedding in the gate, causing the prints to scratch easily.||Yes|
|Funny Girl||1968/2001||Sony||Less than 20 prints struck||20||Yes|
|Giant||1956/1996||Warner||First public screenings of the new dye-transfer process. Color was fine, but much of the negative was faded and huge chunks are opticals, including the first 10 minutes or so. Very grainy looking print.|
|Godzilla||1998||Sony||Approximately 250 prints struck||250|
|Gone With the Wind||1939/1998||Warner||Matrixes were made from a restored dupe neg. Optically converted to anamorphic, with frame bars on the sides, so this could be run at any theatre, not just theatres equipped with 1.37 projection. Print quality varied widely. More than 200 prints struck||200+||Yes|
|Meet the Deedles||1998||Disney|
|Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil||1997||Warner||Only 2 prints struck||2|
|Rear Window||1954/2000||USA Films/Universal||Approximately 40 prints struck||40||Yes|
|The Thin Red Line||1998||Fox||Only one dye-transfer print struck||1||Yes|
|The 13th Warrior||1999||Disney|
|Toy Story II||1999||Pixar/Disney||After a few weeks in release, a new reel five was sent to theatres that contained bloopers while the credits rolled. These new reel fives were not dye-transfer.|
|12 Angry Men||1997||MGM/TV||A single dye-transfer print was struck of this TV Movie, which was run at the Toronto Film Festival.||1|
|The Wedding Planner||2001||Sony|
|The Wizard of Oz||1939/1998||Warner||Approximately 50 prints struck in full frame (1.37) dye-transfer. The balance of the prints were standard Eastman Color prints, struck in the pillar box format||50||Yes|
- "IB, Therefore..." - essay on IB Tech history by Kyle Westphal, Chicago Film Society