Chapter XL


Making the Movies by Ernest A. Dench
New York, The Macmillan company, published 1915 (now in the Public Domain)

pp. 176-177

After a photoplay has been recorded by the camera, the negative, on which everything is recorded, is taken to be developed.

The interior of a film factory reminds you of that of a coal mine. You enter the first workroom and find it as black as night. The guide next takes you along a gloomy corridor lighted only by darkened lamps. You now enter the printing room and note its uncanniness, the result of little red lights that appear at the peep holes of the printing machines.

The printing machines somewhat resemble penny in the slot machines, except that a mass of contrivances is attached to them. Were the slightest ray of daylight to penetrate these machines, thousands of dollars' worth of damage would be done.

To guide and manipulate the negative a girl sits in front of each machine. As the film appears on the reel it moves into an opening, then passes out of this to another aperture, thence to a box underneath.

The film, in the course of its journey through the machine, touches a portion of sensitive film and a little internal electric light appears at this stage to help complete the exposure.

The negative is then taken to the developing room, which is darker still, and wound upon big wooden frames. Girls do this work, while men afterwards dip the frames into developing and fixing solutions and lastly into running water.

In yet another room are a number of large tanks, each one containing concoctions of various colors. If there is a fire in the film, that portion is colored red. But should a portion of the play be supposed to take place at night, a deep blue will do the trick.

Before the celluloid films leave the works they are washed in order to clear them of any extraneous chemicals or matter which might streak or scratch the pictures. They must, in fact, go out in a perfect condition.



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